Accentuate the positive

The town shadchan (matchmaker) was getting old, and could no longer get around as she used to. So she hired a young assistant who knew nothing about the business. She had to start from scratch with her, teaching her all the basics of the trade.

“The most important thing is exaggeration,” said the shadchan. “You have to lay it on thick.”

“I understand,” said the assistant.

One day the shadchan took her assistant along on a matchmaking visit to a rich family who had an only son.

“Don’t forget,” said the shadchan. “Be enthusiastic, and don’t hesitate to exaggerate.”

When they arrived, the shadchan began: “I’ve found the right girl for your son. She comes from a very good family.”

“Good family!” exclaimed the assistant. “They are descendants of the Guggenheims.”

“And rich, too,” said the shadchan.

“Multi-millionaires,” added the assistant.

“She’s very pretty,” said the shadchan.

“Pretty?” said the assistant. “She’s gorgeous!”

“But I should tell you,” added the shadchan, giving her assistant a small wink, “that she has a small handicap. There’s a tiny wart on her back.”

“What do you mean a wart?” cried the assistant. “It’s a regular hump!”

From “The Big Book of Jewish Humor”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one

A passenger on a train in Israel watched in astonishment as an old man across the aisle kept repeating the same pattern. First he would mumble a few words to himself, then he would smile, and finally he would raise his hand and stop talking for a few moments.

After observing this unusual behavior for close to an hour, the passenger finally brought himself to address the stranger.

“Excuse me, sir, but I couldn’t help but notice what you were doing. Is anything wrong?”

“Not at all,” replied the old man. “You see, whenever I take a trip, I get bored. And so I always tell myself jokes, which is why you saw me smiling.”

“But why do you keep raising your hand?”

“Oh, that. It’s to interrupt myself because I’ve heard that joke before.”

From “The Big Book of Jewish Humor”



Two old men sat silently over their glasses of tea for what must have been hours, or at least seemed like it. At last one spoke: “Oy vey!”

The other said: “You’re telling me!”n

From “A Treasury of Jewish Folklore”