Jewish Humour

Jewish Humour

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The greatest HR joke!!

There aren’t that many HR jokes around, but this one not only takes the biscuit, but raises a number of issues about attracting candidates!

An HR manager was knocked down (tragically) by a bus and was killed. Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where St.Peter welcomed her. “Before you get settled in” he said, “We have a little problem…you see, we’ve never had a HR manager make it this far before and we’re not really sure what to do with you.”

“Oh, I see,” said the woman, “can’t you just let me in?”

“Well, I’d like to,” said St Peter, “But I have higher orders. We’re instructed to let you have a day in hell and a day in heaven, and then you are to choose where you’d like to go for all eternity.”

“Actually, I think I’d prefer heaven”, said the woman. “Sorry, we have rules…” at which St. Peter put the HR manager into the downward bound elevator.


As the doors opened in Hell she stepped out onto a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club; around her were many friends, past fellow executives, all smartly dressed, happy, and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks, and they talked about old times.

They played a perfect round of golf and afterwards went to the country club where she enjoyed a superb steak and lobster dinner. She met the Devil (who was actually rather nice) and she had a wonderful night telling jokes and dancing.

Before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everyone shook her hand and waved goodbye as she stepped into the elevator. The elevator went back up to heaven where St. Peter was waiting for her. “Now it’s time to spend a day in heaven,” he said.

So she spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds, playing the harp and singing; which was almost as enjoyable as her day in Hell. At the day’s end St. Peter returned. “So,” he said, “You’ve spent a day in hell and you’ve spent a day in heaven”. “You must choose between the two.”

The woman thought for a second and replied: “Well, heaven is certainly lovely, but I actually had a better time in hell. I choose Hell.”

Accordingly, St. Peter took her to the elevator again and she went back down to hell. When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends dressed in rags, picking up rubbish and putting it in old sacks. The Devil approached and put his arm around her.

“I don’t understand,” stuttered the HR manager, “The other day I was here, and there was a golf course, and a country club. We ate lobster, and we danced and had a wonderful happy time. Now all there is, is just dirty wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable.”

The Devil simply looked at her and smiled, “Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you’re staff.”

;-)

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Gwen Beinart's Teiglach • Charlene Beinart

My friend Charlene Beinart writes about her mums teiglach - a recipe that her mum Gwen was famous for  
 - those large, oval rings of pastry afloat in amber syrup. Who needs to wait for a holiday?    

BY CHARLENE BEINART

My mom, Gwen Beinart (nee Sackstein), born in 1936, has always been the heartbeat of my love for baking. Over her lifetime she gathered a collection of recipes handwritten onto small cards — some her own, and others gathered from family and friends, tested, tasted, and kept as part of her core repertoire.

Of Lithuanian and German Jewish heritage, I am the second generation born in South Africa, and the youngest of three girls.  A typical Jewish immigrant history, my grandparents on both sides came to South Africa looking for a better life. They were very poor and my parents wanted nothing more than to give us the best possible life and education. My father was a self-made businessman and my mother was a very creative homemaker.

Of all of her recipes, there’s one that brings back the most vivid memories of delicious family time: Teiglach.  Syrupy, crunchy, chewy donut-shaped biscuits, these sweet offerings were at the centre of every gathering and a symbol of the importance of the occasion being celebrated.  This recipe was what my mother was best known for.  My emotional attachment to it was so profound that it took me more than 20 years after her death to make them. 

I am remembering, from my childhood in Durban, all the many conditions needed to make perfect teiglach.  First: the weather.  It must be a humid-less, sunny day, because the teiglach got dried out on my parents’ brick-paved patio before being boiled in syrup. Next: the equipment. You had to have the right pot, with a heavy metal lid and a brick placed on top to make it completely airtight. Then: no draughts! My sisters and I knew to never open the kitchen door and let in a draught when the teiglach were boiling on the stovetop!

I was always excited when my mom made them because it meant something important was happening!  Most likely, we were going to Johannesburg to be with my aunts, uncles, and cousins for Rosh Hashanah or Pesach.  Huge round Tupperware containers would be filled with my mom's teiglach and offered as gifts.  Everyone made a fuss: teiglach were considered a great delicacy.  Best of all, the containers were never returned empty — my aunts filled them to the brim with treats for our long car journey back to Durban.

After my mom passed away in 1991, we (my husband, three sons, and I) moved to New Zealand.  Naturally, my mother’s treasured box of handwritten recipe cards came with us.  But making teiglach felt far too daunting (emotionally and otherwise) to do on my own. Good results never seemed attainable. 

Just a few years ago, when my sister Kerry visited from London, we agreed to set aside a day to (finally!) make my mom’s teiglach. We had her Kenwood mixer, the right heavy-lidded pot, her lengthy handwritten recipe, and we felt her loving guidance — along with that of our other sister Elona, supporting us from England.

The family was well briefed: no opening the kitchen door, no draughts!    

Kerry and I put our memories together and got started.  Kerry remembered the teigel shape and we molded the dough before setting them out to dry in the sun. I remembered the three-step process to stir the teiglach once they were boiling in the pot: lift the lid, wipe off the condensation, and stir. Do this all quickly (remember, no draughts!) Of course this resulted in many hot syrup burns — scars I wear with pride!

While I always knew making teiglach was far more than following a recipe, I was not prepared for the overwhelming feeling I experienced when we opened the pot of the boiling treats for the first of six stirs.  The sweet, syrupy smell flooded me with lifelong memories of love, happiness, and of our beloved mom.    

Teiglach photo.jpeg

Mommy’s Teiglach (Gwen Beinart)
Note: Adjustments for gas stove made by Charlene

A Photo of Charlene's mother, Gwen Beinart

A Photo of Charlene's mother, Gwen Beinart

Ingredients:

6 eggs
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Tablespoon Brandy
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
½ teaspoon baking powder

Flour: 3 cups to start
Syrup: 2 lbs or 1 kilo tin golden syrup,
3 cups sugar, and 2 ½ cups water

Directions:

1. Slightly beat 6 eggs with oil, add brandy, salt, orange rind and then baking powder.

2. Add 3 cups flour sifted (one at a time).

3. Take a little bit on a small heap of flour and work in flour until dough is soft, slightly sticky but pliable. Roll into shapes in floured hands.

4. Put into floured tray to dry – preferably in sun for approximately 20 minutes, s turning over after 10 minutes

5. In the meantime, put syrup, sugar and water on to boil in large heavy pot (or weighted lid).

6. When boiling fast add teiglach. Close lid and boil on high for 5 mins

7. Then turn down to medium/high (low to medium on gas) to boil for 30-35 mins (26 – 30 on gas) before lifting lid. (Very important to weigh down the lid!)

8. Wipe lid and stir in quick motion every 5 mins until done (an additional approximately 20-30 minutes, or six stirs). Total time on the stove is 1 hour 10 mins according to Mommy but on gas probably a total of 55 mins)

9. Special note for gas : after 1st 5 min fast boil move pot to medium size plate on medium gas for 30 mins. Then do the lid/wipe/stir @ 5 min interval either 5 or 6 times in total.

10. When done take off 1 ½ cups of syrup for next batch

11. Then put in 1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger andhalf to ¾ cup boiling water down the side of the pot. 

12. Stir until bubbling stops and take out teiglach onto damp board or plate. Leave to cool.

13. Can roll in chopped nuts if desired.

14. Store in plastic air tight container.

15. If making further batch add ½ used syrup and ½ new to same other ingredients – usually better

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Charlene Beinart works as a psychologist in private practice and her husband is a university lecturer. She writes, "Our sons have turned out to be far better cooks than me, and their interest in food history has captured my own. We are regular listeners of Linda Pelaccio's podcast, A Taste of the Past. Our oldest son is currently a MA student at Hebrew University, researching the lives and stories of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants to South Africa through the cookbooks they created and the recipes they passed down to their children."

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Comedians take off conversation with Trump and Turnbull

Comedians take on Donald Trump's heated call with Malcolm Turnbull

Late night hosts had fun over the weekend with the news of Trump’s testy phone conversation with Turnbull about refugee resettlement

NBC US comedy talk show Late Night with Seth Meyers
 Seth Meyers asks of Trump, ‘How antisocial do you have to be to not get along with Australia?’ Photograph: Late Night with Seth Meyers/NBC

News of Donald Trump’s heated phone conversation with Malcolm Turnbull over the preexisting agreement to resettle refugees from Australian offshore detention centres provided US late-night talk show hosts with plenty of material over the weekend. 

Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Maher all found time during recent episodes to comment on the conversation between the two leaders, which Trump reportedly described as his “worst call” yet.

Colbert pleaded with Trump to not “pick a fight with Australia” as “they’ll cut off our supply of uggs, koala jerky and Hugh Jackman.” 

Another segment on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert featured an animated sketch in which Trump mistakingly calls an Outback Steakhouse instead of the Australian leader. Before realising his gaffe the cartoon Trump has time to throw such insults as “vegemite is garbage” and “ACDC is overrated”.

Kimmel seemed perplexed as he asked his audience “who the hell would have thought we’d have a problem with Australia?” before joking “from now on the only Australian leader President Trump will deal with is Miss Australia”.

Meyers likewise asked, “how antisocial do you have to be to not get along with Australia?” Meyers defended Australians as the “most laid-back people on earth”, before adding, “but of course Trump knows they’ve got some bad didgeridudes”.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah featured a mocked audio recording of the phone conversation in which Trump tells Turnbull he’s “cancelling that dumb agreement” because “we don’t need your Boston bombers, your Mad Maxes or those big beer cans that make my perfectly normal hands look small”.

Maher sarcastically commented that “finally a president has shown the balls to stand up to our arch-enemy – Australia.” The host of Real Time with Bill Maher then joked that Trump’s last words before hanging up on the phone call were: “We’re building a wallaby and you’re going to pay for it.” 

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Yoddishe Kopf

A Yiddishe Kopfn old Jewish man lived alone in the country. 


He needed to plant his potato garden but the task was too daunting for the old man as the ground was hard.His only son, Chaim, who used to help him dig, was in federal prison for Insider Trading and Stock Fraud investigation. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament: 


Dear Chaim

I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year.I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot.

If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me.

love, Papa


A few days later, the old man received a letter from his son: ;


Dear Papa!!!

For heaven's sake, Dad, don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the money & stocks!!!

Love, Chaim;


At ;4:00 a.m. next morning, a team of FBI agents and local police arrived at the old man's house and dug up the entire garden area - without finding any money or stocks.  They apologized to the old man and left.;That same day the old man received another letter from his son:


Dear Papa:

Can you go ahead  and plant the potatoes now?.. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love, Chaim

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Best Genie Joke Ever!


A husband takes his wife to play her first game of golf. Of course, the wife promptly hacked her first shot right through the window of the biggest house adjacent to the course.
The husband cringed, 'I warned you to be careful! Now we'll have to go up there, find the owner, apologize and see how much your lousy drive is going to cost us.'

So the couple walked up to the house and knocked on the door. A warm voice said, 'Come on in.'

When they opened the door they saw the damage that was done: glass was all over the place, and a broken antique bottle was lying on its side near the pieces of window glass.

A man reclining on the couch asked, 'Are you the people that broke my window?'

'Uh...yeah! , sir. We're sure sorry about that,' the husband replied.

'Oh, no apology is necessary. Actually I want to thank you.. You see, I'm a genie, and I've been trapped in that bottle for a thousand years.
Now that you've released me, I'm allowed to grant three wishes. I'll give you each one wish, but if you don't mind, I'll keep the last one for my self.'

Wow, that's great!' the husband said. He pondered a moment and blurted out, 'I'd like a million dollars a year for the rest of my life.'

'No problem,' said the genie 'You've got it, it's the least I can do. And I'll guarantee you a long, healthy life!'

'And now you, young lady, what do you want?' the genie asked. 

 'I'd like to own a gorgeous home in every country in the world complete with servants,' she said.

'Consider it done,' the genie said. 'And your homes will always be safe from fire, burglary and natural disasters!' 

 'And now,' the couple asked in unison, 'what's your wish, genie?'

'Well, since I've been trapped in that bottle, and haven't been with a woman in more than a thousand years, my wish is to have sex with your wife.'

The husband looked at his wife and said, 'Gee, honey, you know we both now have a fortune, and all those houses. What do you think?'

She mulled it over for a few moments and said, 'You know, you're right. Considering our good fortune, I guess I wouldn't mind, but what about you, honey?'

You know I love you sweetheart,' said the husband. I'd do the same for you!'


So the genie and the woman went upstairs where they spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying each other. 

The genie was insatiable.
After about three hours of non-stop sex, the genie rolled over and looked directly into her eyes and asked, How old are you and your husband?'

'Why, we're both 35,' she responded breathlessly. 

    
'No Kidding,' he said. 
    

  'Thirty-five years old and you both still believe in genies?'