JACKIE MASON: The scientists cured Covid – now let’s get an antisemitism vaccine
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JACKIE MASON: The scientists cured Covid – now let’s get an antisemitism vaccine

As we prepare to light the eighth candle for Chanukah, Jackie Mason admires Jews for being so stiff-necked they don’t ever back down and knows the perfect way to deal with 2020

Jackie Mason at Chanukah (credit: Cartoonist, Paul Solomons)
Jackie Mason at Chanukah (credit: Cartoonist, Paul Solomons)

This year has been one knockout punch after another. Thankfully, it looks like round 12 is fading fast. The final bell can’t arrive quickly enough. The one thing this year has going for it is that it’s coming to an end. Don’t worry about me, though. Miraculously, I tested positive for the antibodies and I don’t even remember getting sick. That’s not the only thing I don’t remember. I don’t remember where I put the remote control, I don’t remember what publication I’m writing for and I don’t remember what a sensation I am. Wait one second, that I remember! You don’t have to remind me. 

So, to sum up, this year I’ve written in Jewish News about Passover, I’ve taken you through Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Thanksgiving, and now I’m taking you through Chanukah and the new year. 

I’ve really enjoyed doing this for you, but I’m  sure you’ve learnt a lot from me. 

We went through the plagues and pestilence, redemption and forgiveness, through the turkey dinner, and now the lighting of the first candle. I hope you’ve got something out of this because, within my comedy, I like to have some point and purpose, but I’m not sure you’re intelligent enough to understand that, and I say that with the highest respect.

One thing I’m sure about is 2021 can’t be any worse than 2020, which will go down as one of the worst years ever although, to be honest, I didn’t really mind not getting out of this chair for 10 months. But now I have to get up to prepare the menorah.

I think I’m the only one in the building who doesn’t use one of these electric ones.

Is it that difficult to light a candle?  

Jackie Mason at Chanukah (Paul Solomons)

Chanukah is a very special holiday to the Jews. It’s not about just getting presents, although I could use a few shirts – my size is 15½, 32. 

What is the true meaning of Chanukah, and how did we arrive at this holiday?

To be concise, the Greeks tried to prevent the Jews from keeping their religion.

As always the Jews, being the most stubborn stiff-necked people, fought back to protect their religion.

The greatness of the Jewish people is their strong belief in who they are, and how you could never take their ideas away from them. 

It’s that persistence and grit that has gotten them through every calamity down to this day. After being kicked out of every country and knocked down to the mat countless times, they just keep getting back up and fighting.

There has never been a TKO [technical knock out] in Jewish history.

That is partially why they are so reviled and admired; they don’t ever back down.

They are scrappy and relentless, with such small numbers and an outsize influence.

Throughout the centuries, they have battled for their beliefs and survived it all, even the year 2020 and yet, as we’re going into year 2021, it’s hard to believe, but antisemitism is worse than ever. 

So what my hope for this year is in addition to the miracle of the Covid vaccine, I hope for a miracle of a vaccine against antisemitism.

When will the world be inoculated against evil, pernicious ideas? 

I’m a practical person, and realise that is a tall order, but one thing I know, is that we’ll keep fighting. Meanwhile, I’m just going to make believe that 2020 didn’t happen. 

  •  Comment at www.jackiemason.com or see him at www.cameo.com

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