Joe Bobker was born in 1947 in Ulm, a displaced persons' camp in Germany, to Polish Holocaust survivors Chaskel, zt"l, and Ida Bobker. On May 21, 1949, the family arrived in Sydney, Australia, on board the Luciano Marnaro liner as refugees from
Adolf Hitler's reign of terror. The most searing influence on his Jewishness were his parents, two simple Yidden who saw over 131
family members turned into ashes by the genocidal Nazi war machine and yet never swayed from their beliefs. Their faith was
clearer than vision.
Mr. Bobker studied at the Mercaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva in Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem. Over the years he has spoken frequently and is well known for his dozens of articles about Jews and Judaism in the 100-year-old Los Angeles Jewish Times, of which he was publisher and editor-inchief.
Reviews - What do customers think about Torah with a Twist of Humor?
torah with a twist of humor Apr 6, 2008
I RECEIVED THIS BOOK AS A GIFT I ENJOYED IT SO MUCH, I GIVE IT TO EVERYONE I CAN AS GIFTS,(EG. BIRTHDAY,RETIREMENT, OR JUST PLAIN HAVING A HARD TIME OF IT.
One of the funniest, most delightful books I have read in a long time. Nov 25, 2005
The Torah with a Twist is one of the funniest, most delightful books I have read in a long time. Author Joe Bobker makes learning the Torah a fresh new experience with an edge of excitement.
The jokes are very witty and well thought out. Each one relates to a particular message bringing them to life in a special way. A friend of mine gave me the book as a gift for my birthday, and I am glad he did.
I have never been that religious, but the author makes learning about the 10 Commandments, God Almighty, Creation, and the exploits of people like Lot, Abraham, Noah, and the "Rebel with out a Cause" (Moses) an interesting and fun experience throughout. It's accessible and yet still presents the Torah in full vibrancy, grandeur, and color. The message of the Torah is relayed simply and entertainingly, so everyone can understand it, not just the super elite studied group. I really enjoyed it.
I can't wait to see what this author writes next!
A lame attempt at combining humor and the Jewish tradition Jun 22, 2005
Joe Bobker, an Australian who is the former publisher and editor of the Los Angeles Jewish Times, seems to have felt that one could produce a good book by combining the close study of the weekly Torah portion with the telling of hundreds of old, musty jokes. Then Bobker went ahead and wrote that book. He should have resisted the impulse.
This is an odd volume indeed. It contains roughly 50 chapters, each corresponding to one or two of the weekly Torah sections read in synagogue services, and it is evidently intended to acquaint the reader lacking a profound Jewish education with the subtleties of the biblical texts. But in this book, brilliant comments by Hasidic rebbes, kabbalists, and Talmudic scholars vie for space on the page with some of the world's worst howlers.
If the jokes were funnier or newer, or if there were fewer of them, this concept might have had a slight chance to work. After all, Jews know how to laugh. The festival of Purim is dedicated to laughter, merriment, and learned parodies known as "Purim Torah." But instead, Bobker treats us to tired jokes about intrusive mothers-in-law, worn tales about greenhorns who just arrived in America, and bromides about kids in old-fashioned cheders and condemned spies facing the firing squad and henpecked husbands facing their spouses. The reader is not likely to be entertained but rather to feel beaten into submission.
Bobker seems to have written down every joke he ever heard and splayed them all over these pages. This is not funny.