Photograph by Mario Santor [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Photograph by Mario Santor [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Amy Schumer’s proud Rabbi writes about the connection between comedy and Judaism.

Amy Schumer is a gem, and everyone knows it. Her father, Gordon Schumer and first cousin to Chuck Schumer, contributes to her Jewish side. Her brother, Jason Stein, plays jazz clarinet and her sister is a comedy writer. 

Amy Schumer’s rabbi, Rabbi Jeffery K. Salkin, wrote a post on Religion News Service about her. He shared his pride in how she has succeeded, but also shares some insight to the wide range of Jewish comedians in the world.

In addition, he shared a joke that bore more than humor in its words. The rabbi wrote that hers was a “wonderful family”, and her mother served on the Education Committee at the Central Synagogue of Nassau County in New York. He describes Amy as a “sweet, funny kid, who asked probing and humorous questions in religious school.”

5 Comedians from Same Synagogue: Coincidence?

Rabbi Salkin wrote about the connection between comedy and Judaism. Their synagogue has had five comedians pass through: Amy Schumer, Kim Schumer (her sister), Dave Attell, Rory Albanese and Jon David Hotchkiss. Each have proved fairly successful. Attell is a standup comedian. Hotchkiss writes for Penn and Teller, the Bill Maher Show and the Larry David Show. Kim produced Train wreck for her sister, and Salkin has always been fond of her. He spoke of how the comedic tradition began, in which Jewish comics speak on “social criticism, iconoclasm and anti-authoritarianism”.

The tradition began when the badkhan, who is a jester of sorts, turned out to be social commentators rather than funny people. In fact, Lenny Bruce is considered the “old grandfather” of Jewish comedy. The number of Jewish comics is intense, and Rabbi Salkin believes it could be rabbi-connected, listing out David Steinberg, Jackie Mason, Sarah Silverman, Rabbi Moshe Waldoks and Amy Schumer, described as the “religious school cut up.”

Two rabbis were taking a stroll in the marketplace, and they ran into Elijah, the prophet (who, according to lore, never really died, and apparently kept on coming back to earth in various disguises). They asked the prophet, “Who in this marketplace is the most deserving of reward in the World to Come”? The prophet pointed to two men. The rabbis asked the two men about their professions. They replied: “We are jesters. When people are sad, we make them happy”.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter