Jewish jokes

Here is a growing collection of Jewish jokes from around the Web. Some of these have been sent to us, others we’ve lifted from elsewhere.

Where possible, credit has been given, but please don’t take offence if your joke is listed here credited to some other schlemiel. Tell us and we’ll put the record straight.

Do you have a good joke? Tell us and we’ll tell the rest of the world in these pages.


An elderly Jewish lady took her young grandson to the beach. She sat in a beach chair beneath an umbrella and tended her knitting while her grandson, wearing a sunhat, played with a small pale and shovel at the water’s edge nearby. All about were other beachgoers, frolicking in the water, sunbathing, or otherwise enjoying the day. Completely without warning, a tsunami crashed ashore, destroying everything in its path! As the waters retreated to the ocean, all about was chaos and destruction and the fading sounds of the pitful souls that had been swept out to sea. Nothing remained … nothing, that is, except for the elderly lady, still sitting on her beach chair beneath her umbrella, with her unfinished knitting on her lap, somehow miraculously unscathed. She looked about, then she looked to where her young grandson had been only moments before. She looked to the heavens, tears streaming from her eyes, and called out to G-d: “Why lord, why? Why did you take my beautiful grandson who had his whole life before him, yet leave me, a pitful old woman at the end of her life? Oh lord, would that you had taken me instead of my grandson!” Moments later, seemingly in response to her petition to the heavens, a second Tsunami crashed ashore. For a brief few minutes, once again all was chaos as the wave pummeled the shoreline. Then, as its waters retreated back to the ocean, once again the elderly lady found herself sitting as before, but this time at her feet was her grandson, still with a small pale and shovel, playing as though nothing had happened. The elderly lady looked up to the heavens and exclaimed, “He had a hat!”

A Rabbi and his wife were cleaning up the house. The Rabbi came across a box he didn’t recognize. His wife told him to leave it alone, it was personal. One day she was out and his curiosity got the best of him. He opened the box, and inside he found 3 eggs and $2000. When his wife came home, he admitted that he opened the box, and he asked her to explain the contents to him. She told him that every time he had a bad sermon, she would put an egg in the box………. He interrupted, “In twenty years, only three bad sermons, that’s not bad.” His wife continued…… and every time I got a dozen eggs, I would sell them for $1.”

Mr. Rabinowicz goes to the doctor for a check up. After extensive tests the doctor tells him “I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. You only have six months to live.” Mr. Rabinowicz is dumbstruck. After a while he replies “That’s terrible doctor. But I must admit to you that I can’t afford to pay your bill.” “Ok” says the doctor, “I’ll give you a year to live.”

My mother once gave me two sweaters for Chanukah. The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one. As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, “What’s the matter? You didn’t like the other one?”

Three men, an Italian, a Frenchman, and a Jew, were condemned to be executed. Their captors told them that they had the right to have a final meal before the execution. They asked the Frenchman what he wanted. “Give me some good French wine and French bread,” he requested. So they gave it to him, he ate it, and then they executed him. Next it was the Italian’s turn. “Give me a big plate of pasta,” said the Italian. So they brought it to him, he ate it, and then they executed him. Now it was the Jew’s turn. “I want a big bowl of strawberries, ” said the Jew. “Strawberries!!! They aren’t even in season!” “Nu, so I’ll wait…”

A little old lady gets onto a crowded bus and stands in front of a seated young girl. Holding her hand to her chest, she says to the girl, “If you knew what I have, you would give me your seat.” The girl gets up and gives up her the seat to the old lady. It is hot. The girl then takes out a fan and starts fanning herself. The woman looks up and says, “If you knew what I have, you would give me that fan.” The girl gives her the fan, too. Fifteen minutes later the woman gets up and says to the bus driver, “Stop, I want to get off here.” The bus driver tells her he has to drop her at the next corner, not in the middle of the block. With her hand across her chest, she tells the driver, “If you knew what I have, you would let me off the bus right here.” The bus driver pulls over and opens the door to let her out. As she’s walking out of the bus, he asks, “Madam, what is it you have? ” The old woman looks at him and nonchalantly replies, “Chutzpah.”

Moishe, a lonely widower was walking home along High Street one day wishing something wonderful would happen into his life when he passed a pet store and heard a squawking voice shouting out in Yiddish:”Quawwwwk…vus macht du…yeah, du…outside, standing like a putzel…eh?” Moishe rubbed his eyes and ears. He couldn’t believe it. The proprietor sprang out of the door and grabbed Moishe by the sleeve. “Come in here, fella, and check out this parrot…” Moishe stood in front of an African Grey that cocked his little head and said: “Vus? Kenst reddin Yiddish?” Moishe turned excitedly to the store owner. “He speaks Yiddish?” “Vuh den? Chinese maybe?” In a matter of moments, Moishe had placed five hundred dollars down on the counter and carried the parrot in his cage away with him. All night he talked with the parrot. In Yiddish. He told the parrot about his father’s adventures coming to America. About how beautiful his mother was when she was a young bride. About his family. About his years of working in the garment center. About Florida. The parrot listened and commented. They shared some walnuts. The parrot told him of living in the pet store, how he hated the weekends. They both went to sleep. Next morning, Moishe began to put on his tefillin, all the while, saying his prayers. The parrot demanded to know what he was doing, and when Moishe explained, the parrot wanted some too. Moishe went out and hand-made a miniature set of tefillin for the parrot. The parrot wanted to learn to daven and learned every prayer. He wanted to learn to read Hebrew so Moishe spent weeks and months, sitting and teaching the parrot, teaching him Torah. In time, Moishe came to love and count on the parrot as a friend and a Jew. He had been saved. One morning, on Rosh Hashanah, Moishe rose and got dressed and was about to leave when the parrot demanded to go with him. Moishe explained that Shul was not place for a bird but the parrot made a terrific argument and was carried to Shul on Moishe’s shoulder. Needless to say, they made quite a spectacle, and Moishe was questioned by everyone, including the Rabbi and Cantor. They refused to allow a bird into the building on the High Holy Days but Moishe convinced them to let him in this one time, swearing that parrot could daven. Wagers were made with Moishe. Thousands of dollars were bet (even odds) that the parrot could NOT daven, could not speak Yiddish or Hebrew, etc. All eyes were on the African Grey during services. The parrot perched on Moishe’s shoulder as one prayer and song passed – Moishe heard not a peep from the bird. He began to become annoyed, slapping at his shoulder and mumbling under his breath, “Daven!” Nothing. “Daven…parrot, you can daven, so daven…come on, everybody’s looking at you!” Nothing. After Rosh Hashanah services were concluded, Moishe found that he owed his Shul buddies and the Rabbi over four thousand dollars. He marched home, extremely angry, saying nothing. Finally several blocks from the shul the bird began to sing an old Yiddish song and was happy as a lark. Moishe stopped and looked at him. “You miserable bird, you cost me over four thousand dollars. Why? After I made your tefillin and taught you the morning prayers and taught you to read Hebrew and the Torah. And after you begged me to bring you to Shul on Rosh Hashanah, why? Why did you do this to me?” “Don’t be silly,” the parrot replied. “Think of the odds on Yom Kippur.”

Morris gets a new dog and can’t wait to show him off to his neighbor. So when the neighbor comes over, the guy calls the dog into the house, bragging about how smart he is. The dog quickly comes running and stands looking up at his master, tail wagging furiously, mouth open, tongue hanging out, eyes bright with anticipation. Morris points to the newspaper on the couch and commands, “FETCH!” Immediately, the dog climbs onto the couch and sits down. His tail wagging stops and the doggie-smile disappears. Looking balefully up at his master, he says in a whiny voice…”You think this is easy wagging my tail all the time? Oy! It hurts from so much wagging! And you think that designer dog food you’re feeding me is good? You try it. It’s dreck! Too salty And what do you care? You just push me out the door to take a squirt twice a day. I can’t even remember the last time you took me out for a good walk.” The neighbor is amazed. “What the hell is that? Your dog is sitting there talking!” “Oh, I know”, explains the dog owner. “He’s young, and I’m still training him. He thought I said KVETCH!”

A Jewish businessman warned his son against marrying a “shiksa.” The son replied, “But she’s converting to Judaism.” “It doesn’t matter,” the old man said. “A shiksa will cause problems.” After the wedding, the father called the son, who was in business with him, and asked him why he was not at work. “It’s Shabbos,” the son replied. The father was surprised: “But we always work on Saturday. It’s our busiest day.” “I won’t work anymore on Saturday,” the son insisted, “because my wife wants us to go to shul on Shabbos.” “See,” the father says. “I told you marrying a shiksa would cause problems.”

A Jew converts and becomes a priest. He gives his first mass in front of a number of high ranking priests who came for the occasion. At the and of the new priest’s sermon a cardinal goes to congratulate him. “Pater Lewis,” he said, “That was very well done, you were just perfect. Just one little thing. Next next time, please don’t start your sermon with, ‘Fellow goyim…’ “.

A rabbi and a priest get into a car accident and it’s a bad one. Both cars are totally demolished but amazingly neither of the clerics is hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi sees the priest’s collar and says, “So you’re a priest. I’m a rabbi. Just look at our cars. There’s nothing left, but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from G-d. G-d must have meant that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our days.” The priest replies, “I agree with you completely.” “This must be a sign from G-d.” The rabbi continues, “And look at this. Here’s another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of Mogen David wine didn’t break. Surely G-d wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune.” Then he hands the bottle to the priest. The priest agrees, takes a few big swigs, and hands the bottle back to the rabbi. The rabbi takes the bottle, immediately puts the cap on, and hands it back to the priest. The priest asks, “Aren’t you having any?” The rabbi replies, “No…I think I’ll wait for the police.”

About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally there was a big uproar from the Jewish community. So the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won, the Jews would leave. The Jews realized that they had no choice. So they picked a middle aged man named Moishe to represent them. Moishe asked for one addition to the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to talk. The pope agreed. The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, “I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay.” An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said: “First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?” Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe. “What happened?” they asked. “Well,” said Moishe, “First he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here.” “And then?” asked a woman. “I don’t know,” said Moishe. “He took out his lunch and I took out mine.”

A man walks into shul with a dog. The shammas runs up to him and says,”Pardon me, this is a House of Worship! You can’t bring your dog in here.” “What do you mean?” says the man, “This is a Jewish dog. Look!” And the shammas looks carefully and sees that in the same way that a St. Bernard carries a brandy barrel around its neck, this dog has a tallis bag around his neck. “Spot,” says the man, “Daven!” “Woof!” says the dog, stands up on his hind legs, opens the tallis bag, takes out a keepa, and puts it on his head. “Woof!” says the dog again, opens the tallis bag, takes out a tallis, and puts it around his neck. “Woof, woof!” says the dog, takes out a siddur and starts to daven. “That’s fantastic,” says the shammas, “absolutely amazing, incredible! You should take him to Hollywood, get him on television, get him in the movies; you could make a million dollars off of him!” “Oy!” says the man, “You talk to him. He wants to be a doctor.”

A Jewish boy comes home from school and tells his mother he has been given a part in the school play. “Wonderful,” says the mother, “What part is it?” The boy says “I play the part of the Jewish husband!” The mother scowls and says: “Go back and tell your teacher you want a speaking part!!”

Q: “How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a burned-out electric light bulb?” A: None: “It’s okay, I will sit here in the dark…”

Moishe is on his death bed. His wife Rivka comes in and asks if she can do anything for him. Moishe: “There is one thing. Call a priest.” Rivka: “Darling, you’re delirious. You mean a Rabbi” Moishe: “I mean a priest. Why send the Rabbi out so late at night?”

The dutiful Jewish son is sitting at his father’s bedside. His father is near death. Father: “Son.” Son: “Yes Dad.” Father: (weakly) “Son. That smell. Is Mama making my favorite apple strudel?” Son: “Yes Dad.” Father: (even weaker) “Ah, if I could just have one more piece of Mama’s apple strudel. Would you get me a piece?” Son: “OK, Dad.” (Son leaves and walks toward kitchen. After a while the son returns and sits down next to his father again.) Father: “Is that you son?” Son: “Yes Dad.” Father: “Did you bring the apple strudel?” Son: “No Dad.” Father: “Why? It’s my dying wish!” Son: “Well Dad. Mom says the strudel is for after the funeral!”

A rabbi, a priest, and a minister were talking one day. The priest told of an occasion when he was caught in a snowstorm so terrible that he couldn’t see a foot in front of him. He was completely confused, unsure even of which direction he needed to walk. He prayed to God, and miraculously, while the storm continued for miles in every direction, he could clearly see his home 20 feet away. The minister told a similar story. He had been out on a small boat when a hurricane struck. There were 40-foot high waves, and the boat was sure to capsize. He prayed to God, and, while the storm continued all around, for several feet in each direction, the sea calmed, and the minister was able to return safely to port. The rabbi, too, had such a story. One Saturday morning, on the way home from the synagogue, he saw a very thick wad of $100 bills on the sidewalk. Of course, since it was Shabbat, the rabbi wasn’t able to touch the money. So he prayed to God, and everywhere, for miles in every direction, it was still Shabbat, but for 10 feet around him, it was Thursday.

A rabbi, a priest, and a minister are discussing what they do with donations to their respective religious organizations. The minister says that he draws a circle on the floor, throws the money up in the air, and whatever lands in the circle, he gives to God, and whatever lands outside the circle, he keeps. The priest uses a similar method. He draws the circle, but whatever lands outside the circle, he gives to God, and whatever lands inside, he keeps. The rabbi has a slightly different method of dividing the money. He throws all the money up in the air. Whatever God wants, he keeps…

A rabbi and a minister decided to buy a new car together. The day after they bought it, the rabbi found the minister driving it. The minister explained that he had just gone to the carwash because, in his religion, it is customary to welcome a new member with the rite of baptism. The next day, the minister discovered the rabbi cutting the end off the tailpipe.

The rabbi was fed up with his congregation. So, he decided to skip the services on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, and instead go play golf. Moses was looking down from heaven and saw the rabbi on the golf course. He naturally reported it to God. Moses suggested God punish the rabbi severely. As he watched, Moses saw the rabbi playing the best game he had ever played! The rabbi got a hole-in-one on the toughest hole on the course. Moses turned to God and asked, “I thought you were going to punish him. Do you call this punishment?!” God replied, “Who can he tell?”

A Jew is camping in the woods, when she notices a bear 60 feet away. Just as she notices the bear, the bear notices her. The Jew starts running; the bear follows. She runs as fast as she can, but when she looks back next time, she sees the bear is only 40 feet away. She pushes herself even harder, running and running. The bear is still gaining–only 20 feet to go. She starts running even harder, but the bear is still catching up with her! When she can’t even run anymore, she stops and says a silent prayer to God, “Please, God, let that be a good Jewish bear!” From less than 10 feet away, she hears the bear mumbling in Hebrew. She is just about to say a prayer of thanksgiving to God when she catches the end of the bear’s mumblings, “…ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz.”

Four Jewish ladies, at a resort in the Catskills, were in rockers on the veranda and admiring the scenery. After a while the first woman sighed, “Oy!” The others sighed sympathetically. Then the second woman sighed, “Oy Vey!” The others nodded. A third woman said, “Oy, Gottenyu!” The others nodded as if in agreement. Finally, the fourth woman said, “Enough talk about the children. Let’s go for a walk!”