July 25, 2021 12:10 am at 12:10 am #1994302
In reading tonight about the petirah of Jackie Mason, I was reminded that someone who became the personification to the world of “Jewish Comedy” was also a rav with semicha from REITS. Certainly Jewish humor evolved from the iconic Chelm stories in the alte heim, to a considerably more diverse set of themes themes spanning irony, satire, and to some extent anti-authoritarian rants mocking both frum and secular segments of klal yisroel. In what some would consider to be peak of Jewish comedy exemplified by Mason and the other borscht belt comedians, there were elements of both “goyim bashing” and “self-deprecation” intertwined in a strangely entertaining way. Sadly, there were also some elements of racism and sexism that found their way into the shticks in the later years of some of these comedians that detracted from their legacies. Long-winded way of getting to my initial point as to what constitutes “Jewish Comedy” in the frum velt today and whether CR readers have any particular favorites.July 25, 2021 9:50 am at 9:50 am #1994404BenephraimParticipant
His brothers were also Rabbonim. I think he was related to the chief Rabbi of Moscow involved in the Beilis trial. I think though he was a Talmid of the Rosh Yeshiva RMF having come from the LES.July 25, 2021 9:54 am at 9:54 am #1994421
My favorite is the Jewish Mother or where the orthodox rabbi wrote a check to place in the coffin. In general comedy, Who is on first.July 25, 2021 10:00 am at 10:00 am #1994423
I remember those jokes, very funny. Who’s on firat happena to be a favorite.July 25, 2021 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm #1994437
His Brother and last surviving member of the Children of Harav Eliyahu Mordechai Maza is my Uncle. We used to spend every Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncles house and he was there all the time. His name is Maza which is an acronym for Mi’Zerah Aaron Hakohen which he was. They received their Smicha from Rav Moshe. I also met him on the set of the short running TV Sitcom called Chicken Soup. He should be a Meilitz Yosher for the whole family.July 25, 2021 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #1994476ujmParticipant
Was he frum?July 25, 2021 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #1994483
“Was he frum?”
Obviously he was “frum” in his YU days and perhaps for some period thereafter but I’ll let Forshaye characterize his cousin’s degree of observance in his later years. Clearly, he was politically incorrect in a way that endeared him to some and alienated him from others but always was an outspoken advocate for yidden whatever you might think of his “frumkeit”.July 25, 2021 4:07 pm at 4:07 pm #1994498
GH – I am not sure why you seemed offended that people don’t like the fact that he turned his back on religion, very publically, even tho he was still able to give you a laugh.July 25, 2021 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #1994499
I only wish laitzonus of serious torah ideas and gedolim were greeted with the same oppobrium and visceral disgust that one has for racism, sexism, etc
I teach elementary school children; if someone makes fun of shabbos it’s ok, but if someone makes fun of the debased and repugnant culture of certain groups of people, they are chastised and not tolerated in the social group. Such is the norm in modern orthodoxy, a twisted ideology which champions ideals not found in chazal and repudiates those which are. Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik aaid so himself; that there are people who would readily disagree with moshe rabbeinu, and we tolerate them in the interest of not appearing fanatical lr fundamentalist…yet if they disagree with the politics of (then) menachem begin…achas daso lehamis
If making fun of the holocaust evokes disgust and anguish – justifiablly so – should not the same feelings be felt if not more for the elbono shel torah? We are used to people mocking rabbonim and torah, because we let such things fester and grow. We don’t take torah seriously, or at least not as seriously as racism, sexism, or holocaust denial.July 25, 2021 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #1994511Amil ZolaParticipant
His brother, Joseph was a well known rabbi in Central NJ. Joseph was the rabbi at Anshe Emeth in South River for many years prior to its moving to Highland Park. (Anseh Emeth was a conservative congregation.) Joseph helped establish several congregations in NJ including Union Hill and Young Israel in East Brunswick.July 25, 2021 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #1994509
Syag: Sorry your having a bad day but nowhere have I indicated any positive feelings for Mason, but for the fact he was supportive of yidden to an extreme, at the expense of engaging in racism, sexism and homophobia which over time negated his early commercial success. Nor am I offended that some are upset about his distancing himself from his frum roots…Its just that I was more offended by some of his other attributes.July 25, 2021 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #1994534
GH – i appreciate the explanation and i apologize for my mistake. The way you wrote your post sounded like you were putting his advocacy as an override to his offensiveness and you gave no indication that you felt negatively, just saying he wasn’t pc. I stand corrected.July 25, 2021 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #1994506
It is very easy to dress up the term “mumar”, apostate….as “well, he used to be frum but we can’t judge him because when he wasn’t busy making fun of us he defended us from…. something”
If he had smicha, doesn’t that take him out of the fancied tinok shenishba category? If that doesn’t, what does? Are our enemies only those who physically oppose us? Are we any different from a non jewish nation which respects the rights of its citizens to cast off their traditions and is only mad if they oppose them politically?
Who is a rasha besides…neturei karta? Political enemies who believe in Hashem and serve Him, despite whatever delusions and garbage they follow.
Can modern orthodoxy admit to the concept that someone who breaks halacha openly is a rasha? We shouldn’t really have to have this discussion. It’s something that one gets from reading an english bible. Yet such baaic truths, in the words of the ramchal…in the degree to which they are revealed and known, they are hidden”… Modern orthodoxy grapples with the most fundamental ideas of Judaism, fighting with scripture in comical ways and inventing ad hoc systems of thought to gloss over biblical and talmudic realities. They deny the evils of homosexuality, feminism, abortion, to name but a few.
Someone who has smicha and goes off is a rasha, and a shoneh uporesh.July 25, 2021 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #1994539
As for my day, it’s actually going pretty well. I found a gluten free bread mix that actually makes soft rolls (relatively speaking). It costs a fortune but i splurged Nd made a hamburger bun on which i was finally able to try a beyond burger. Prefer fleishik option but pretending i was having a normal hamburger sandwich gave me a lift.July 25, 2021 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #1994540
I don’t know that we are in the position to decide how Hashem (capitol H) “feels” about him and we know not what his final thoughts of regret or tshuva were. Feel free to start a thread about the concept in general. – 29July 25, 2021 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1994549
What i meant is that Hashem tells us what he cares about in the Torah. As far as i know, grouping people together and making fun kf them isn’t in the list of things Hashem tells us that he hates. Actually, Hashem groups people together quite often – allmon and moav, amalek, etc…of course there are details that allow for individual growth in most of those laws, but if someone is more bothered by racist humor than by chilul shabbos, that shows a profound lack of priorities.July 25, 2021 5:41 pm at 5:41 pm #1994551
That wasn’t impliedJuly 25, 2021 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #1994557
Avira, the Rambam paskens that chasidei umos haolam have a part in the next world, so we don’t generalize.July 25, 2021 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #1994553
Avira. I appreciate and thank your effort.July 25, 2021 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #1994554
According to what I heard at the Levaya he was able to say Vidduy and Shema before Yetzias Haneshoma. He was buried within 24 hours of his passing as per his request. At the Levaya, people who knew him told how he used to say that in his youth he used to spend his entire day learning Gemorah. Say what you will about him but I can tell you that he never forgot where he came from and where he was going.July 25, 2021 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #1994555
Realize that the nazi’s ym’s also generalized, saying ch’v all Jews are bad.July 25, 2021 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #1994564
Thank you Forshayer. I may have been disgusted by jackie mason the comedian, but who am i to judge the neshama of his as it is standing now in judgment by bais din shel maalah? Please, perhaps a reality check on how much authority Hashem has given us to deem others unworthyJuly 25, 2021 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #1994567Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
Avira > They deny the evils of …. [list of aveiros omitted]
Funny that this comedian seemingly was not guilty of the things you mention, maybe of others. Avira, you seem to be very brisk about two Rambams, but in several cases, you are not able to make hakira between different types of people, and different types of motivations, and different types of circumstances. It is OK if you want to stay and deal with Rambam and ignore borsch Belt jokes, but then you should not make rush judgments and pronouncements.July 25, 2021 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #1994569
Syag: A bit off-topic but you might want to try the Gluten-free burger rolls sold under the Udi’s brand name. They are available at Whole Foods, Target and other markets and I suspect online as well. The hashgacha is from the Scroll K (Denver Co. Vaad). They actually taste quite good for GF product but probably not as good as your home-made alternative. I’ve also become a Beyond Beef addict for cholesterol reasons (I’m not thrilled about the sodium and fat content) but still sneak in a real beef (ground bison) burger every few weeks.
As for Jackie Mason, I lost all interest in his “humor” when he veered off the deep end with his support for Kahane and evicting all Palestinians. “Politically incorrect” monologues can sometimes retain some humor but each of us has a line where it becomes painful and offensive when targeted at minorities, disabled etc.July 25, 2021 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #1994576
If evicting Palestinians was the “racism” referred to earlier….am i actually more right wing than you? Eviction is not an option because it puts jews in danger. But theoretically the halacha is lo yayshvu beartzecha. Goyim are not allowed to live in eretz yisroel, and if we had sanhedrin, moshiach and legitimate rulership of the land, that would be first order of business.
I have little sympathy – not none, but little – for a population that is overwhelmingly in favor of jewish genocide.July 25, 2021 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #1994575
Reb Eliezer, if i can be mahaneh a yid, why not?
The nazis did a lot of things. They clamped down on the media, confiscated firearms, indoctrinated youth, and employed propoganda. The germans didn’t hate jews because they were guilty of the sin of generalization. Let’s say all jews are bad, in their mind – let’s say I think most (blank) people are criminals and are a drain on society. Does that give them the license to kill and commit genocide? The two have nothing in common. Their evil and their crime wasn’t in their blanket judgement of the jews, it was in the genocide and oppression that they used that hatred as a justification therefore.
The problem begins when people start looking at ancillary causes for anti semitism. Anti semitism, as my poem spells out, is a divine boon without a discernible cause, as no matter what jews sldo they are eternally hated. Attributing nazism to secular causes, aligning one’s self with liberals who preach that racism is the root of all evil, is to give a quasi idolatrous spin on history.
By playing into the narrative of the anti-racists and conceding that the holocaust was due to it, we are agreeing that if not for tha5t, the holocaust would not have happened. To milchomo-yidden, we were told never to bring up the aveiros and downward trajectory of European jewry, because the gemara says that if you tell someone that their suffering is because of their sins, it’s onaas devorim – hurtful words. Rashi says not because it’s not true, but rather because the person is pained by the realization that had he not sinned this suffering would not have come upon him.
How is it any less hurtful to tell a milchomo-yid that if not for racism, if only western liberalism had spread enough in germany, then your wife and kids would still be alive?
Attributibf our suffering to anything other than hashgocha is not in our frame of reference….if a highway rail fails, we examine our ways – and of course fix the railing! So if we can try to make kiddiush hashem with goyim and hope that maybe it will mitigate antisemitism…fine, but when i cross that line and start developing ideologies…. that racism need be avoided at all costs in order to prevent a holocaust, or that nationalism must be adopted to prevent another holocaust…. it’s missing source and attacking the rod, the shevet evraso of Hashem.July 25, 2021 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #1994582
I’m sorry in advance for not knowing how or being able to show you what went on at the Levaya. Jackie was always first and foremost a proud Jew. His extended family were direct, and I mean direct descendants of people a lot holier than both me and you. We all here on this chat have no clue of the nisyoinos that was “pre war America” for Jews. He made the best out of what was dealt him and his family. As I said earlier today, he died and was buried a Yid. If you didn’t like his comedy, become a theater or movie critic. Here on this forum, less than 3 hours after he was buried is neither the time or place to talk bad about him.July 25, 2021 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm #1994587
Thank you again. And again, I couldn’t agree with that more.
Maybe we can close this up? Just to be safe?
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