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Joan Rivers Dead: Comedian on Jewish Faith, the Holocaust and Jesus Loving His Mom

Joan Rivers Dead: Comedian on Jewish Faith, the Holocaust and Jesus Loving His Mom

Comedienne Joan Rivers (L) and TV personality Melissa Rivers attend the Elie Tahari Fall/Winter 2011 collection show during New York Fashion Week February 16, 2011. | (PHOTO:REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

Joan Rivers never forgot her Jewish roots and often used her religion in her comedic routines but passionately spoke about the importance of faith.

Rivers was actually born Joan Alexandra Molinsky, the daughter of Russian Jews who immigrated to New York. She never forgot where her parents came from or the importance of remembering the Jewish traditions and history. However, she also made cutting remarks about religion and those same Jewish roots.

"I'm Jewish. I don't work out," she once said. "If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor."

One of her quips, though, was seen as quite controversial last year when she made a joke about the Holocaust and German supermodel Heidi Klum.

"The last time a German look this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens," Rivers said of Klum's Oscar gown.

Although the comment was not well-received, Klum took no offense and was actually volunteering at one of Rivers' favorite charities, God's Love We Deliver, yesterday when the comedienne passed away.

"It's a joke," Rivers said of the comment. "That's the way I remind people about the Holocaust," she told CNN. "I do it through humor. My husband lost his entire family in the Holocaust, so let's just start with that. Your generation doesn't even know what I'm talking about."

Earlier this year Rivers got a tattoo in honor of Holocaust victims, with "6M" being inked on the inside of her arm. She revealed the tattoo during an interview for the new season of "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?" and explained why she did not show it during the series.

"It stands for the 6 million Jews that were killed in Auschwitz," Rivers told the Associated Press' Frazier Moore. "I didn't put this in the show because it's a serious thing."

The reality show also allowed a more intimate look at the icon's personal life and relationship with daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper, whom she affectionately called Coop. During one particular episode, she commented on her faith and religious beliefs.

"Everyone reaches God in any way they want to reach God. And let's not forget, Jesus was Jewish … which made sense because he really loved his mother," she quipped.

Rivers passed away at the age of 81 and her funeral will take place on Sunday, Sept. 7 at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.


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