News from awordinyoureye.com


LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE

Some of the emails sent to this website which nicely describe the power of humour to heal / help

Today my wife called me at the office. She was suffering a panic attack and begged me to tell her some jokes to bring her out of it. I did a google search for Jewish jokes and found your website. I read several of the jokes and actually got her laughing! It really helped. Thanks so much.
[Jim B, NJ, USA]

Thanks a million - you do a fantastic job: it makes life worth living. Cheers
[Ron L, UK]

Mazeltov on your OY! book. Every joke is 24 carat gold. Yours is the 1st & only funny book, where every funny, bar none, is hysterically funny. I'll be a young 80 in the body & 18 in the mind. I love to make people smile & laugh. Your book has helped me make that dream a reality. Bless you. P.S My wife & I were married for 49 yrs. She passed away 3 yrs ago. I'm dedicating the rest of my life to making people smile /laff.
[Norm K, Michigan, USA]

Many thanks for the new set of jokes. I think the least I can do is to acknowledge the pleasure your site gives me. They really made me smile, and, believe me, I needed cheering up this morning. Fond regards to you from the Italian Alps.
[Judy S, Aosta, Italy]

Please keep em' coming!  ….. laughter is the pinnacle of life.  G-d gave us the ability to laugh, & for unknown reasons, that laughter is much more healthier than medications at large…..  If there is no laughter, there is no life!    Keep smiling!
[Danny S, New York, USA]

I read a couple of pages a day and pass them along to other appreciative folks. As a storyteller, involved with the Folklore Society for many years, I've always enjoyed humorous tales and those that teach us to use our wits to survive.    The jokes offer these wonderful little vignettes of life as they tell so very much about the nature of being human.   I have a friend, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, who has been taking trips to Afghanistan for the sole purpose of collecting jokes and teaching the children there to juggle. Just trying to bring a little joy to their war-torn home. Last I heard, he was invited to bring his troupe of Afghani jugglers to tour Japan, although politics promised to interfere with the plan. He remains undaunted and says he will find a way. Music and humor are two of the greatest peacemakers we have.
[John O, Olyphant, Pa, USA – “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way”]

Today was one of my bad downs and lo & behold I got your 69th set of Jewish jokes. As I started reading them I started giggling at most of them. When I finished them I looked out the window looking at the sun shining on the snow and I have to admit that jokes ARE for laughter and laughter like the sun will brighten your day. It did for me. Don't ever think of stopping.
[Stan C, USA]

I am Gentile, 68, from London, have lived in England for the last 41 yrs (someone has to).  Have read your book – absolutely fabulous!!  The best!!  My son gave me your book for Xmas: every morning I read a few jokes to my wife, so that we start the day happy, and most evenings before bedtime I read another few, so that we go to sleep happy.  She has an affinity with them, trying to guess the thrust of the endings. Your website is priceless.    Keep smiling - it makes people wonder what you've been up to
[Ron L, UK]

I just wanted to send this to say thank you for the pleasure your web site has given me.  Although I was born and brought up in the Jewish religion I have not kept it up.  My father's funeral was yesterday (an orthodox Jew) and due to family differences it was particularly distressing. I felt the need today to try and find the English words for a prayer (Shema Yisrael) that I remember learning parrot fashion as a child and in my internet search somehow I came across your site. Although it did not contain what I was looking for, the glossary brought many memories back and the jokes have lightened my heart.  I expect many people feel the same about the service you have provided but I just wanted to let you know how much this was appreciated. Thank you.
[Adele, Bucks, UK]

Thank you for putting up this wonderful site, it has made my day. I have just had an operation and mopping around not doing much I came upon this site and what a laugh - so many jokes. I am from Tanzania (originally), grew up in London UK, lived in Switzerland/Denmark and now for the last 19 years in Vancouver/Canada.   My interest in the jokes especially Jewish jokes grew in the UK. My boss there was Jewish from Warsaw in Poland, so there was a lot of humour around where I worked and lived and I miss that. Well I thank you again and hope you keep in touch.  Nice to meet a fellow humour-filled person.
[SR, Vancouver, Canada]

Your jokes came at a very good time. Our children left yesterday to return to Israel and it was great to be able to have a laugh. Hope you are all in good health. Keep up the good work. Had some great laughs.
[Cheryl R, Cape Town, SA]

Thank you for alerting us to your new supply of jokes.  We enjoy them and share them with the family.  In fact, every week I visit a lonely gentleman who is homebound and he looks forward to the latest in Jewish humor.
[Moshe and Ruth, New York, USA]

Placed your site on our favourites.  It's a good tonic when one is feeling down.
[Harvey B, Manchester, UK]

The latest jokes have cheered me up no end.  I'm at home, missing my dancing, whilst I get over the Flu!
[Jeff S, London]

I found your site at a low time. I am disabled and was having a bad pain day, typed in Jewish jokes and now want to thank you. I am so much better. Everyday I read some of your jokes and have a real belly laugh. Thank you. For me, you are the moschiach.  Thanks again for the laughter - it really is the best medicine even if you are not sick.
[Cheryl R, Cape Town, South Africa]

I shared some of your jokes to cheer up a Jewish friend (in fact he told them again in his office in their family business. Talk about a snowball effect). We’ve been laughing our pants off. Thanks for the entertainment
[Ann P, Netherlands]

I needed some Jewish jokes to send to a friend who is recuperating from surgery.  I looked through lots of web pages before I found just what I was looking for.  Thank you for this wonderful and expansive collection of jokes. I am hoping that a few jokes a day will expedite his recovery.
[Marla R, Portland Oregon, USA]

I'm a goyim guy living in Phoenix, AZ.  I discovered your website while googling around the internet, and have been sharing the jokes with a group of older single Jewish men (mostly retired Doctors, Lawyers and one feisty retired FBI man) who live in the highrise tower where I work.   We have all had a wonderful time for the past several weeks with me telling them a new joke now and then, and with them trying to top mine (yours). Your site has brought much laughter and cheer to these guys most of whom have lost their wives, and have few friends due to their age and inability to get out much.  Some of them have even grown closer to each other since we started exchanging jokes, and have started actually having conversations with each other.  Thank you so much for providing so many laughs and good times for us.  I've even seen two former enemies begin the process of forgiving past slights that have kept them apart for years.          I've read it's no joke - laughter really is the best medicine, and totally agree with the concept. Many of my guys at the towers seemed to have lost the will to live, and most had tried to become hermits in their apartments, but since I began working there last June, I've tried to get them to respond to me as a friend, and not just an employee of the towers.  It has taken several months but I believe I have been successful in most cases.  One of the residents, a former mayor of Phoenix, and now an invalid who has lost speech, and is often lost in his own mind, not knowing where he is; has begun responding to the cookies I bake for him.  When his nurse wheels him out for some fresh air, he always holds his hand out to shake mine and get a cookie or two.  The nurse says it proves he still has the ability to recognise people, which his doctors had said was not possible anymore.  Anyway, many, many, thanks for the help your site has given me in my quest to energize these guys again.
[Gary S, Phoenix, AZ, USA]


The following was taken from the BBC News website [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5099188.stm]

'Therapeutic clowning' boosts IVF
(June 21st 2006)

Sending in the clowns can significantly increase the chances that fertility treatment will be a success, Israeli researchers have found.   The team looked at women undergoing embryo transfers, where an IVF embryo is put into the womb.   Just over a third of women entertained by a clown conceived, compared to 19% of a group who were not, a European fertility conference heard.   Experts said helping patients relax was the key to increasing conception rates.
The research was carried out by Dr Shevach Friedler at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre in Zerifin.   Dr Friedler, who attended a movement and mime school in France before he entered the medical profession, said he knew fertility patients became stressed - and that laughter could reduce stress.   And he pointed out that clowns were often used to help children who were in hospital feel better.
The team studied 186 women aged 25 to 40 over 10 months, all of whom were undergoing embryo transfer treatment.    Half were simply given the treatment and nothing else.   However, the other group were entertained by a clown for up to 15 minutes as they recuperated in bed after the treatment.   Of the 93 who did not receive the "clown-treatment", just 18 fell pregnant, compared to 33 of the 93 who did.
Dr Friedler said the team had needed to devise an adult-friendly clown: "A clown with a red nose is fine for children, but we had to invent a new character for these adult women."    The character they devised was a chef called Shlomi Algussi, who uses magic tricks and jokes to make women laugh.   Dr Friedler said: "The response form the women was wonderful." But he added it was not something all clinics would be able to introduce.   "For medication, you can get the patient to pay, but who is going to pay for clowns?"
Dr Mark Hamilton, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: "Humour is recognised as an antidote to stress, although it is not prescribed on the NHS.
"But clinicians need to be sensitive to the effects of emotions and the psychological pressures on couples.  It's an important part of care which should be part of medical practice."
[By Caroline Ryan, BBC NEWS, PRAGUE]


The following was taken from Ocean Village website [http://www.oceanvillageholidays.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=616]

A laugh on the ocean wave!
(June 28th, 2005)

Tapping into the latest tummy-toning, stress-busting, happiness-enhancing craze to sweep the UK, casual cruise company Ocean Village today announces the launch of the first ever holiday devoted to laughter therapy - the Laugh Alive cruise. Setting sail on 20th September 2005, this unique holiday will offer a programme of events based on a ground breaking new style of relaxation therapy, including a choice of laughter yoga sessions and comedy workshops designed to relax, release and re-energise the mind and body.
Hosted by renowned laughter therapy specialist, Amanda Bate, the seven-night Mediterranean cruise starts from just £737 per person, including all workshops and classes. Amanda has put together a bespoke programme of events based on the many sides, uses and elements of laughter - from laughter yoga, meditation and breath work to comedy, improvisation and creative story telling.
Each workshop will offer a unique experience where passengers can rediscover the benefits of having a good old laugh through a series of fun and invigorating sessions. These sessions have been proven to have numerous health benefits including the release of endorphins, which work as a natural mood lifter. In addition to the laughter gym sessions hosted by Amanda, a series of stand-up comedy, improvisation and sketch writing workshops will be run by author and comedian, Gerry Thompson.
Comments Amanda, “Laughter is an essential ingredient of a healthy, happy life and is one of the most effective and immediate antidotes to stress and tension. However we’re now laughing three times less than we did 50 years ago despite a higher standard of living and better working conditions. In the 1950s we laughed for an average of 18 minutes per day, whereas we now laugh an average of 6 minutes daily. Adults need to learn how to laugh again and recapture their childhood playfulness and this is what we aim to capture on the Ocean Village Laugh Alive cruise.”
Commenting on the Laugh Alive cruise, Peter Shanks, Managing Director of Ocean Village, says, “We take fun and laughter very seriously at Ocean Village. In fact, ‘a sense of fun’ is one of our core brand values so we’re delighted to be able to inject this ‘quite literally’ into a one-off cruise experience. Holidays are the perfect time to unwind and take a step back from the more serious side of life and Amanda’s tailor-made programme will ensure passengers return home with a healthy inner glow that’s guaranteed to last even longer than their suntan!”
In addition to the programme of laughter and comedy sessions, other on-board activities guaranteed to relax and de-stress passengers include the Ocean View gym and the Karma Spa which offers an astonishing 66 different health and beauty treatments. On-shore, Ocean Village’s Action Ashore programme, offering 87 activities in the Caribbean and 88 in the Mediterranean is designed to ensure passengers have an unforgettable experience with Ocean Village. These include the opportunity to feed sharks by hand; go Wave Riding, Kite Surfing, River Tubing, or swim with turtles, amongst many others.
The Laugh Alive cruise departs from Palma and calls at Tunis, Rome, Cannes, Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information or to book call 0845 358 5000 or visit www.oceanvillageholidays.co.uk


The following was taken from the Health Talk website [http://www.healthtalk.ca/laugh_heart_030905_288211.php]

A Laugh A Day May Keep Heart Disease At Bay
Copyright © Health Talk
March 9, 2005

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, have discovered laughter can help keep your heart healthy.  They presented their study results at the Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology this week in Orlando, Florida.

The team found that laughter-provoking movies cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand, resulting in an increase of blood flow.  For their experiment, the team recruited 20 healthy volunteers to watch two segments of movies at the extreme ends of the emotional spectrum - "King Pin" and "Saving Private Ryan."

They found that when the study subjects watched a movie that caused laughter, beneficial blood vessel relaxation or vasodilation was increased in 19 of the 20 volunteers. In contrast, Brachial artery flow was reduced in 14 of the 20 volunteers following the movie clips that caused mental stress.

The team said overall, blood flow increased by 22 percent during laughter and decreased by 35 percent after watching a clip that caused mental stress.

Lead researcher Dr. Michael Miller, indicated people should combine regular exercise with 15 minutes of laughter a day for good cardiovascular health.  "It is conceivable that laughing may be important to maintain a healthy endothelium, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease," said Miller.


The following appeared in The Sunday Times Style magazine on 3rd March 2002

It's no joke – a fit of giggles really could be the best medicine, even for patients with cancer, says Peta Bee.
LAUGH IT OFF
Heard the one about the GP who prescribes laughter for patients at risk of heart disease? Or about the cancer specialist who believes comedy videos are a complement to chemotherapy? Now there is scientific proof that a medical dose of the giggles can help enhance the treatment and speed up recovery from serious diseases.

The initial results of a five-year study at the School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), show that regular injections of humour are particularly beneficial for children with cancer and Aids. The Rx: Laughter study is the largest ever of its kind to explore the effects of laughter, and Dr Margaret Stuber, the head of the research team, enlisted the help of entertainment professionals and producers of comedy films, along with pain therapists, to measure the physiological effects of laughter in 100 children aged between 7 and 17.

In the first two parts of the three-phase experiment, Stuber and her colleagues assessed the effect of humour on healthy youngsters. As predicted, they found that allowing them to watch comedy videos and listen to jokes substantially lowered their stress-hormone levels. But the final part of the study involved determining the precise impact of laughter on pain and immune function in sick children, something that has never been looked at before.

In extensive tests, the sick children were asked to watch the video clips perceived as the funniest by their healthy peers and to undergo simultaneous measurements of blood pressure, heart rate and immune response, while dipping their hands in ice-cold water to ensure uniformity of body temperature.

The initial results, which will be published officially this summer, appear to be ground-breaking in terms of medical rehabilitation. When the sick children laughed, there was significant improvement in pain management and the body's natural defences, as well as a direct response of the autonomic nervous system, the part of the central nervous system responsible for involuntary action, which can be damaged by illness.  “We are not suggesting that laughter is a cure in itself,” says Stuber, “but we have found that something happens, more than a reduction in stress hormones and stress levels, and it has a positive effect that appears to aid recovery.”

Next, the researchers are planning to determine the exact quota of laughter required to complement different forms of treatment and therapy. They believe the final results might have a bearing on future rehabilitation for people of all ages.

Robert Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland and the author of the best selling book Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, says experts are only just beginning to understand the extent to which such injections of humour can have potent benefits for body and mind. In adults, laughter has been shown to cut the risk of heart disease, and not just because it reduces pent-up tension. When colleagues of Provine at the University of Maryland questioned 150 healthy people and 150 people who had suffered a heart attack or undergone bypass surgery, they found that those with heart disease were less inclined to laugh, even in positive situations. What the researchers suspect is that regular laughter prevents damage to the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. When this is impaired, as it is with too much mental stress, it is thought to trigger an inflammatory reaction that causes fat and cholesterol to build up in the arteries.

“Regular hearty laughter should be added to exercise and a low-fat diet as a means of lowering the risk of heart disease,” says Dr Michael Miller, one of the Maryland scientists. “We should try to stop taking ourselves too seriously.”

Last year, at the first ever International Convention of Humour and Laughter, held at Queen’s University, Belfast, experts enthused over the possible prescription of more humour by the medical profession. “It is a proposal that should be taken seriously,” says Provine. “The promise of an improved quality of life without any negative side effects is reason enough to implement humour programmes in health-care settings.

So, tittering when you feel like it could realistically be recommended as a cost-and-side-effects-free alternative to antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs and other popular medication. You may laugh, but sooner than later, you could emerge from a consultation with your doctor clutching a prescription for a Monty Python video to help you conquer your ailments.


The following appeared in The London Evening Standard on 7th January 2003

....so if you want to banish the blues, says Amy Jory, you need a week of proper sleep, and the secret to that, say the experts, has more to do with what you do during your waking hours, what you eat, how you exercise and even how much you laugh in the office...

MAKE TIME FOR FUN
Dr Jesse Handley, a pioneer in anti-ageing medicine, says even short-term bursts of fun during the day leave us more relaxed and with sharper senses.
The high you get from having fun recharges your flagging mind and body - -and puts you in a better frame for a recuperative night's sleep.
Scientists have shown that laughter creates healthy neurotransmitters - hormones fired between nerve cells - which, in turn, produce and perpetuate feelings of happiness and joy.
Increasingly, studies are demonstrating that laughter and humour boost immunity, diminish pain and help people deal with the stress of life. Just a few fun experiences a week will elevate feel-good serotonin levels and help boost your immune system and improve your health.
In addition, you're less likely to feel depressed and better equipped to handle stress.


The following appeared in The Metro newspaper in UK on 7th January 2003

A picture of people laughing, with the caption "Members of the Laughing Club hold a training session in Calcutta yesterday. The club is backed by doctors who say laughter helps relax the muscles and beat stress."


The following 2 articles appeared in The Evening Standard, London on 3rd October 2002

It has taken 2m tests, 40,000 submissions, the participation of 10 countries (from the UK and France to America and New Zealand) and a fierce competition for first place. But what must be the most extraordinary science experiment of all time has finally reached its verdict and today scientists can reveal the funniest joke in the world – although the extent of its rib-tickling potential may become a subject of debate.
Dr Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, UK conducted the Government-funded research as part of Science Year. The one-year experiment was masterminded by LaughLab, which was determined to find the most side-splittingly funny joke and launched the world’s largest study into the psychology of humour.
NOTE: Some of these jokes will appear on awordinyoureye.com soon!

Scientists have discovered a sense of humour can be traced to the brain’s very own ‘funny bone’. It is due to an area of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex, located towards the back of the frontal lobes, that people burst out laughing when they hear a ‘funny’ joke. By examining people’s brains, scientists confirmed it is activity in this area that directly correlates with the extent of their amusement.  Research has also revealed how those who damage this part of the brain often suffer a loss in ‘sense of humour’.
Dr Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, UK, said, “Most jokes work because they surprise us. They set us thinking in one direction, then we hear the punchline and realise there is a different way of seeing the situation. The prefrontal cortex plays a vital role in the type of flexible thinking needed to understand a joke. It makes sense of the punchline and produces a strong sense of surprise”.


The following article appeared in The Evening Standard, London on 10th April 2003

WHY LAUGHTER REALLY IS THE BEST MEDICINE  says Isabel Oakeshott
(Study shows a good giggle could help fight disease)
A little comedy can lift even the darkest mood - and now it appears that a good laugh can work wonders for the body, too.
Researchers have uncovered the most conclusive evidence yet of a link between laughter and the ability to fight disease.
In a major new study, they found roaring with laughter can boost the immune system by up to 40 per cent. They now believe health professionals should look more seriously at humour as a complementary therapy.
The research, at Indiana State University in the US, involved 33 healthy women, half of whom watched a comedy video together while the others watched a dull video on tourism. The comedy watchers could choose from films starring Bill Cosby, Tim Allen or Robin Williams. When the films were over, scientists took samples of the women's immune cells, known as natural killer cells, and mixed them with cancer cells to see how effectively they attacked the disease.
They found that the women who had found the comedy funny enough to laugh out loud had significantly healthier immune systems afterwards than those who had watched the tourism film.
Dr Mary Bennett, who led the research, said: "This could be clinically important.
The use of humour to stimulate laughter could be an effective complementary therapy to decrease stress and improve natural killer cell activity in persons with viral illness or cancer."
In America, humour workshops are already marketed for self-healing and reducing stress. Complementary health experts say Britain lags behind and believe the new research shows the need for such services.
Edzard Ernst, Britain's only professor of complementary medicine, said: "There is increasing evidence that laughter does more than just improve the mood. It is already being used as a therapy in some ways, for example, on some paediatric wards, where they bring people in to cheer up the kids.
"There is scope to expand this. Generally speaking, we laugh too little."


Humor as a defense mechanism in the Holocaust

You might be interested in this thesis which I came across recently on the internet. It was confirmed by the Senate of Tel-Aviv University to confer the Degree "Doctor of Philosophy" to: Chaya Ostrower ; supervision: Prof. Avner Ziv; Date: January 2000.
Here is the section “conclusions”, which I’ve taken straight from the thesis. If you want to view the whole thesis, click here http://web.macam98.ac.il/~ochayo/absractf.html
Conclusions:
The uniqueness of this study lies in several aspects:
1. For the first time in Israel, Holocaust survivors were asked about "Humor in the Holocaust". A subject that was taboo until now.
2. The data collected in this study deserve to be referred to as a document, since it is a product of authentic self-expression of the interviewees Holocaust survivors.
3. This study enriches the understanding of the methods people developed to cope with intensified stress situations.

a. Even in an intensified stress situation like the Holocaust, humor served as a stress reducer, according to the interviewees’ testimonies.
b. Among the interviewed Holocaust survivors who were in a severe state of threat, happiness and satisfaction turned easily to laughter.
c. The interviewed Holocaust survivors - laughed more then once,        especially when they were in horrible situations or confronted with death.
d. We may conclude that humor in the Holocaust fulfilled the various functions of humor, and especially that of a defense mechanism through self-humor and gallows humor; this would have been a typical to the Jewish people in situation of stress.
4. According to interviewed Holocaust survivors testimonies, an individual who had a sense of humor prior to the Holocaust, maintained it during the Holocaust, experienced humor and laughter, and retained his or her sense of humor after the Holocaust.
5. Using humor was not connected to place - ghetto and/or concentration/death camp, but rather to having a sense of humor.
6. The use of humor during the Holocaust did not reduce the objective atrocity and horror. It reduced them subjectively, and facilitated coping with them.
7. Humor was expressed in different modes during the Holocaust. In addition to humorous utterances and episode there were also: humorous songs, humorous reviews and cabarets, and caricature paintings and drawings.


 
 

BACK TO JOKES INDEX PAGE

If you have any jokes, comments or suggestions, email me at david@awordinyoureye.com