But Is He Jewish? is divided into three sections. The first section, “Quirky Tales,” consists of fifty short stories. Although each touches upon some aspect of Jewish life and culture, they deal with such universal themes as love, mortality, courage, coming of age, and the importance of family.The following section, “Mishegas” (Yiddish for craziness), includes stand-up comedy routines, the philosophical musings of a fictitious rabbi, advice for daily living (“A Guide for the Confused”), “Eighty Questions to Ponder,” and nonsensical poetry (“Quit”).The final section, “Animals with Attitudes”, features four humorous mini-plays with animals (elephants, lions, housecats, and rhinoceroses) taking on Jewish characteristics and even speaking some Yiddish (translations provided).In all, But Is He Jewish? provides a delightful reading experience, as it addresses a variety of topics in a mostly humorous but always human manner.
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In But Is He Jewish? and Other Quirky Tales, Daniel Wolf tells it like it is, and gets us laughing…splitting our sides…tumbling with wryness, mirth, and nostalgia.
-Hollywood Book Reviews
The Jewish tenor of the work does not narrow the audience but widens it with candid and universal self-deprecation. Using his own experience as a teacher, composer, and comedian as fodder, Wolf’s book succeeds in helping readers poke fun at themselves and take life with a grain of salt.
-The US Review of Books
Interesting Book of the Year: But is He Jewish? and Other Quirky Tales by Daniel Wolf
-New York Today
Taking on universal themes, Daniel Wolf’s diverse and witty collection of stories, jokes, musings, and short plays runs the gamut from rough and bawdy to lofty and philosophical. In But Is He Jewish?, no topic and no one is safe from becoming the target of laughter—not even the divine.
Wolf’s humor is of a certain vintage and will likely appeal most to readers of his same generation, especially if they too are from a Jewish background.