Jewish vs. Goyish! A Chanukah Remix

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November 25, 2013

What does it mean to be Jewish? Rabbis and poets and the atheist uncles at my family’s Seder table have debated the question for generations. Forget the scholars and drunks, I say. The best answer I’ve ever heard came from a comedian. His name was Lenny Bruce.

Lenny Bruce is our greatest comic and patron saint of profanity. I remember the first time I heard his classic take on the issue. Being Jewish, he taught us, simply meant being .. not goyish. And if you didn’t know what goyish was, all that meant was … not Jewish. Pretty simple, right?

The difference between the two, however, can sometimes be very subtle. Lenny explained what it meant back in the 1960s, but I wondered: how can we explain this critical, vitally important issue to the Youtube generation?

So, with my friends over at 3200Stories, I decided to make an updated version for 2013. I studied the ancient texts, examined every pop culture trend, and came up with some surprising results. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure.

Buckle your online seat belts, this is a comedic trip from Mos Def to masturbation to God himself to see who comes out ahead in that age-old battle: Jewish vs. Goyish.

Note: Cross-posted with 3200Stories.

Josh Healey is an award-winning writer, performer, and creative activist. Fusing his distinct storytelling style with a subversive humor and fiery love for justice, Healey has been featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and is a regular performer on NPR’s Snap Judgment.

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