Monday, January 18, 2010

Rabinovitch looks for a job

[Rabinovitch was a stock Jewish character in Soviet jokes]

Rabinovitch comes in for a job interview...

Manager - I am sorry, but we can't hire a Jew for this position.
Rabinovitch - but I am not Jewish. My mother is an Orthodox Christian!
Manager - OK, but if I am going to hire a "Rabinovitch", I may as well hire a Jew!

Anybody get it?


Blogger The back of the hill said...


January 18, 2010 4:41 PM  
Blogger Sophist said...

I don't get it:

is the joke about different ideas about Jews? I.e. that it is a Jewish idea that the Jewishness follows the mother? So in hiring the non-Jew Rabinovitch, he is in fact hiring a Jew, which he might as well do?

is the joke about the name Rabinovitch, in which case the manager would be aware of the stock Jewish character's place in jokes? I.e. doesn't matter whether or not he is precisely Jewish, for the name makes him a Jewish stock character despite non-Jewishness?

Please footnote the joke.

January 18, 2010 7:59 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Ah, Sophist - you're alive!

This joke makes sense with the background of Soviet anti-semitism.

Jews were systemically discriminated against, yet at the same time there was a perception both among Jews and gentiles that Jews were smarter and more resourceful than the non-Jews.
The point of the joke is that Rabinovitch is an unmistakeably Jewish name. So if the manager is going to have to deal with everyone thinking that he has a Jew working for him, he may as well take the hit and hire someone whom he would benefit from.

January 18, 2010 8:15 PM  
Blogger evanstonjew said...

This and other variations of discrimination against brilliant Jews are discussed in the fascinating book "Perfect Rigor", a study of the great Russian Jewish mathematician Grygory Perelman.He was the one who discovered the solution to the Poincare Conjecture, but rejected the 1 million prize and other honors.

January 20, 2010 11:38 AM  
Blogger Nechama said...

Приходит человек в адвокатскую контору
"Рабинович-Брехер-Вайнштейн-Лидман-Кац и Иванов" и просит, чтобы его дела вел Иванов.
- Но почему не кто-нибудь из остальных компаньонов фирмы? - спрашивает его секретарь.
- Вы знаете, говорит мужчина, -я как-то больше доверяю деловой хватке Иванова, сумевшего пролезть в ТАКУЮ КОМПАНИЮ.

January 23, 2010 2:21 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


That's REALLY funny. I haven't heard that one before.

January 23, 2010 4:04 PM  

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