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Schmooze Vol. 1 Iss. 1: Jewish Humor

When I originally set out the structure of this newsletter my plan was to have a “Jewish Humor” column where subscribers would send in their favorite Jewish jokes that we could share.

Well, as we all know, the world has changed since October 7 and some people might feel that it’s not an appropriate time for humor. However, those who work in the area of stress and resilience know that humor is one of a number of coping styles that can be helpful in times like this. In fact, it is quite common for first responders to use “gallows humor” as a coping style.

My colleague Paul Bartone and I wrote about this in our book Hardiness (p. 182-184). We cite research on firefighters (Alvarado, Scott, Scott, & Bledsoe, 2001, p.2) who treat serious, frightening, or painful subject matter in a light or satirical way as a way to boost positive morale among peers, increase closeness of the group, and provide feelings of support – acting as a safety valve for releasing accumulated stress.

So I want to share some of the humor going around on the front lines of the IDF right now (National Post):

An Israeli soldier receives a care package from a supportive stranger, one of many offering comfort during the Israel-Hamas war. He finds a note inside.

Dear soldiers,

Please stay alive. I’m not married yet… Need options 🙂

Rachel Edri, Israel’s newest national hero.

On Oct. 7, Edri entertained five Hamas terrorists who invaded her and her husband’s home in the southern Israeli town of Ofakim with tea and Moroccan cookies for 19 hours until police were able to break in and kill them.

At the end we will triumph, and one thousand years from now Jews the world over will celebrate yet another holiday marking our survival from attempted annihilation, by eating “Rachel’s cookies.”

On his recent visit to Israel, President Joe Biden met with Edri and lauded her bravery and heroism. Ahead of their encounter, this joke was circulating:

Channel 12 news: Rachel, are you excited to meet Biden?

Rachel: Biden? Big deal! Last week I almost met God!

On International journalism:

Journalists: Israel! We hereby find you guilty!

Israel: Of what?

Journalists: We don’t know yet. The day has only just started.

There are three occasions when the Israeli Nation comes together:

During times of disaster
During times of war
When yelling at the city bus driver to open the back door to let riders out

Dear enemies,

Just an FYI that whatever you were trying to accomplish, all you’ve done is make the Jewish people love one another more than they ever have in their entire lives.

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