It is quite disappointing to go to "Jewish joke" sites and see some of them filled with jokes from 50 years ago that don't even make sense anymore.
But how about really old Jewish jokes?
I decided to find jokes from before the year 1900. Some of them are outright antisemitic but some are witty. Either way, it is an interesting history lesson.
This first one is unusual, coming from an article called "In Defense of Jewish Wit and Humour" by the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, published in Review of the Churches, 1893. The joke shows that Jews believed Jewish stereotypes:
A Mr. Goldsmith became a convert to Christianity. He thought it advisable to adopt a name with a more Gentile ring, and dubbed himself Mr. Smith.
"What a fool!" exclaimed a member of the congregation on hearing of the change; "this is the first Jew who has thrown away his gold."
The joke that came after it is one I may have published in years past but it stands the test of time.
At a festive banquet, representatives of the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish clergy had been invited, and were engaged in pleasant converse.
The Rabbi, faithtul to the dietary precepts ot his religion, partook of only a few of the dishes.
An appetising joint of roast pork was set on the table. The Catholic priest turned to his neighbour, and asked, "When will the time come that I may have the privilege of serving you with a slice of this delicious meat?"
"When I have the gratification of assisting at your Reverence's wedding," the Rabbi rejoined, with a courteous bow.
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