Thursday 20 December 2012 6.20pm
It may be an old cliché that the best Irish jokes have been told by Irishmen and the best Jewish jokes by Jews, but in my experience it has proved, more often than not, to be true.
I was reminded of one today, told to me many years ago by a Jewish friend.
It's the last day of term and the teacher is asking her class of eight year-olds how they are going to spend their Christmas. Every hand goes up and the normal replies given. (Family coming, Christmas dinner,Father Christmas, Christmas tree, etc. etc.) The teacher cannot help but notice that little Benjamin still has his hand up and, not wanting tom ignore him she says, kindly: "Benjamin, you're Jewish. Surely your family don't celebrate Christmas."
"We do, Miss," he replies.
She's now curious.
"Well," says Benjamin. "My dad owns a toy factory, and this is a very busy time of the year for him. On Christmas Eve he takes us to the warehouse to look at all the empty shelves. It's always sold out. Nothing is left. We then hold hands and sing, 'What a friend we have in Jesus,' and then we fly off for two weeks in the Bahamas!"