Informant is my mother who was raised in a jewish family and in turn raised a jewish family herself. She belongs to a congregation and tries to instill jewish values on her children. She insists but cannot prove that this is a jewish joke:
A grandmother is giving directions to her adult grandson who is coming to visit.
“First, come to the front door of the apartment” she says,
“I’m in apartment 201. There’s a big panel at the front, press 201 with your elbow and I’ll buzz you in. Come inside the elevator and with your elbow, press the 2nd floor button.” She tells him, “When you get off, my door is there. Hit my doorbell with your elbow and i’ll let you in. OK?”
Her grandson says “Ok Grandma, but why am I hitting these buttons with my elbow?”
She says back “What…. you’re coming empty handed?!”
I think it’s interesting that she considers it a jewish joke, because I agree. The loving-but-demanding grandmother character reminds me of my own outspoken relatives. This is not the first time I have heard this joke from her, but it is a family favorite and we repeat it amongst ourselves in the family. As my mother puts it, “In a jewish family, you never show up empty handed. You just don’t.”