Friday, November 16, 2018

13 Super Polite Yiddish Words and Terms of Endearment

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

"A wise person ... does not interrupt when another person is speaking" (Ethics of the Fathers 5:9)

While it appears that the Talmud is prescribing rules of courtesy, this passage goes beyond the issue of propriety. Interrupting another person is not merely rude, but also unhealthy.

Cardiologists have described a "Type A" personality, which they find to be a significant cause of coronary heart disease. Among the characteristics of Type A people are the following: operating under pressure of time, doing multiple things at the same time (e.g. eating breakfast while talking on the phone and also reading the morning news), and finishing other people's sentences. The latter indicates not only impatience, which itself demonstrates the pressure under which they are operating, but also a presumptuousness, since they are taking for granted that they know what other people intend to say.

Teaching ourselves to allow other people to finish their sentences is a simple way to learn patience. Once we achieve it, it becomes easier to correct other Type A behaviors, such as making a mad dash to enter an elevator before the doors close completely, losing our composure in congested traffic, or feeling oppressed by the approach of a deadline. We may learn to take life in stride and even to relax, thereby eliminating the stress factor that has been implicated in heart disease.

No wonder that Solomon referred to the Torah as "a Torah of life." Adhering to its guidelines can actually prolong life.

Today I shall ...
... try to control my impulse to finish other people's sentences for them.

Love Yehuda Lave

Planning a Trip to Israel? Check Out These Hidden Things to Do!

45 Cool, Hidden, and Unusual Things to Do in Israel


Not all are recomended, as plenty are not for Zionist, Orthodox Jews, but the list is interesting to see with plenty of beautiful pictures

The ups and downs of Jacob's ladder

In our own lives, we have "ups and downs", symbolic perhaps, of the vision of Jacob and the ladder, and hopefully, we are all traveling "upwards",reaching higher and higher in our spiritual developmentbut matter where you are along all the pathways of this Journey we call Life, know that the Alm-ghty is always traveling with you!
And ... in all your travels, may you be kept in the Shelter of His Wings!
******************************And ...
May Shabbat be filled with Light,new awareness of where we are in our personal Journeys,and where we are going ...

Amazing Aerial Photos: How Many Places Can You Recognize?

Bet Gurvin 110618

Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves One of the World Heritage sites in Israel We take a short trip with the Anglos of Southern Jerusalem for 40 schecks. Nice trip

13 Super Polite Yiddish Words and Terms of Endearment

So many online Yiddish word lists are stuffed with insults, witty rejoinders, and bathroom words. They are good grist for the social media mill, but how does that reflect on Yiddish, the beloved language of the Chosen People? Yiddish is such a beautiful language, replete with compliments, terms of endearment, and gentle wisdom. Here are our top 13 Yiddish words to use when you want to be nice.

1. Please

Official Yiddish uses the German word bitte for "please." Real, earthy Yiddish speakers, however, will much more commonly say zei azoy gut, which means "be so good." So next time you want to ask for something nicely, zei azoy gut and use this phrase.

2. Thank You

Thanks is ah dank. So you can tell your bus driver ah dank for getting you home in one piece. You can spice this one up by putting an adjective before the dank. Ah sheinem dank ("a nice thanks") and ah groisen dank ("a big thanks") both work well.

In some circles, people may say yasher koach, which is often translated as "more power to you" and can also be a term of congratulation and encouragement for a job well done.

3. You're Welcome

After someone thanks you, the proper Yiddish response is "ni[sh]t do kein farvos" ("there is no why"), humbly denying that there is any reason for the thanks. This is similar to the Spanish de nada. (Some people may also say tzu gezunt, which we will get to below.)

4. Excuse Me

To excuse in Yiddish is tzu antshuldigen. Thus the Yiddish term for "excuse me" is antshuldikt mir or simply antshuldig.

5. What's Up?

A common Yiddish term to ask someone how they are would be vos hertz zich, which translates clumsily as "what's being heard?" Another variation would be vos tut zich, which means "what's happening?" Alternatively you can ask vee geit es, which means "how's it going?"

6. Zeeskeit

Literally "sweetness," zeeskeit is a term of endearment you can use exactly as you'd use "sweetie" or "honey" in English.

7. Tattele and Mammele

Tatte and Mamme are Dad and Mom respectively. A tattele is a little father, and a mammele is a little mother. These words are used to refer lovingly to small children just like Hispanics may refer to kids mami and papi.

Mammele and tattele also denote an obedient and well-behaved child. Thus, you can say, "After Joel's mother threatened to keep him home from Hebrew school if he wouldn't stop sneaking gefilte fish, he behaved like a tattele for the rest of the afternoon."

8. Gezunterheit

Gezunterheit means "with health" and it can be used in a variety of ways.

If you want to tell someone that you have no objection to something, you can tell them to do it gezunterheit. "Go ahead and try skiing down the black diamond with your hands tied behind your back gezunterheit; just don't complain to me when you fall."

When serving food, you can tell your diners to ess gezunterheit, literally "eat with health." It is the Yiddish equivalent of bon app├ętit.

When someone is going to sleep, wish them to shlof ("sleep") gezunterheit.

When someone is about to embark on a trip, you tell them to for gezunterheit, which means "travel with health," and you can send someone off on a shorter trip with a well-placed gei ("go") gezunterheit. Often you also wish them to kum gezunterheit, to return in good health as well.

When someone gets a new piece of clothing, you wish them trog gezunterheit, wear the new garment in good health. Oddly enough, when someone get pair of shoes, it is customary to wish them tzureis gezunterheit, tear the shoes in good health.

9. No, We Don't Say Gesundheit

English speakers often use the German gesundheit ("health") in the place of "bless you" after they hear someone sneeze. In Yiddish, we say tzu gezunt, which means "to health." Some people add on even more blessings. One person I know says, tzu gezunt, tzu leben, un tzu mazal ("to health, to life, and to fortune"). Fun fact: Wishing someone good health following a sneeze is an old Jewish custom. In the Talmudic era, people would say "asuta," which is Aramaic for "health."

10. Zei Gezunt

While we are on the subject of gezunt, we must mention zei gezunt ("be healthy"), which is a common way to say goodbye. When speaking to more than one person, you say zeit gezunt, and you can always add un shtark ("and strong") if you are feeling particularly generous with your parting blessings.

11. Gezunt zolstu zein

Literally "healthy you should be," this one is the rough equivalent of "don't ever change kid, you are amazing!" Another variant that expresses the same sentiment is laing zolstu leben, "long should you live."

12. Choshuv

A loan word from Hebrew, choshuv means important or notable. If you are hosting important guests, you can refer to them as choshuve gest (gest is plural and gast is singular for "guest"). The mitzvah of hosting guests is very choshuv in Judaism. In fact, we are told that Abraham interrupted a meeting with G‑d to greet three wayfarers who showed up outside his tent. Now that's choshuv!

13. Sheifale

Literally "lamb, sheifale is an endearing term for your nearest and dearest, especially children, who are soft, cuddly, and gentle as lambs (some of the time, at least).

Did you enjoy learning these words? Tzu gezunt, it was our pleasure!

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Yakov's Weird Wedding

The father of the first Jewish family, Yakov, was the victim of a last minute switch on his wedding night. His father-in-law, Lavan, substituted Leah, the older of his two daughters, for Rachel, the one whom Yakov loved and worked for. Yakov discovered the deception only after he had consummated the marriage with Leah. Yakov, choosing to accept his Mazal (fate), remained with Leah and later also married Rachel, the bride of his choice.

Why did the first Jewish wedding have to take place through deceit and deception?

Why did the first Jewish family have to come into existence in such an enigmatic and strange manner?

Leah represents Yakov's Mazal (fate). She is the woman whom Yakov was destined to marry. Rachel represents choice. She is the woman whom Yakov loved and chose to marry. Why does the Torah have to record this strange story of Yakov's wedding deception? The narrative portions of the Torah contain much more than simple stories.

The entire Torah is G-d's Personal, Authorized living manual for today's world. Every word in the Torah is G-d's GPS (G-d's Personal System) for life.

There is a profound message being taught here. When one gets married, although he thinks that he is marrying a Rachel, the one that he chose, there are bound to be unforeseen surprises.

One may discover, after the wedding night, that he has also married a Leah, who represents the unanticipated nature of one's spouse. This unforeseen nature, however, is exactly what one needs in a spouse. As the Rolling Stones number one song goes, "You can't always get what you want, but get what you need". Married life is full of surprises.

That is why the groom veils his bride. Because through this veil, he is stating in effect, I will love, cherish and respect not only the 'you' which is revealed to me, but also those aspects of your personality that are hidden from me. As I am bonding with you in marriage, I am creating a space within me for the totality of your entire being, including what remains veiled.

Under the Chuppah the groom says to the bride, "You are sanctified to me with this ring …" What he means is that I can't attain my full potential of sanctity without you. However, the bride remains silent. Why does she not verbally acknowledge her groom's words and his gift?

The Baal Shem Tov explains that under the Chuppah the bride has reached such an exalted and unprecedented level of Kedushah that the world is not ready yet to hear her holy speech.

When the Moshiach comes, then the world will have reached its spiritual zenith, and only then the bride will speak under the Chuppah. It will be as the Prophet Yirmiyahu says, "There will be heard in the cities of Yehudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim, the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the BRIDE!"

See you Sunday

Shabbat Shalom


Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego
United States


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