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A Treasury of Jewish Folklore, 1948.

READERSVOICE.COM aims to give a few samples from excellent out of print books. Sometimes they are forgotten books, yet they’re as good as anything new. Here are some funny gags and jokes from old collections of Jewish humor. Some of these may have been featured before on readersvoice.com, but good jokes are worth retelling. Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.

Like the other books featured in this issue, A Treasury of Jewish Folklore is full of little masterpieces of humor. This collection was edited by folklorist, historian and humorist Nathan Ausubel. It was first published in 1948 by Crown Publishers, New York. These are from the 1960 reprinting.

Why noodles are noodles

ONCE, someone asked Motke Chabad, the wag, “Tell me, Motke, you’re a smart fellow – why do they call noodles, ‘noodles’?”

Motke answered without hesitation, “What a question to ask! They’re long like noodles, aren’t they? They’re soft like noodles, aren’t they? And they taste like noodles, don’t they? So why shouldn’t they be called noodles?”

Mazel Tov!

“I HAVE come to report,” said Tevye the carpenter to the secretary of the burial society, “that my wife has died, and I wish the sum requested for her burial.”

“But how can that be?” asked the official. “We buried your wife two years ago.”

“Oh, that was my first wife,” said Tevye, “and now my second wife, too, has died.”

“Excuse me,” said the secretary, “I didn’t know you had remarried. Mazel Tov!”

Wet Logic

A SAGE of Chelm went bathing in the lake and almost drowned. When he raised an outcry other swimmers came to his rescue. As he was helped out of the water he took a solemn oath. “I swear never to go into the water again until I learn how to swim!”

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