Loyola University Chicago

Jeffry V. Mallow, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Physics

'Our Pal God' and Other Presumptions

Universe: January 2008
(ISBN: 1-58348-628-3)


"'Our Pal God and Other Presumptions: A Book of Jewish Humor" is a collection of the wittiest jokes from Jewish communities in America and around the world. Professor Mallow categorizes and defines Jewish humor in his book as "Laughing Inward," including jokes about Rabbis, cantors and circumcisers; "Laughing Outward," including European Jewish humor, Nazis, the Soviet Union and American Jewish humor; and "Language Humor," with Yiddish, bilingual and multilingual jokes. Throughout the book, Mallow offers witty and informative introductions, explanations, background and cultural context. There's also a useful glossary at the end.

Mallow's entertaining book is in a class of its own, as it creates distinction between the authentic ethnic humor and inauthentic prejudiced stereotypes depicted in other humor books. In addition to telling jokes originally in English, he's also added bilingual and multilingual humor. Mallow amusingly presents Jewish unique, complex humor due to their history and sojourning in many lands, shedding light into the Jewish culture dating back from the Talmud up to today.