How to Be Jewish


Humor is just another defense against the universe.
Mel Brooks


How to Be Jewish
As a general principle, Jewish holidays are divided between days on which you must starve 
and days on which you must overeat. 

Many Jews observe no fewer than 16 fasts throughout the Jewish year, based on the 
time-honored principle that even if you are sure that you are ritually purified, you 
definitely aren't. 

Though there are many feasts and fasts, there are no holidays requiring light snacking.

Note: Unlike Christians, who simply attend church on special days (e.g. Ash Wednesday), 
on Jewish holidays most Jews take the whole day off. This is because Jews, for historical 
and personal reasons, are more stressed out.

The Diet Guide to the Jewish Holidays:

Rosh Hashanah ------- Feast
Tzom Gedalia ----------- Fast
Yom Kippur -------------- More fasting
Sukkot -------------------- Feast for a week +
Hashanah Rabbah ---- More feasting
Simchat Torah --------- Keep right on feasting
Month of Heshvan ----- No feasts or fasts for a whole month. Get a grip onyourself.
Hanukkah ---------------- Eat potato pancakes
Tenth of Tevet --------- Do not eat potato pancakes 
Tu B'Shevat ------------ Feast
Fast of Esther --------- Fast 
Purim --------------------- Eat pastry
Passover ---------------- Do not eat pastry for a week
Shavuot ------------------ Dairy feast (cheesecake, blintzes, etc.)

17th of Tammuz -------- Fast (definitely no cheesecake or blintzes)
Tish B'Av ----------------- Serious fast (don't even think about cheesecake or blintzes)
Month of Elul ------------ End of cycle. Enroll in Center for Eating Disorders before 
High Holidays arrive again.

There are many forms of Judaism:

Cardiac Judaism ---------- in my heart I am a Jew.
Gastronomic Judaism --- we eat Jewish foods. 
Pocketbook Judaism ----- I give to Jewish causes.
Drop-off Judaism --------- drop the kids off at Sunday School; go out to breakfast.
Twice a Year Judaism -- attend service Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

You know you grew up Jewish when:

You spent your entire childhood thinking that everyone calls roast beef "brisket." 

Your family dog responds to complaints uttered in Yiddish.

You've experienced the phenomena of 50 people fitting into a 10-foot-wide dining room 
hitting each other with plastic plates & forks trying to get to a deli tray.

You thought pasta was the stuff used exclusively for kugel and kasha with bowties.

You watched Lawrence Welk and Ed Sullivan every Sunday night. 

You were as tall as your grandmother by age seven.

You never knew anyone whose last name didn't end in one of 6 standard suffixes 
(-man,-witz, -berg, -stein, -blatt or -baum).

You can look at gefilte fish without turning green. 

You grew up thinking there was a fish called lox.

You can understand some Yiddish but you can't speak it.

You know how to pronounce numerous Yiddish words and use them correctly in context, 
yet you don't exactly know what they mean. 

Is that Kenahurra or is that kanahohrah?.

You have at least one ancestor who is related to your spouse's ancestor.

You grew up thinking it was normal for someone to shout "Are you okay? Are you okay?" 
through the bathroom door if you were in there for longer than 3 minutes.

You have at least six male relatives named David. 

Your grandparent's furniture smelled like mothballs, was covered in plastic and was as 
comfortable as sitting on sandpaper.


Baruch Hashem and God willing, may you have a day full of mazel and shalom!

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