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That way, the shammes could make his wake up calls, but he would not leave tracks in the snow.

The town of Chełm decided to build a new synagogue.

But Jewish humor was also a device for self-criticism within the community, and I think that's where it really was the most powerful. One of the first successful radio "sitcoms", The Goldbergs, featured a Jewish family.

The humorist, like the prophet, would basically take people to task for their failings. As radio and television matured, many of its most famous comedians, including Jack Benny, Sid Caesar, George Burns, Eddie Cantor, Jack Carter, Henny Youngman and Milton Berle, were Jewish.

The humor of Eastern Europe especially was centered on defending the poor against the exploitation of the upper classes or other authority figures, so rabbis were made fun of, authority figures were made fun of and rich people were made fun of. After Jews began to immigrate to America in large numbers, they, like other minority groups, found it difficult to gain mainstream acceptance and obtain upward mobility (As Lenny Bruce lampooned, "He was charming. The Jewish comedy tradition continues today, with Jewish humour much entwined with that of mainstream humour, as comedies like Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Woody Allen films indicate.

He was walking once, and there was a big lake in his path. He was walking once on Shabbos (Saturday, the holy day in Judaism, on which it is forbidden to handle money), and there was a wallet crammed full of cash in his path.

He waved his handkerchief, and there was lake on the right, lake on the left, but no lake in the middle." To which the second retorted, "That's nothing. He was walking once, and there was a huge mountain in his path. He waved his handkerchief, and it was Shabbos on the right, Shabbos on the left, but not Shabbos in the middle!

He waved his handkerchief, and there was mountain on the right, mountain on the left, but no mountain in the middle! " Caesar said to Joshua ben Hananiah "Why does the Sabbath dish have such a fragrant odor?

Modern Jewish humor emerged during the nineteenth century among German-speaking Jews of the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), matured in the shtetls of the Russian Empire, and then flourished in twentieth-century America, arriving with the millions of Jews who emigrated from Eastern Europe between the 1880s and the early 1920s.

Beginning with vaudeville, and continuing through radio, stand-up comedy, film, and television, a disproportionately high percentage of American, German, and Russian comedians have been Jewish.