Comics artist Ben Gershon visited the exhibition “All MESHUGGE? Jewish Wit and Humour”!
Ben Gershon was born in the Jewish year 5745 (1985). Despite his proud parent’s advise to become a doctor (or at least an accountant), Gershon pursuit a career as a Comics artist. His very first artwork was exhibited on his bedroom’s wallpaper when he was one year and a half old.
According to Gershon, humor is one of the most important aspects of Judaism. The “chosen people” suffered terribly over the centuries, but always managed to survive by laughing and crying. Humor is an inseparable part of the Jewish DNA by now and that’s something Gershon likes to express in his cartoons.
Very much inspired by the Jewish teachings of a military rabbi, the ‘Jewy Louis’ series portray identifiable, funny situations and the absurdities of Jewish life in a non-Jewish society—depicting century-old traditions from another point of view and presenting contemporary Jewish lifestyle. Creating this cartoon and above all being able to publish it in Jewish media in Europe and America—and even exhibit it in the Jewish Museum in Vienna — illustrates the unique resilience of Jews and their extraordinary sense of humor.
Jewish Customs and Symbols: As a creator of Jewish comics, and in order to establish a connection with your readers, you have to deal with Jewish symbols and customs from the outset.
Challah (braided Shabbat bread): Gershon: “A challah is probably the most delicious of all types of bread. For that matter, there’s nothing more fun than drawing Jewish mommelahs (lit. little mamas) with their voluptuous curves.”
The Rabbi: The Jewish equivalent of a pastor or minister is a rabbi: the public face and contact person concerning Jewish matters. While the rabbi is well-respected in the Jewish community, he doesn’t have as much religious authority as for instance the Pope or an imam; he’s equal to other Jewish people. Perhaps that’s exactly the reason he’s poked fun at.
For more information on Ben Gershon visit his website www.BenGershon.com
Vienna . 1010 . Dorotheergasse 11 . Jewish Museum
The display window series
Take a look at our display window as you pass by! At the time of Jewish holidays, you will see an informative installation with objects and situations relating to the festival concerned. If you want to find out more, just come inside!
From May 14 to 16, 2013 Jews all over the world celebrate Shavuot (Hebrew for “weeks”). Together with Passover and Sukkot it is one of the three pilgrim festivals for which the Jewish people in ancient times came to Jerusalem to the holy temple to bring animal sacrifices and grain offerings. Shavuot is celebrated at the end of the Omer count. The counting of seven weeks starts on the second day of Passover. At the beginning of the count the Jews brought an Omer (a biblical unit of measurement) of grain from the first barley harvest to the temple, at the end they brought an offering of their wheat harvest. The seven weeks of the Omer count gave the holiday its name. Shavuot is the festival which celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments and the Torah at Mount Sinai. Traditionally dairy foods and honey are consumed on Shavuot, for it says in the Torah: “And I came down to rescue them from the Egyptians and bring them out of this country into a good and spacious land, a land of milk and honey.” Exodus (Shemot) 3, 1-12
All MESHUGGE? Jewish Wit and Humor
Humor is an essential component of Jewish life. It reflects relations within the community and reactions to an often hostile environment. The Jewish Museum Vienna is showing the broad spectrum of Jewish humor from its roots in Eastern Europe to Ephraim Kishon in Israel and Billy Wilder, Mel Brooks, and Woody Allen in Hollywood, from the Yiddish tradition, in which Jewish wit is rooted, to cabaret in Vienna and Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s, and humor in exile and in the face of the Shoah.
A richly illustrated catalog is also being published by Amalthea Verlag (c. 430 pages and 800 illustrations) with essays, portraits, and articles by some 40 authors), €34.95, ISBN 978-3- 85002-825-7 and is available at Bookshop Singer in the Museum or via E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
MUSEUM – New publication available now
Now you can take the Jewish Museum Vienna home in your bag: The new publication “Museum” accompanies visitors on a tour through the Jewish Museum Vienna, provides insights into the collections and their stories, leads from floor to floor, from the visible to the invisible and even out of the museum. The objects and their stories can be learned, admired and interpreted on site, but “Museum” also lets you recall your visit at the museum, works as souvenir and gift. The bilingual book presents the museum as a dynamic institution that makes the Jewish past and present in Vienna and Austria comprehensible.
Editor: Jewish Museum Vienna. Editorial team: Hannah Landsmann, Maren Waffenschmid. Texts: Domagoj Akrap, Sabine Frank-Moser, Werner Hanak-Lettner, Gabriele Kohlbauer-Fritz, Hannah Landsmann, Katharina Lischka, Christa Prokisch, Danielle Spera, Maren Waffenschmid, Andrea Winklbauer.
131 pages, German/English, ISBN 978-3-901398-62-9, € 13,-.
Available at the Jewish Museum Vienna or order via E-Mail email@example.com.
אלטע זאכן אלטע זאכן
The Jewish Museum Vienna is planning a permanent exhibition on the history of the Jews in Vienna from 1945 to the present, but also about Jewish migration history to and through Vienna. We would like to ask for support in the collection of film and photographic materials that document this period.
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