“Is Judaism Funny?: A Historical Investigation”

Jeremy Dauber Columbia University

Everyone familiar with the history of American culture is well aware of the contributions that Jews have made to comedy. But given the decidedly secular bent of almost all of that culture-work, it may at times elide the examination of comic elements, or aspects, within Jewish religious and theological texts. Using biblical, rabbinic, and modern-era theological examples, the lecture constitutes a preliminary discussion of the way in which humor and comedy play an important role within Judaism.