Jews have long been known for their humor. We entertain much of the world with our jokes, our impersonations. Scholars have explored the roots of this, and delved into our group psyche, our need to laugh when deflecting pain and fear, and such. We are not the only funny people out there, but for a relatively small group, we seem to have incubated a great number of funny folks.

New York City's Jews have made major contributions to this field, and those from the borough of Brooklyn have been particularly savvy. Brooklyn Jews including Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Mel Brooks, most of the Three Stooges and Andrew "Dice" Clay have made the world laugh.

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My dad was a funny Jewish guy, but on a local level. I don't think there are any You Tube videos of him, cracking jokes and making silly puns. But to his family, friends, work colleagues and fellow congregants at the East Midwood Jewish Center, he was known for making corny Jewish jokes. He was also known for fixing damaged siddurim and humashim, and for being a dedicated member of the weekday morning and evening minyan, but the jokes revealed his lighthearted and clever side.


I have also done my part at being a dedicated member of our shul...and of coming up with cunning jokes. Some are successful, some thud. (That's humor, folks!) And I came up with a particular corny Jewish joke that fits in with this coming month. It started at Shabbat morning service, when the hazzan sang the blessings for the new month.

So he sang Adar, and of course I thought about Purim. Purim has a lot of humor to it, of both subtle and broad, wacky varieties. But then I just thought of the word "Adar," its sound and cadence. Adar, Adar, Adar...

And I came up with "Adar is born."
Nu, you don't think that is knee-slapping funny? Oy, let me explain. It sounds like "A star is born"... as in the expression, as in the movies made in 1937, 1954 and 1976. I giggled at that mild humor. So I decided to test out this on some other congregants, at the end of the service. Some laughed, some were confused, others rolled their eyes.

I think my dad would have liked it. I bet he would have borrowed it too.

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