The First Book of Jewish Jokes

The First Book of Jewish Jokes

The Collection of L. M. Büschenthal
ANASTASIYA ASTAPOVA, Tsafi Sebba-Elran, Elliott Oring, Dan Ben-Amos, Larisa Privalskaya and Ilze Akerbergs, Elliott Oring, Michaela Lang
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Format: Paperback 5 tables
ISBN: 978-0-253-03832-6
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No matter where they are located in the world, communities living in mountain regions have shared experiences defined in large part by contradictions. These communities often face social and economic marginalization despite providing the lumber, coal, minerals, tea, and tobacco that have fueled the growth of nations for centuries. They are perceived as remote and socially inferior backwaters on one hand while simultaneously seen as culturally rich and spiritually sacred spaces on the other. These contradictions become even more fraught as environmental changes and political strains place added pressure on these mountain communities. Shifting national borders and changes to watersheds, forests and natural resources play an increasingly important role as nations respond to the needs of a global economy.

The works in this volume consider multiple nations, languages, generations, and religions in their exploration of upland communities’ responses to the unique challenges and opportunities they share. From paintings to digital mapping, environmental studies to poetry, land reclamation efforts to song lyrics, the collection provide a truly interdisciplinary and global study. The editors and authors offer a cross-cultural exploration of the many strategies that mountain communities are employing to face the concerns of the future.

Author Bio

Elliott Oring is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at California State University, Los Angeles. He is author of Joking Asides: The Theory, Analysis, and Aesthetics of Humor, Engaging Humor, and Jokes and Their Relations. He is also past editor of Western Folklore and is currently on the editorial boards of Humor: International Journal for Humor Research and Journal of Folklore Research.


“The translation of [these works]...shed[s] light on the beginning of collection and scholarship of a genre that...contributes more than other Jewish folklore genres to the understanding of Jewish culture.”
 — Haya Bar-Itzhak, author of, Israeli Folk Narratives – Settlement, Immigration, Ethnicity

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Table of Contents



Part I: Introduction

1. On Jewish Jokes and the Collection of Lippmann Moses Büschenthal

2. The Jews in the Century of Büschenthal

Part II: The Texts

3. Collection of Witty Notions from Jews as a Contribution to the Characterization of the Jewish Nation / L. M. Büschenthal

4. Selections from The Friend of the Jews or Selected Anecdotes, Pranks, and Notions of the Children of Israel / Judas Ascher

Appendix I: Büschenthal Texts Taken from Judas Ascher, Der Judenfreund

Appendix II: Sources of Joke Analogs

List of References