Quotes: Jews Love to Argue
: Why should I break my head about the outside world? Let them break their own heads. Tevye
: He's right. As the Good Book says, "If you spit in the air, it lands in your face." Perchik
: That's nonsense. You can't close your eyes to what's happening in the world. Tevye
: He's right. Avram
: He's right and he's right? How can they both be right? Tevye
: You know, you're also right.
Rabbi Eliezer was in an argument with five fellow rabbis over the proper way to perform a certain ritual. The other five Rabbis were all in agreement with each other, but Rabbi Eliezer vehemently disagreed. Finally, Rabbi Nathan pointed out "Eliezer, the vote is five to one! Give it up already!" Eliezer got fed up and said "If I am right, may God himself tell you so!" Thunder crashed, the heavens opened up, and the voice of God boomed down. "YES," said God, "RABBI ELIEZER IS RIGHT. RABBI ELIEZER IS PRETTY MUCH ALWAYS RIGHT." Rabbi Nathan turned and conferred with the other rabbis for a moment, then turned back to Rabbi Eliezer. "All right, Eliezer," he said, "the vote stands at five to
: Mrs. Mandelbaum says that David is very happy at the post office, he says the examination is easy and the pay is good— Albert
: The post office
? Albert's mother
: It's just that the benefits are great, and there's job security— Albert
: Ma, I'm an anarchist
. Albert's mother
: I know that, Albert, but your father wants his basement back. You won’t make a sacrifice to please your father? Albert
: But a government
job? You want me to be part of the machine
? Albert's mother
: You're already
a machine. We put in food and get back aggravation and heartbreak.
— "Pushing the Envelope" by Desmond Warzel
"There is no Jewish conspiracy to control the banks. You know why? Because
we can't agree on a place to go for dinner! We couldn't even get the meeting started!
(in an authoritative voice) 'All right, the Jewish meeting to control the banks will now commence.'
(in a grouchy voice) 'Hey, who died and made
you king? Never mind me. I'm no one here. I have no opinions.'"
Two Jews are stranded on a desert island. They immediately build three synagogues - one for the first guy, one for the second, and one that neither of them would be caught dead in.
One of the oldest problems puzzled over in the Talmud is: "Why did God create goyim?" The generally accepted answer is "somebody has to buy retail."
— Arthur Naiman, Every Goy's Guide to Common Jewish Expressions
The first riddle I ever heard, one familiar to almost every Jewish child, was propounded to me by my father:
"What is it that hangs on the wall, is green, wet — and whistles?"
I knit my brow and thought and thought, and in final perplexity gave up.
"A herring," said my father.
"A herring," I echoed. "A herring doesn't hang on the wall!"
"So hang it there."
"But a herring isn't green!" I protested.
"But a herring isn't wet."
"If it's just painted it's still wet."
"But —" I sputtered, summoning all my outrage, "— a herring doesn't whistle!!"
"Right," smiled my father. "I just put that in to make it hard."
— Leo Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish
"Well, after almost allowing the Arabs to finish what Hitler started, we realized that not only was that mirror image necessary, but it must forever be our national policy. From 1973 onward, if nine intelligence analysts came to the same conclusion, it was the duty of the tenth to disagree. No matter how unlikely or far-fetched a possibility might be, one must always dig deeper."