The Jewish Chronicle - - Obituaries -

Unas­sum­ing and brim­ming with ideas, Alf Fo­gel com­bined a sur­real sense of sit­u­a­tion with a rich vein of Yid­dish hu­mour.

One of his clas­sic scenes had a man ly­ing on a rail­way line, clutch­ing a salt beef sand­wich.

“My wife and chil­dren have left me, my busi­ness has gone mechulla,” he moans to his friend. “But why the salt beef sand­wich?” — “You can starve wait­ing for a train.”

The Teitle­baum File starts with the phone ring­ing as Fo­gel re­clines, feet up, watch­ing Match of the Day or, at least, lis­ten­ing to the sig­na­ture tune.

Pick­ing up the re­ceiver, he in­tones: “This is a recorded mes­sage. The cheque is in the post,” then drops it and re­turns to his TV screen.

On Michael Freed­land’s ra­dio pro­gramme, You Don’t Have To Be Jewish, he dreamt up a Purim­spiel stetl set in ru­ral Hert­ford­shire. Its com­mu­nity life in­cluded an over­worked mid­wife (“I’m too busy, I don’t de­liver”), the Shei­tel Ex­press ser­vice and, best of all, the vil­lage hunt.

“We don’t sound a hunt­ing horn. No, we use a sho­far. One tekiah and we’re off.”

“You hunt foxes?” asked in­ter­viewer Freed­land.

“Nah. You catch a fox and what do you get? Per­haps a fox col­lar. No, we hunt chick­ens. You get a lovely meal and lots of soup.”

There was just one snag: “The shochet. He gets his kapote caught in the reins and keeps fall­ing off.”

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