Jacob Hacohen Maza, descendant of a long line of Orthodox rabbis, was born in the unlikely town of Sheboygan, WI. He himself got rabbinical ordination.
There was only one problem: whenever he gave a sermon, people had trouble keeping a straight face. Eventually, he figured he had missed his calling and became a professional comedian under the stage name Jackie Mason. The rest is history.
With his recent passing, the last living representative of the “Borscht Belt” generation left us. Politically incorrect to the core, he was an equal opportunity offender, his sharp and irreverent tongue definitely not sparing his fellow Jews. Would he have been ‘canceled’ if he had to operate in the Age of Wokeness? Likely, he would have gone total honey badger — and kept smiling all along.
Below is a rare appearance by Mason at the National Press Club in 1993. Mrs. Arbel and I have had many a great laugh from this man. May his memory be for a blessing — Yehi Zikhro Barukh.
[*] The surname Maza or Maze is a Hebrew rashei teivot (acronym) for mi-zera Aharon = from the seed of/a descendant of Aaron, i.e., a Cohen