BeChol Derachechah Da'ehu
Yesterday I was honored to be featured in a special Teshuvah Program in my school (I don't own it, just serve there - 18th year). The idea was to illustrate how there are many ways to serve and be close to G-d. There were about 20 categories and the students chose what they were interested in - community service, comedy, art, humor, Chassidut, music, Gemorah, Nach, sports, etc.
I presented to over 50 kids who chose to learn about humor and Judaism from me. In my session the kids were invested and receptive to the message of how humor/comedy relates to serving Hashem. We discussed what it means to be spiritual and/or religious in the first place and how humor fits into service of G-d.
I illustrated some appropriate humor and we discussed the contrast with inappropriate humor. We also went through various ways to ruin a joke and what can be learned from each one. We went through mekorot about humor in Judaism, such as the Gemorah in Taanis about the trei badchi - two comedians.
The lesson of that story is that bringing cheer to others with humor can be a ticket to Olam Habbah. That was a major theme of the session too, how humor can be a holy thing. It was a very meaningful and fulfilling presentation for me to give and hopefully (and so it seemed) for the students to be part of as well.