The following quotes were compiled by Arie Kaplan to accompany his articles about Jewish humor in the 1990s. Reprinted with permission from Reform Judaism magazine.
“My family wasn’t very religious. On Hanukkah they had a menorah on a dimmer.”
“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.”
“Why are women wearing perfumes that smell like flowers to attract men? Men don’t like flowers. I wear a scent called ‘new-car interior.'”
“Fortunately, my parents were intelligent, enlightened people. They accepted me exactly for what I was: a punishment from God.”
“My grandfather always said, ‘Don’t watch your money; watch your health.’ So one day while I was watching my health, someone stole all my money. It was my grandfather.”
“My dad called me up the other night, very excited. He said, ‘Jonathan, when I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I don’t have to turn on the light, the light goes on automatically. When I’m done, the light goes off automatically.’ I said, ‘Dad, you’re peeing in the fridge, and it’s got to stop.'”
“I once had a leather jacket that got ruined in the rain. Why does moisture ruin leather? Aren’t cows outside a lot of the time?”
“I went up to Jackie Kennedy at a party and figured I’d try to break the ice by getting a little conversation going. So I said, ‘Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard that Kennedy was shot?'”
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.
Pronounced: muh-NOHR-uh, Origin: Hebrew, a lamp or candelabra, often used to refer to the Hanukkah menorah, or Hanukkiah.