Jump to main content

The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future

The Optimist

Please upgrade your Flash Player.

A group of elderly, retired men gathers each morning at a café' in Tel Aviv.  They drink their coffee and sit for hours discussing the world situation. Given the state of the world, their talks usually are depressing. One day, one of the men startles the others by announcing, "You know what? I am an optimist."

The others are shocked, but one of them notices something fishy. "Wait a minute! If you're an optimist, why do you look so worried?"

"You think it's easy to be an optimist?"

"Jewish sensibility however concerns precisely those subjects and values that receive disproportionate attention among Jews."

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Humor: What the Best Jewish Jokes Say About the Jews