Photo Credit: Ideastrator Press

Title: Only Kidding! My first book of Jewish Jokes
By: Sari Kopitnikoff
Ideastrator Press



The Gemara (Nedarim 50b-51a) tells a story about Bar Kapara. Once Bar Kapara tried to make Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi laugh, his best joke was coating a basket with tar so that wheat couldn’t come out and putting it on his head upside down while asking Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi for some wheat. This task would have been easier if only he had read this book.

As you might have guessed, Only Kidding is a joke book. These jokes aren’t classic Jewish humor, such as stories about rabbis with clever tricks or about the “wise men” of Chelm. Instead, it has puns and knock-knock jokes based on Jewish themes. I thought that the jokes were really funny. For example: “What do Jewish birds do with their extra cash? They give it to tze-duck-ah.”

The pictures are very funny and sometimes they themselves are jokes too. For example, there is a “holey” sock that does not belong in the section of “holy things,” and a mezuzah that likes “hanging out” in the section of “mitzvot and values.”

The book is divided into jokes of different themes. These include holy things, food, the Jewish calendar and many more. My favorite section is the “rejected jokes” section. This section talks about jokes which were left out of the book for funny reasons. For example, there isn’t a joke about a dreidel because it would make your head spin. (But I don’t think that these jokes actually exist. I think that the reason for the “rejection” is the whole joke).

The only bad thing about the book is that it is really short. Luckily, it encourages you to write your own jokes and send them to the author. Here is one of mine: “Which masechet can protect a castle? Yeva-moat.”

This book is good for kids, and seems to be less good for adults. It has a lot of puns, and when I told some of them to my parents they didn’t think that they were funny. (But maybe my parents just don’t have a sense of humor.)

Do you need a good joke to start a dvar Torah?

Are you curious what to do when your prayer shawl is too short or what it’s called when toilet paper says I’m sorry?

Do you just want to hear a funny joke?

If so, you should read this book.

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Shalom Trachtman lives in northern Israel. In addition to telling jokes, he enjoys making decorations out of Perler beads. He also likes space and dinosaurs.