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Humor from Jewish folklore p3

Some more samples from A Treasury of Jewish Folklore, by Nathan Ausubel. These are from Part 3 of the book: The Human Comedy…

Courtesy to a Customer

A dog dashed into the village butcher shop and ran off with a chunk of meat between his teeth. Thereupon, the butcher grabbed his meat cleaver and, brandishing it, ran after the thief.

“What’s happened?” a neighbour inquired as he ran.

“A dog has run off with a chunk of meat!”

“So why the cleaver?” called the neighbour after him. “Do you have to chop the meat up for him?”


For  a long time Levy and Bernstein sat over their teacups, saying nothing. At last Levy broke the silence. “You know, Bernstein,” he said, “life is like a glass of tea.”

“Life is like a glass of tea..why?” asked Bernstein.

“How should I know,” said Levy, “am I a philosopher?”

The Choice

The little Jewish jester was overcome with grief. His world was at an end! For a long time he had served the Caliph at Bagdad and his Court, keeping them amused whenever they called upon him. But in a moment of thoughtlessness he had displeased his ruler who ordered that he be put to death.

“However,” said the Caliph, “in consideration of the merry jests you’ve told me all these years, I will let you choose how you are to die.”

“O most generous Caliph,” replied the jester, “if it’s all the same to you, I choose death by old age!”

-See A Treasury of Jewish Folklore by Nathan Ausubel, originally published 1948 by Crown Publishers, New York. This book is well worth finding.