Mishmeres HaSholom – Ask the Rav

Q: It is common for the program at women’s gatherings and evenings to include humorous sketches. Sometimes a specific sect is mimicked, an accent is imitated or specific characteristics are acted out in a humorous manner. Needless to say, there is plenty of exaggeration involved so that the audience can have a good laugh.

Is this permissible, or does it involve issurim? If it is forbidden, how can the organizers of the evening and the audience do teshuvah?

A: At evenings intended for large audiences of all types, it is reasonable to assume that caution is taken not to pick on a specific group, as it would likely offend some participants and affect the success of the evening. An odd character is generally chosen (they exist in every group) whose behavior causes laughter. It seems that acting out such a character is not forbidden.

The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The views expressed are of the individual author. Readers are encouraged to consult their own posek for guidance.

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