Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thoughts of No Return

One day after watching a few standup comedies on television, I had this thought while showering...

Why are there so many Jewish comedians?

Then it hit me. It all goes back to the Old Testament to the part where Abraham had 2 sons, one from his wife who sired Isaac at 90+ years of age, and the other from his egyptian concubine who sired Ishmael. Abraham's son, Isaac, means "to laugh" and "wisdom". Those two traits are ideally what makes up a comedian.

His half-brother Ishmael would always be the one mocking him. In essence, Ishmael was history's first recorded 'heckler' while Isaac would be the one standing up (for himself?) with his self-deprecating humour.

Now that we know a little bit more about Isaac, how about the time when Abraham was told by voices in his head to go sacrifice Isaac to the altar? Can you imagine if Isaac was a bit like Woody Allen being his neurotic self, talking to his father on the way there? Can't blame him for wanting to sacrifice him.


CapnG said...

Well maybe... but there's also a tradition of ridicule within the Jewish faith itself. They have a festival... can't recall the name but during that festival there's a day where Rabbinical students are encouraged to openly mock their mentors, question the scriptures and just generally make light of life's absurdities. Humour is built-in to their culture.

Mind Miner said...

Oh cool, that's good then. Never knew that.

Kinda reminds me of 'The Airing of Grievances' on the Festivus episode of Seinfeld.