Oppositional Mirror on the Wall: Discursive Practices of Humorous Pashkevilim in Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Community

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Pashkevilim, printed wall notices posted around Jewish ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, serve as one of the religious community’s popular communication channels. The Pashkevilim mostly deal with controversial intra-community issues and feature a unique style, extremist rhetoric, and vocabulary derived from the religious literature. Humorous imitations of the genre arose over the years, which circulated in the community and outside of it, posing a challenge to the rabbinic hegemony. Although humorous Pashkevilim have likely been present for as long as Pashkevilim themselves, there is currently a lack of research investigating them. By adopting a critical discourse analysis approach, the current study aims to address this gap by identifying the predominant types of humorous Pashkevilim and analyzing the discursive practices they employ. The findings indicate three main discursive practices that characterize humorous Pashkevilim: parody, satire, and irony. While parody exaggerates the formal characteristics of the genre and mocks them, satire and irony criticize the content and topics discussed in traditional Pashkevilim, especially on the subject of Jewish law and religious stringency. These practices express an oppositional reading of the genre, which challenges its function as well as its socio-cultural, political, and religious significance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number717
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Haredi Media
  • Jewish ultra-Orthodox
  • Pashkevilim
  • humor
  • irony
  • parody
  • satire


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