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Humour on an Ocean Liner

Develop yourself to the best of your ability

In the blog: “How I laughed as I hid his wallet”, on the prohibition of theft, we read that we should be respectful of other people’s possessions and not hide their belongings for a joke.

But are we not allowed to make jokes then? Was it not the Ba’al Shem Tov who actually made clear the importance of a cheerful and happy spirit.

Although we should not sin, it is precisely the unpleasant feeling, the depressed afterwards that is so harmful to us. This very thing gives ground to the evil inclinationto influence us more.

The opposite is also true. When you are cheerful and upbeat, evil inclination have less power. You are less likely to get angry, less irritable, etc.

Humour can make a tense situation more bearable or reduce the tension you experience in your own body.

When we are in a tense situation – for example, during a meeting – or when our bodies are tense – for example, due to illness of a family member – humour is the way to break the tension.

So humour can literally be a way of redemption. It relaxes the mind and gives new fresh energy.

Humour is not only good for the spirit but also for the body as we can read in Proverbs

לֵ֣ב שָׂ֭מֵחַ יֵיטִ֣יב גֵּהָ֑ה …׃

A joyful heart makes for good health;

Proverbers 17:22

The basic rule is basically that a joke should never be at the expense of or demean others, such as ethnological, racial and sexist jokes

We must always consider the feelings of others. Words can be like knives, and the moment you shame someone and the blush flies to his cheeks, you violate one of the braches of the prohibition of murder, stated in the warning of the verse: “One who spills the blood of man,” since any type of harming is an offshoot of spilling blood, even if it does not result in the murder of the person.

Fortunately, there are plenty of jokes that are genuinely funny and that we should definitely pass on so that everyone has a joyful heart and is therefore open to joy and gladness to serve G-d in a joyful way in this way.

Of course, a blog about humour should not lack a joke, so:

Conversation on an Ocean Liner

“You’re so good at solving riddles, aren’t you?” Well, take note: this ship is 100 metres long and 50 metres wide. So how old is the captain?” “Give me half an hour for the solution.” After half an hour: “The captain is exactly fifty years and two months.” “How did you calculate that?” “Calculated? I asked him.”

By Angelique Sijbolts

Sources: Van Hoofd tot Hart by Alan Morinis, The Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner 4e edition p 362, Joodse Humor by Salcia Landmann, This blog is inspired by Arthur Ler

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