the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Breaking news: LeBron James (AKA "King James") has chosen to play for the Miami Heat. He'll join fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a dynamic trio.

For many years, Jewish and non-Jewish comedians have included Miami/Miami Beach--the city of Mink stoles--in their routines.

Rabbi Mayer Abromowitz related the following classic joke to indicate how intensely the Jewish population soared in the late 40's and on into the 60s and early 70s:

There's the story about a Jew praying before the Wall in Jerusalem, pleading with God to lead him to his homeland. A passer-by hears the prayer and asks, 'Mister, you are here in Jerusalem, you are in the homeland."

The man replies: "I meant Miami Beach."

In 2010, Rick Gilstrap wrote, "It was so cold in Miami, Cuban refugees were skating back to Cuba!"

In Jackie Mason's 1990 book, "How To Talk Jewish," he wrote, "A gentile only has a Christmas Sale. But Jewish store owners in Miami Beach have sales every day that no one has ever heard of before. There's an Early Bird Sale, an After Dinner Sale, a Late Lunch Sale, and there's the Going Out of Business Sale, The I Already Went Out of Business Sale, and the Store Has Never Been in Business Sale."

In 1993, Jerry Seinfeld ("SeinLanguage") wrote, "My parents live in Florida now. They moved there last year. They didn't want to move to Florida, but, they're in their seventies and that's the law. You know how it works, they got the leisure police. They pull up in front of the old people's house with a golf cart, jump out. 'Let's go, Pop. White belt, white pants, white shoes, get in the back. Drop the snow shovel right there. Drop it!"

The following stories about Jews in the Sunshine State are culled from various sources:

. Four Jewish ladies are playing a game of cards in Miami. The first lady sighs and says, "Oy..." The second lady nods, sighs, and says, "Oy vey!" The third lady says "Oy veys meer!" The fourth lady chimes in: "Enough talk about the children already. Let's get back to the game."

. Two Jewish women are sitting at the pool at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. They're speaking about their "zuns" (sons), each of whom was incarcerated in the Florida State Prison, in Bradford County. The first says: "Oy, my son has it so hard. He is locked away in maximum security; he never even speaks to anyone or sees the light of day. He has no exercise and he lives a "finster yor" (horrible year)."

The second says: "Well, my 'zun' is in minimum security. He exercises every day; he spends time in the prison library, takes some classes, and writes home each week."

"Oy," says the first woman. "You must get such naches from your son."

. Rachel and Sarah meet one day at the Dolpin Mall, located just west of Miami Int'l Airport.

Is it true, Rachel," asks Sarah, "that your son, Benjy, has moved out of law?"

"Yes, it's true," replied Rachel. Although he graduated from the Univ. of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables--a Tier-2 school--he's now a salesman in a tailor shop."

"Mazel tov," says Sarah, "but a salesman?" Is he any good at it?"

Rachel replies, "Is he any good? Why he's brilliant. Only yesterday a woman comes into his shop to buy a suit to bury her poor late husband in. And guess what my Benjy did? He talked her into buying an extra pair of trousers."

. An elderly Jewish couple from Miami were going out to dinner at Joe's Stone Crab, located at the southern end of South Beach (AKA "SoBe").

The woman comes out of the bedroom and says to her husband, "Dahling, do you want me to wear this Chanel suit or this St. Johns?"

"Do I care?" he replied.

"Dahling, shall I wear my Cartier watch or my Rolex?"

"Vos art es (mich)?" What does it matter to me" he replied.

The woman says to her husband, "Dahling, shall I wear my 5 carat pear or my 6 carat round "diment" (diamond)?"

To which her husband replies, "Hey, if you don't get your act together, and soon, we're going to miss the early bird special."

. One afternoon, Shlomo comes home from work. (He's a waiter at Wolfie's.) He finds total mayhem in his "heym." His three children were outside, still in their PJs, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess--schmutz. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room, the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room/great room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. To make matters worse, a weeks' supply of "Canwich" (sandwich in a can)--a non-kosher item--could be found on the table.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothing, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be "krank" (ill), or that something serious had happened. He found her lounging in the bedroom, still curled up in the "bet' in her pajamas, reading a best-selling novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and said, "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?"

"Yes," was his incredulous reply.

"She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

. A lady meets a friend at Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House. (The place was built with a line!) They haven't seen each other for over a month or so. The friend asks her how things are going and immediately gets a long "ponem" (face).

"If you have time to listen, I'll tell you."

The "freynd" urges her to go ahead and talk. "After all, what are friends for?"

"You won't believe the 'tsores' I've had since I saw you last. I don't know what's going to become of me! To begin with, my husband, Arthur, had a heart attac two weeks ago and is hovering between life and death. He's at Mercy Hospital. Last week, my son, Bill, announced that he's leaving his wife and children to live with a man. Three days ago my daughter, Jane, was in an automobile accident on Collins Avenue; she had a bad concussion and may lose a leg. And, TOMORROW, the painters are coming!!"
Marjorie G. Wolfe spent many summers in Miami Beach during her teens. Her mother had hay fever--a common allergy--and belonged to a group called "The Pollen Dodgers."


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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