There has always been a true understanding of the human condition, and even an acknowledgement of real suffering, in Jewish humor. So when a comedian like Jon Stewart, born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, does some serious charity work as he did recently, it is not so much noteworthy as it is expected.
Giving back to the Jewish community and to the larger world community is important. Whether you are a Jewish comedian or any number of other professions, if you are a success, you should take time out to help those in need.
This week Jon Stewart took his Jewish humor and his hard working hands to a community badly hurt by Hurricane Sandy in Staten Island. He sorted donations and hauled wet sheet rock from a person’s basement. In times like these, his (and the rest of his Daily Show staff who showed up to volunteer) humor can provide levity, even while he actually gets his hands dirty.
The community has responded with nothing but effusive things to say about the comedian. The comedian himself remained humble–as is the humorist’s way–pointing to the people already there who have been working tirelessly to get Staten Island back to normal.
His presence was still quite the Mitzvah.