The Pious Fool: A Sometimes-Hermetic Jewish Humor Trope

Friedman, L. W. and Friedman, H. H. (2018). The Pious Fool: A Sometimes-Hermetic Jewish Humor Trope. International Studies of Humour, 7(1), Forthcoming

17 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2018

See all articles by Linda Weiser Friedman

Linda Weiser Friedman

Baruch College, CUNY - Zicklin School of Business; CUNY - The Graduate Center

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management

Date Written: August 19, 2018

Abstract

Jewish humor is generally considered to be self-deprecating rather than mocking. This paper studies one Jewish humor trope in which disparagement is used – that of the pious fool. The Talmud presents the chasid shoteh (pious fool) as one who could destroy the world; his piety is a danger to society. Indeed, the Talmud warns us not to live in the vicinity of an am-haaretz chasid (pious ignoramus). Of the various types of pious fools portrayed in humor, some might actually be quite learned, others not; some are arrogant in their piety which, of course, serves to negate said piety; some are kind, warm, and quite humane while others wield their piety as an implacable weapon along with, sometimes, a literal weapon. In mocking the pious fools, we use humor to put them in their place and we come to understand that the core value of any true religion is caring for others, especially the outsider and the unfortunates of society.

Keywords: Humor, Jewish Humor, Pious Fool, Hillel, Scary Sanctimonious Type, Talmud.

JEL Classification: M12, M14, M54, J50

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Linda Weiser and Friedman, Hershey H., The Pious Fool: A Sometimes-Hermetic Jewish Humor Trope (August 19, 2018). Friedman, L. W. and Friedman, H. H. (2018). The Pious Fool: A Sometimes-Hermetic Jewish Humor Trope. International Studies of Humour, 7(1), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3234745

Linda Weiser Friedman (Contact Author)

Baruch College, CUNY - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cisnet.baruch.cuny.edu/friedman/

CUNY - The Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue
New York,, NY 10016
United States

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management ( email )

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
15
Abstract Views
170
PlumX Metrics