Biblical Bellylaughs

Haim Watzman

”Humor in the Tanakh”, Daniel Saunders promises us on Jewcy. And what a relief to find some lighthearted biblical exegesis amidst the posts like Jamie Sneider’s account of interfaith sex with her not yet ex-husband, Mia Rut’s three-way date with a Jewish guy and a Russian cat (sorry I keep picking on you, Miz Rut), and Lillit Marcus’s account of her multicultural conquests (why do my old flames never blog about me? Was I that boring?). Although, come to think of it, all that stuff can be found in the Bible, too, except the cat.

Saunders, disappoints, however. The passages he adduces are not exactly rib-tickling. In fact, they are about as funny as the Gospel according to John, which is probably the most unfunny religious text ever written. I mean, Jeremiah’s pun about the almond tree? Generations of scriptural commentators haven’t even figured out what the hell he meant by it. I guess you had to be there.

Good humor is subversive. And, fortunately for us, our holy book is auto-subversive in a way undreamed of by the average portentous sacred text….

Read the rest on Jewcy–Comment there or here.

1 thought on “Biblical Bellylaughs”

  1. I always liked the word “meh” in the haftarah for parshat zachor, which is marked with a t’vir. The subject matter deals with all the livestock that Shaul saved from the Amalekites. The word “meh” winds up sounding like a lamb’s bleating.

    שבת שלום

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