How-To Guide: Creating Jewish Characters

Hello, everyone.

I have decided to give you some helpful information and tips, so anyone who’d like to represent Jewish people on his/her story. (even though someone that I know gave an information about Jews on Episode forum, I wanted to explain it here, but a bit more in detail- there are some things that weren’t explained - and I wanted to bring it on here)

Note: As some of you (might) know, English isn’t my native language, so I apologize if I have some spelling mistakes.


Beliefs:
So, we Jews believe in:

  • God’s existence (monotheism).
  • Reward and punishment (or in Hebrew “שכר ועונש”)
  • Garden of Eden (or Paraside. Also, known as the World to Come - העולם הבא) & hell.
  • Resurrection
  • Messiah, who is believed to be the future redeemer of us
  • Angels

As you know, we also have the holy book, the Bible or “Tanakh” (תנ"ך), in Hebrew.
In Hebrew, Tanach is a short for:

Torah (known as the Five Book of Moses) <-- תורה
Prophets <-- (nevi’im) נביאים
Writings <-- (Ketuvim, or ktuvim) כתובים


Give them a personality!

Not all the Jews are religious, in the context of many things: observance of Shabbat, keeping kashrut (even though most of the Jews do keep kashrut, which I’ll explain about it later), dressing modestly and more. Just because we live differently from others, it doesn’t mean that we are different from anyone else - we are human being like anyone else. And not all the Jews are believiers.
In addition, not all the Jews live in Israel. There are many Jews around the world. So, give them a background!


Appearance:

We don’t have any specific appearance. We are not a race, so please diverse with the Jewish characters’ looks. Jews can be Sepharadis (or sfaradim/spharadim. It means “Spanish” in Hebrew), Ashkenazis, Ethiopians, Yemenites, etc.

About the Sfaradis and Ashkenazis:

Sepharadim - they are descendants of the expelled from Spain. Today, in Israel, most of the immigrant from the Islamic countries known as Mizrahim usually identified as Sephardim because of their Sephardi cultural-geographical background, many of whom are also descendants of Sephardic Jews who had dispersed in the countries bordering the Mediterranean.
However, not all the Sepharadis are considered as Mizrahim (such as the Italians, Greeks, Bulgarians), and not all the Mizrahim are considered as Sepharadim (such as the Yemenites, Persians, Syrians)

Ashkenazim - This is a comprehensive name for a number of Jewish communities sharing a common tradition, originating in the center (Germany, Poland, Austria, etc) and east (Russia, Ukraine, Moldova) of the European continent and part of the west. (Norway, France).

Now, here is the part that I would like to explain:

  1. Nose - for some reason, people think that all the Jews have a big/hooked nose, which is completely not true. We can have many shapes of noses, so not all of us have a big nose.

  2. Skin tone - there are many Jews with different skin tone, so there are dark-skinned (Yemenites, Iraqis, etc. But some of them can be fair-skinned, even a little) and black Jews (I can’t believe I said “black” as it refers to people. Sooo, example of black Jews - Ethiopians. But, there are Ethiopians who are fair-skinned, but there are still dark-skinned).
    So, any skin tone is totally accepted. :smile:

  • We also can have many different eye colors: you can find some green-eyed (mostly Sepharadi/Mizrahi. but there are also Ethiopians with green (even hazel) eyes ), blue-eyed (mostly Ashkenazim, but a Sepharadi can be blue-eyed), so not all the Jews are brown-eyed.

Holidays:

We celebrate holidays throughout the Hebrew calendar (according to this calender, the year is 5779 {in Hebrew it’s ה’תשע"ט}).

  • Every week - Shabbat. The word’s meaning is “Saturday” in Hebrew. So, this day is our day of rest and our seventh day (yeah, our weekend is on Saturday :wink:). This day of rest starts on Friday evening (when the sun sets). So, on Saturdays we are prohibited from: doing melacha (it is usually translated as “work”) , using technology (for instance, those who keep Shabbat turn off their phones, they are offline, can’t drive etc.), writing, cooking&baking and more.
    How can we eat something if we cannot cook and baking? We cook foods on Friday and turn on a metal sheet before entrance of Shabbat. If the food is cooked on Saturday or Friday evening (after the Shabbat has entered), it won’t be considered as kosher (which will be explained later).

The Months of Elul-Tishrei:

Rosh Ha’Shannah - The Jewish new year. It’s a holiday observed with festive meals (we eat an apple with honey :grin:, pomegranate and fish head). It’s connected to: the Ten Days of Repentance, which is ending with Yom Kippur, shemini atzeret, simchat torah (will be explained).

This month there is a custom of blowing the shofar.

Reason(s) for celebrating: A call to the people to do Teshuvah for Yom Kippur, Yom Din (Day of Judgment) and one of the Rosh Hashana on the Hebrew calendar.

Yom Kippur (yom = day, kippur = (of) atonement) - It’s the most solemn and important day of the Jewish year. A day devoted to self–examination, and the chance to begin the New Year with a clean slate. It is including: fasting (it’s the most important fasting day. We fast for 25 hours.), intensive prayer, confessing our sins, asking forgiveness from the other and forgiving. 10 days before Yom Kippur, we have the Aseret Yeme Teshuva (Ten Days of Repentance) - these days are seens as an opportinuty for change (after all, these days are meant to clean ourselves from our sins and it’s a great chance to ask for forgiveness and forgive).
Men and women under the age of bar mitzva (13 = for the men) or bat mitzva (12 = for the women) don’t have to fatst on that day, but if - the men at least at the age of 13 and the women are 12, they must fast.
In Israel, all the people greet each other by saying “g’mar chatima tova” or “chatima tova” (a good signature), and when we greet someone to receive a good signature, we wish him that his name will be signed on Yom Kippur in the Book of Life and that his life will be good (Tbh, I don’t know what about the US Jews :sweat_smile:).

Sukkot or Succot (Tabernacles or booth- we celebrate the fall harvest. This holiday also commemorates the time when the Hebrews dwelt in the Sinai wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. We celebrate this holiday for 7 days (and we build a succah).
This holiday is one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (in Hebrew: Shalosh Ha’Regalim).
Together with it, we have Shemini Atzeret (lit. trans: 8th day of assembly), which marks the end of sukkot with an annual prayer for rain (I will explain about prayers).

Simchat Torah - There isn’t much to explain about it. It is a day marking the end and the beginning of the annual Torah reading cycle. We read the Book of Ecclesiastes in the synagogue, but in abroad, they read it on Shemini Atzeret.

The Month of Kislev:

Hannukah (Festival of lights) - it is a festival celebrating liberation from oppression, freedom of worship, and finding light in the darkest of times. On this holiday, we eat foods prepared in oil, mainly: sufganiyah(ot) (jelly doughnut{s}) and potato pancakes (or levivot) commemorating the miracle of oil.
We play the game of dreidel (called a sevivon in Hebrew), symbolizing Jews’ disguising of illegal Torah study sessions as gambling meetings during the period leading to the Maccabees’ revolt - sometimes the Hebrew letters נ ג ה פ are written on a drediel. These letters are a short of " a big miracle was here" in Hebrew:

נס = a miracle
גדול = big
היה = was
פה = here

However, in abroad, Jews say "a big miracle was there" (= in Israel).

The Month of Shevat:

Tu Bi’Shvat - It is celebrated only in Israel. It is “New Year of the Trees" (in Hebrew: Rosh Ha’shana La’Ilanot) celebrated with observances that connect us to our environment and the natural world.
It is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (“tu” {ט"ו} Gematrian translation is 15).
We traditionally eat nuts and dried fruits.

The Month of Adar:

Purim - A day celebrating (and thanking god for) the saving of the Jews from a diabolical plot of destruction, as recounted in the Book of Esther. We read the Book of Esther in the synagogue.
Purim is celebrated among us by:

  1. Exchanging gifts of foods (sometimes drinks) known as mishloach manot. We usually give sweet things - it is very common (at least in Israel).
  2. Donating charity to the poors, known as matanot la’evyonim (= gifts for the poors).
  3. Public recitation (“reading of the megillah”) of the Book (=scroll) of Esther, known as kriat ha-megillah , including listening to it.
  4. Reciting additions to the daily prayers and the grace after meals, known as Al HaNissim
  5. The golden thing :smile::smirk:: Wearing costumes and masks is one of the characteristics of this holiday (you could say that Purim is similiar to halloween at some point, expect we don’t wear scary costumes :sweat_smile:, even though it is also an option for a costume. :blush::grin: (one day before the fast of Esther). Another characteristic - this holiday is a joyous one, as it is said: “Mi’She’Nichnas Adar - Marbin Be’Simcha” (When Adar Begins - we increase our Joy)

The Month of Nisan :

Passover - This is a spring festival celebrated as a commemoration of their liberation by god from slavery in ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses (in Hebrew, he is called Moshe). In the Passover evening, we do the Passover Seder (known also as “Leil Ha’Seder”), which marks the beginning of Passover and we read the Haggadah Shel Pesach and Song of Songs (or Canticles. Usually read in the synagogue). Symbols of this festival: eating matza, Passover Seder, bedikat chametz (the search for chametz before Passover). Also, the firstborn child must fast on the day of Passover night (from the morning until Passover evening itself).
Chametz is the flour of one of five kinds of grain (wheat, barley, spelled, oatmeal and rye) that comes in contact with water, and as a result, it has swelled. Most of the pastries, such as bread, cakes and biscuits, are chametz, as well as five-grain beverages, such as beer, and starch derived from five different kinds of grain (except corn starch). Even something that was made before Passover and it is not a pastry is considered as chametz So, we have a special kashrut for Passover. :grin:

We also have Pesach Sheni (Second Passover).

Between the Months of Nisan-Sivan:

Sefirah (or Sefirat Ha’Omer. The word :sefirah means “counting” {Counting of the Omer}) - is the 49-day period between the Biblical pilgrimage festivals of Passover and Shavuot. The Torah states that the period should be counted in both days and weeks. The day following the 49th day of the period is the festival of Shavuot. Traditionally, the reason cited is that this is in memory of a plague that killed the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva. The period of counting the Omer is also a time of semi-mourning, during which the Halakha (Jewish Law) forbids haircuts, shaving, listening to instrumental music, or conducting weddings, parties, and dinners with dancing (the prohibition of shaving and haircuts is only for men) .
On the 33rd day of in the Omer count (called in Hebrew Lag (ל"ג = 33) Ba’Omer). This day represents the end of the plague is explained as the day of Bar Kokhba’s victory. On this day, many people make bonfires.

The Month of Sivan:

Shavuot (lit. trans: weeks) or the Feast of Weeks - The celebration of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people, also known as the Festival of First Fruits. It is one of the three pilgrimage festivals. Evening of Shavuot begins on 5 Sivan and Shavuot is on 6 Sivan (and outside Israel: 7).
On this holiday, we eat dairy foods. This holoday also known as “Festival of Water”, since we pour/ spray water on each other :sweat_smile:. It is a costum that the North Africa Jews used to do, and today it became common in Israel.

The Month of Av:

Tu Be’Av (in Hebrew: ט"ו באב) - a minor holiday. In Israel it is celebrated as a holiday of love - similiar to Valentine’s Day (by the way, some people in Israel celebrate Valentine’s Day).

Festivals celebrated in Israel:

  • Holocaust Memorial Day
  • Israeli Memorial Day
  • Israeli Independence Day
  • Jerusalem Day
  • Recognizes Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish State of Israel

Festivals celebrated by specific commuities:

Mimuna - It is is a traditional North African Jewish celebration dinner (but today celebrated by the Moroccans), that currently takes place in Israel. It is held the day after Passover, marking the return to eating hametz (leavened bread, etc.), which is forbidden throughout the week of Passover.

Sigd (Prostration)- celebrated by the Ethiopian community. Today it’s celebrated in order to thank god for our being in Israel (the Jew’s country). During the celebration, members of the community fast, recite Psalms, and gather in Jerusalem where Kessim read from the Orit. The ritual is followed by the breaking of the fast, dancing, and general revelry. It’s celebrated 50 days after Yom Kippur.

Fasts:

We have 6 fasts a year, but 4 of them are minor fasts:

  1. The Fast of Gedaliah (on the day after Rosh Ha’Shana)
  2. The Fast of the 10th of Tevet
    In Hebrew, fast is called “ta’tanit” or “tzom”.
  3. The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz
  4. The Fast of Esther (which takes place immediatly before Purim)

The 2 others are the major fasts: Tisha Be’Av (9th of Av) and Yom Kippur.

There are other minor customary fast days, but these are not universally observed:

  • Yom Kippur Katan," (literally “Little Yom Kippur”) the day before every Rosh Chodesh (will explain), if that day is on Saturday, it is moved to Thursday.
  • The Fast of the Firstborn, on the day before Passover, which applies only to first-born sons.

If you want to know more about the Jewish calendar and the months, here are the links:

https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/jewish-calendar.html

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2263459/jewish/Jewish-Months.htm


Marriage:

I would rather not go off into it and give an article that explains it better:

I will tell you that we aren’t allowed to marry non-Jewish people. This is a Torah prohibition. We learn this prohibition from a few sources on the Bible, but I’ll give you 2:

  • Exodus 34:12-16 :

12 Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

15 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.

  • Deuteronomy 7:3-4 :

3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.

There’s a law that says - if the mother is Jewish, so are her children (no matter what’s the father’s religion. Even though, she is prohibited marrying a non-Jew); However, if the mother isn’t Jewish, her children won’t be (so, especially men are prohibited marrying a non-Jewish woman).

Another thing:

Before breaking the glass, the groom says the verse(s): "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget
May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my joy." (Psalms {Tehillim, in Hebrew} 137:5-6).
In Hebrew:
“אם לא אשכחך ירושלים, תשכח ימיני: תדבק לשוני | לחכי אם לא אזכרכי, אם לא אעלה את ירושלים, על ראש שמחתי”
(Im eshcacheh yerushalayeem, tishcakh yemini: tidbak leshoni | le’khiki im lo ezkerekhi, im lo a’ale et yerushalayeem al rosh simchati".

Note: when the orthodox Jews are engaged, they don’t see each other 'till the wedding night.


Foods:

We have Kashrut: Jewish religious dietary laws that tell us the Jews what we are allowed to eat and what we aren’t. Now, I won’t go into details much about it, but I’ll tell you what we can’t eat - pork (of course), shellfish, blood, seafood and more. We also have the shechita (or sh-chita) laws, which tell us how to slaughter :persevere: certain mammals and birds, so we will be able to eat. This law is of the Torah.
In Deuteronomy 14:3-12, it is written what we can’t eat (but there are many foods that we can’t eat):

(3) Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. (4) These are the beasts which ye may eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, (5) the hart, and the gazelle, and the roebuck, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the antelope, and the mountain-sheep. (6) And every beast that parteth the hoof, and hath the hoof wholly cloven in two, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that ye may eat.(7) Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that only chew the cud, or of them that only have the hoof cloven: the camel, and the hare, and the rock-badger, because they chew the cud but part not the hoof, they are unclean unto you; (8) and the swine, because he parteth the hoof but cheweth not the cud, he is unclean unto you; of their flesh ye shall not eat, and their carcasses ye shall not touch. (9) These ye may eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales may ye eat; (10) and whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye shall not eat; it is unclean unto you. (11) Of all clean birds ye may eat. (12) But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the great vulture, and the bearded vulture, and the ospray; (13) and the glede, and the falcon, and the kite after its kinds; (14) and every raven after its kinds; (15) and the ostrich, and the night-hawk, and the sea-mew, and the hawk after its kinds; (16) the little owl, and the great owl, and the horned owl; (17) and the pelican, and the carrion-vulture, and the cormorant; (18) and the stork, and the heron after its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat. (19) And all winged swarming things are unclean unto you; they shall not be eaten. (20) Of all clean winged things ye may eat. (21) Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself; thou mayest give it unto the stranger that is within thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto a foreigner; for thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.

The metioned things on this source AREN’T the only things we Jews cannot eat.

Even though most of the Jews keep kashrut (at least in Israel), there are secular Jews who don’t keep (but in Israel there are secular who do keep kashrut, but they don’t keep Shabbat), and the Reforms who canceled the observance of kashrut when the Reform movement was established.

Food made by a non-Jew isn’t allowed to be eaten, and anything that comes out of prohibited animals (for example: we aren’t allowed to eat pork, so we can’t drink the pig’s milk).
Also, we are forbidden eating milk and meat together. What should a Jew do in that case? If he ate a dairy food and wants to eat meaty, he shall wait for at least half an hour from the moment he finished eating the dairy food; and if he ate something meaty and wants to eat something dairy, he shall wait for 6-6.5 hours.

Note:

When going to public food places, we CANNOT eat there unless there’s a Kashrut certificate confirming that there’s a supervision on the place’s kashrut.


Prayers:

I won’t go into details much about the subjects of prayers, but I’ll tell you that we have three daily prayers:

  1. The morning prayer, or Shacharit, from the Hebrew word shachar (“morning light”).
  2. The afternoon prayer or “Mincha”, named for the flour offering that accompanied sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem (fact: as you know, Jerusalem is a holy city for us, the Jews. In our Bible, Jerusalem is mentioned 600 times)
  3. The evening (or additional) prayer or “Arvit” (like, “of the evening”, “nightfall”)

#The men pray all these 3 prayers a day, but women have to pray at least one prayer a day.
Special prayers:

  • Musaf (= additional) - mainly recited by Orthodox and Conservative congregations on Shabbat (there is an additional prayer for Saturday, and at all, prayers for Saturday)

  • Ne’ila (= closing)- a fifth prayer, is recited only on Yom Kippur.

There are also prayers that are recited only on certain holidays.

We pray towards Jerusalem. However, Jews outside Israel pray towards Israel

Here are links for more information about prayers:

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/136670/jewish/Jewish-Prayers.htm


(I don’t really trust much on wikipedia, but it can help you)

Prayers before eating and drinking:

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/278538/jewish/Food-Blessings-Brachot.htm

And we also have a prayer after meals.


There are different denominations of Judaism

There are 4 known denominations of Judaism: Orthodox, Neo-Orthodox, Reforms and Conservatives.

Here is a link that explains about these denominations:

In my case, since I was born into a Jewish family who belong to the Bet Israel (or Beta Yisrael, as the Israelis say), The religion of the community, which in the language of speech among us, as Amharic speakers is commonly referred to as the Israelite faith, that is Israel Haymanot, it means "Israel’s belief (Haymanot means also “religion”) as opposed to Cristian Haymanot as the Christian faith , and is an absolute monotheistic religion, in one God, the God of Israel.


Languages:

Even though Hebrew is a Semistic language, it doesn’t mean that it is spoken among all the Jews.
We have:

Ladino - an old Spanish that the Sepharadim used to speak. Today, it is less spoken.
Yiddish- spoken by the Ashkenazim, especially by the orthodox (= haredim). Mixed German (mainly old German words), Hebrew and Aramic.
Amharic - The immigrants still use it, but the new generation isn’t use it much - some of them knows some Amharic and some of them don’t use the language at all, but Hebrew.
And, of course Hebrew - Used in Israel. From what I read about the Jews abroad, there are some Jewish schools who teach Hebrew. Also, some Jews outside Israel use Hebrew for: praying and learning the Bible - so to be exact, they use more Biblical Hebrew than the spoken Hebrew in Israel.

Anyway, Jews can speak other languages as their native languages - depends on where they live/come from.


Clothing

The religious woman who are married cover their heads. This is an obligation of the Torah, as it is said:

And the priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: (Numbers 5:18)

The religious men wear kippah on their heads and they wear tzitzit under their shirts.
If you want to create a religious female character, please dress her properly. Same about the male character.
But, as you could guess, not all the men and women do so.

Note: we have 613 commandments, but they are many ones that women are exempt from.


More information:

We go to schools and work on Sundays as it’s our first day of the week. Our rest day is Saturday (mentioned above), and for some - Friday.

About Israelis:

Not gonna lie to you - most of the Israelis can be rude or sound rude. That’s a fact. They don’t know how to stand in lines and some of them have that unapologetic (even sassy, if you want :sweat_smile::smirk:) attitude, but can’t help it :wink::woman_shrugging:t4:. But deep inside, they are good people, so if something happens to you in the street, many people will leave everything they do just to help you stand up and make sure that you are okay, even though they don’t know you - one of the reasons why I like the people in Israel. We care about each other, you can’t even imagine how much. :hugs::blush:.Since Israelis can be very open people, they have no shame to flirt with you :wink:, open a conversation with you and many of us hate lies and hypocrisy - we’d rather be honest and tell you the truth than play with your feelings. :relieved:
Israelis are very warm, welcoming, caring and open people.

Jewish LGBTQ+ people:

Well, as I said above, we Jews are human beings. So, there are Jews who are LGBTQ+ members, even some of them are religious. In Israel, there are organizations for the religious LGBTQ+ people:
Havruta and Bat Kol (they are the only organizations that I heard about, so I don’t know whether there are more expect these organization or not).
So, if you want to create Jewish LGBTQ+ people, you can make some of them religious.

Hope it helped you :blush::wink:


Useful Greetings and Sayings in Hebrew - Part 1
Useful Greetings and Sayings in Hebrew - Part 2
Israeli Slang


Super important notes!

a. Please no, and I mean, no politics!
b. If you want to ask me - feel free to do so, but be respectful.
c. Please try to stay on topic.
d. If I have forgotten something, please let me know.


Some stereotypes about Jews:

Stereotypes - Part 1

Stereotypes - part 2

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It took me way long time to write this :sweat_smile:

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Definitely a must have resource :wink:

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This is so useful! Thank you!!

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Bookmarked! :nerd_face:

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Hey, everyone.
I edited and added more things:

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Another information has been added :smile::blush:

Please let me know if something isn’t clear. :smile: Feel free to ask! :blush:

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I’d love to know a little more about the stereotypes to avoid!

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No problem. I’ll try my best. :blush::smile:
Here are some stereotypes about Jews:

  • I’ll start with a very known stereotype: “A Jewish nose” - there’s no such thing as “a Jewish nose”, if you know what I mean :woman_facepalming:t4:.Yeah, some Jews do have a big nose, but it doesn’t mean that all the Jews have it. This is a particularly strong stereotype. (Well, it could be considered as an Anti-Semitic stereotypes, if you ask me. But, hey, you can create a Jewish character with a big nose as long as it’s not based on that stereotypes. Anyway, all nose shapes are accepted)

  • “Red-haired Jews” - not all the Ashkenazi Jews have red hair. Some Sepharadim can have red hair as well.

  • Here is a common stereotypes: Jews answer a question with a question. Well, some Jews actually do it :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:, but it doesn’t mean that we all do the same.

  • Have you ever heard the term "Jewish wife stereotype" (also known as “the Jewish mother”)? Well, it’s a common stereotype and stock character, used by Jewish and non-Jewish authors, film writer, comadian, etc (just to name some). It’s a really common stereotype mainly among authors and comadians (including Jewish ones). The stereotype usually describe a nagging, overprotective, loud, highly-talktive, manipulative, overbearing mother or wife, who persists in interfering In her children’s lives long after they have become adults.
    It can also involve a overly proud & loving mother who is too overprotective about her children in front of others.

In Hebrew, they also call it “the Polish mother” (Ha’eema ha’polania), but the characteristics of the stereotypes are attributed to the Jewish mother regardless of her racial ethnicity.

  • “Jews always pursue their own interest and not the interest of the country they live in”. It’s so insolent to say such a thing.

  • “JAP (or Jewish American Princess)” - This is already a pejorative stereotype that protays some Jewish women who have a wealthy background as poilted brats, implying selfishness.

I will let you know if there are more.


Note: some stereotypes about Jews can be Anti-Semitic.

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Some Useful Greetings and Sayings in Hebrew - Part 1


Greetings:

Hello - (shalom) שלום.
Another translaton for shalom - peace. The word can also be used as “goodbye”.
Goodbye, see you later - (lehit-raot) להתראות
Today, people usually don’t like to use the word as a translation for “goodbye”, so they say it as a translation for “see you later”. If you want to say “see ya”, you can shorten it and say lehit.
Lit. “to meet”

Good morning - (boker tov) בוקר טוב
Good afternoon - (tzohorayim tovim) צהרים טובים
Good evening - (erev tov) ערב טוב
Good night - (layla tov) לילה טוב

How are you? - there is more than one way to say it in Hebrew:

  1. The first one I am gonna give you depends on whom are you talking to. If you’re talking to:
  • A guy - מה שלומך (ma shlomkha)
  • A girl - מה שלומך. Indeed, it’s written the same, but not pronounced the same. You pronounce it like that: ma shlomekh.
  • Guys (plural) - ma shlomkhem.
  • Girls ( ^ ) - ma shlomkhen.

If somebody asks you “ma shlomkha/shlomekh”, you can either say “ani beseder” (I am okay) or “shlomi tov” (I am good).

Lit. What is your well-being/peace?

Note: If you are talking to both a guy and a girl, you should say “ma shlomkhem”.

  1. "?מה נשמע" (ma nishma) - It means “what’s up?”, “how are you?” . You can also say it to people you don’t know and to your friends.
    Literally means “what’s sounds?”.

  2. ?מה קורה” (ma kore) - Same as ma nishma. It can be used when talking to friends or strangers, but it’s more used when talking to people you know. It is a alternative to ma nishma, but more casual.
    Literally means: What’s happening?, what’s going on?

Thank you - (toda {lekha/lakh}) (תודה (לך.
If you want to say “thank you so/very much”, it is “(תודה רבה (לך” (toda raba (lekha/lakh)
Note: “lekha” is said when you are talking to a juy, and “lakh” is said to a girl. By the way, if you want to say “thank you so much” for more than one guy, it is “toda raba lakhem” (תודה רבה לכם); and if it’s said for more than one girl, it is “lakhen” (לכן).

If you just want to say “thanks”, then “toda” will do.

You’re welcome - there is more than one way to say it:

  • בבקשה (bevakasha). Another meaning: please.

Examples with the word “bevakasha”:

  1. Person A: Toda lekha (thank you)
    Person B: Bevakasha (you’re welcome)

  2. Person A: At yekhola bevakasha le’havi lee et ze? (Can you please bring it to me?)
    Note: the word “at” (את) means “you”, but you say it when you talk to a girl/woman.
    Person B: Camuvan (of course).

  • אין בעד מה (e’in be’ad ma). Literally: it’s not for what ; idiomatically: it’s nothing.

  • על לא דבר (al lo davar). Literally: on no thing ; idiomatically: it’s nothing ; don’t mention it.

Good day/have a good day - (yom tov) יום טוב

Good luck - (be’hatzlakha) בהצלחה. Literally: with a success.
Congratuations -(mazal tov). Literally: good fortune


Jewish greetings:

בעזרת השם (be’ezrat ha’shem) - said when speaking of the future and wanting God’s help. You can say that it’s like the Arabic word “insha’alla”, just on the Jewish version (we call our god “ha’shem”, “Ha’kadosh barukh hu”, etc.).
Translation: with Ha’Shem’s help.
It is mainly said by religious Jews, but it can also be said by masortim or secular Jews.

לבריאות (labriut. Some people say “livriut”. But most would rather say “labriut”) - it’s a Hebrew equivalent of saying “bless you” when someone sneezes.

לחיים (L’khaim) - Cheers. Literally: to life.

רפואה שלמה (refuah shelema) - Get well soon. Lit. (may you have) a full/complete recovery. Said when someone is sick or injured.

שבת שלום (shabbat shalom) - Used any time on Shabbat ( trans. Saturday).
By the way, we call the Saturday nights “motza’ei shabbat” (מוצאי שבת - lit. the going out of Saturday). If you want to say it in short, you can say “motzash” (מוצ"ש)

שבוע טוב (shavua tov) - a good week. Used on Saturday night, even on Sundays to wish someone a good coming week.

חג שמח (chag same’akh) - Happy holiday. You can insert holiday name in the middle. For example: chag Purim same’akh. (by the way, don’t pronounce “same” as in the English word “same”)
Also, we have a greeting for Passover, “chag kasher ve’same’ach”, meaning “happy and kosher holiday”.

צום קל (tzom Kal) - used to wish someone else mainly for Yom Kippur, but it can also be said for other fasting days. We never use “happy” in Yom Kippur, because this day is meant to be somber holiday, not a happy one.

גמר חתימה טובה (gmar chatima tova) - lit. A good final sealing ; idiomatically: May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for good. Said in Yom Kippur.

Greetings for Rosh Ha’Shana:

שיהיה לך/לכם/לכן) שנה טובה ומתוקה) ({she’yihiye lekha/lakh/lakhem/lakhen} shana tova u’metuka) - (may you have) a good and sweet year.

תזכה/י לשנים רבות טובות ונעימות (tizke/i le’shanim rabot u’ne’imot) - May you merit many good and pleasant years. Used to wish someone well for Rosh Ha’Shana and Yom Kippur.

I’ll add later more greetings if needed. So, that’s all for now.
Feel free to ask.

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You just gave me the idea to do this with the thread how to create greek characters :rofl:

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Some Useful Greetings and Sayings in Hebrew - Part 2


Sayings (and words):

Yes - (cen) כן (it’s pronounced as ken, not “sen”)
No - (lo) לא

Question words:

What - (ma) מה
Who - (mi) מי
Why - (lama) למה
How- (e’ikh) איך
Where (eifo) איפה, (le’an) לאן
When - (matay) מתי
How many/how much - (kama) כמה

I’m sorry - (ani mitz-ta’er/et) אני מצטער/ת. If you’re a male, then you should say “(ani) mitz-ta’er”; anf if you’re a female, then it’s “(ani) mitz-ta’eret (אני מצטערת)”.
We’re sorry - (anchnu mitz-ta’arim) אנחנו מצטערים (m.p); (anchnu mitz-ta’arot) אנחנו מצטערות (f.p)

I apologize (or I am apologizing) - (ani mitnatzel/et) אני מתנצל/ת. If you’re a boy/man, then it’s "ani mitnatzel (אני מתנצל); if you’re a girl/woman, then it’s “ani mitnatzelet” (אני מתנצלת).
We apologize - (anachnu mitnatzlim) אנחנו מתנצלים (m.p); (anachnu mitnatzlot).

Excuse me - if it’s said to a man, then it’s “סלח לי” (slach li); and if it’s said to a woman, then it’s “סלחי לי” (silchi li). However, if you are talking to more than one person, then it’s “סלחו לי” (silchu li)

**Welcome -**there are ways of saying “welcome”

Said to a guy - (baruch ha’ba) ברוך הבא
Said to a girl/woman - (brucha ha-ba’ah) ברוכה הבאה
Said to people (m.p) - (bruchim ha’baiim) ברוכים הבאים - it is also said to both men and women
Said to people (f.p) - (bruchot ha’baot) ברוכות הבאות

(literally, “baruch haba” means “blessed is he who comes”).

Example: Bruchim ha’baiim le’Israel (welcome to Israel).

Note: In Hebrew, “Israel” isn’t pronounced as “Izrael” as in English.

  • How to say “I (don’t) love you”?

Well, it depends on: your sex and whom do you say it to.
So, if you’re a boy/man and want to say it to another boy/man, then it’s “אני אוהב אותך” (ani ohev otcha); if you’re a girl/woman and want to say it to a boy/man, then it’s “אני אוהבת אותך” (ani ohevet otcha).
If you’re a boy and want to say it to a girl, then it’s “אני אוהב אותך” (written the same, but the word “אותך” is pronounced as “otach”).
If the word “you” is plural: if you want to say it to more than one person - for example to three or more boys/men or both a boy(s)/man (men) and a girl(S)/woman (women) and you’re a boy/man, then it’s “אני אוהב אתכם” (ani ohev etchem); and if you want to say it to girls/women, then it’s “אני אוהב אתכן” (ani ohev etchen).
But, if you’re a girl and want to say it to boys/men or both a boy(s)/man(men), then it’s “אני אוהבת אתכם”(ani ohevet etchem); but if you want to say it to girls/women, then it’s “אני אוהבת אתכן” (ani ohevet etchen).

We (don’t) love you - (anachnu (lo) ohavim otcha) אנחנו (לא) אוהבים אותך - said to a boy/man by other boys/men or boys/men and girls/women; (anachnu (lo) ohavim otach - written the same) said to a girl; (anachnu (lo) ohavot otcha) אנחנו (לא) אוהבות אותך - said to a boy/man by girls/women; (anachnu (lo) ohavot otach - written the same) - said to a girl/woman.

  • How to say “I hate you”?

If said to a girl by a boy, it’s “אני שונא אותך” (ani sone otach); and if it’s said to a boy, then it’s ani sone otcha (written the same).
If said to a boy by a girl, then it’s “אני שונאת אותך” (ani sonet otcha); and if it’s said to a girl - ani sonet otach.
If it’s said to more than one person (boys/men or to both boys/men and girl(s)/women) by a boy, then it’s “אני שונא אתכם” (ani sone etchem); and if it’s only said to girls/women, then it’s “אני שונא אתכן” (ani sone etchen); if it’s said by a girl to men/boys or to both boys/men and girls/women, then it’s “אני שונאת אתכם” (ani sonet etchem); and if it’s said only to girls/women, then you say “etchen” instead of “etchem”.


Q&A:

  • How do you say: what’s your name?

There is more than one way to say it in Hebrew:

In a casual way:

If you’re talking to a boy/man, then it’s "ma ha’shem shel’cha?" - ?מה השם שלך; if you’re asking a girl/woman that question, then it’s written the same, but the word שלך is pronounced as “shelach”. And, if you want to ask more than one person (e.g: boys, boys and girl), then you should say "ma ha’shem shelachem?" - ?מה השם שלכם; and if you want to ask girls, then you should exchange “m” with “n”, so it’d be “shelachen” (שלכן).

E’ich kor’im lecha*/lach?* - ?איך קוראים לך**. You say lecha when you’re talking to a boy/man; and lach is said when you’re talking to a girl/woman.

Eich kor’im lachem/lachen? - ?איך קוראים לכם/ן (Lakhem - masculine plural; Lakhen - feminine plural. But, if you’re asking both a man/boy and a girl/woman, then you should say “lakhem”)

In a formal way (but not many people use that way to ask someone what’s his name):

When ask a boy/man - ma shimcha (?מה שמך)
When ask a girl/woman - ma shmech (written the same as above)
When ask boys/men or both boys and girls - ma shimchem (?מה שמכם)
When ask only girls/women - ma shimchen (?מה שמכן)

Now, to answer those questions, you have more than one way to answer:

"My name is…"

If they ask you “ma ha’shem shelcha/shelach?"/"ma shimcha/shmech?” (it’s the same), then you can say “ha’shem sheli hu… (…השם שלי הוא)” or “sh’mi… (…שמי)”.

Another way: if they ask you “e’ich kor’im lecha/lach?”, then say “kor’iim li…” (…קוראים לי).

  • Where are you from?

If you ask a boy/man, then it’s "?מאיפה אתה" (me-ei-fo a-ta?)
If you ask a girl/woman, then it’s "?מאיפה את"* (me-ei-fo at?)
If you’re asking people (men/boys or both boys/men and girls/women), then it’s “?מאיפה אתם” (me-ei-fo atem?); but, if you’re asking only girls/women, then you should say אתן (aten), instead of atem (?מאיפה אתן)

I am from… - (ani me…) …אני מ

Examples:

  1. Person A: Shalom lecha, adoni. Me’eifo a-ta? (Hello, sir. Where are you from)
    Person B: *Ani me’artzot ha’brit (I am from United States. When we write US in Hebrew, it’s frequently abbreviated as ארה"ב (if you want to write it fully, then it’s “ארצות הברית”)
  2. Person A: Hi, geveret. Ha’iim at tayeret? (Hi, miss. Are you a tourist?)
    The Miss: Ken, ani tayeret mi’sfarad (Yes, I am (a tourist) from Spain).

Note: don’t pronounce “me” as the English word “me”.

  • How to say “do you speak…?”

If it’s said to a boy/man - ({ha-iim} a-ta medaber…) ?..האם) אתה מדבר)
If it’s said to a girl/woman - ({ha-iim} at medaberet…) ?.. האם) את מדברת)
If it’s said to either boys/men or both boys/men and girls/women - ({ha-iim} atem medabrim)
?.. האם אתם מדברים
If it’s said to girls/women - ({ha-iim} aten medabrot) ?.. האם) אתן מדברות)

"I (don’t) speak…" - (ani {lo} medaber/et…) …אני (לא) מדבר/ת
We (don’t) speak… - (anachnu {lo} medabrim/medabrot…) …אנחנו (לא) מדברים/ות

Another way of asking “do you speak…”: instead of “medaber/et (מדבר/ת)”, you can use the verb “dover/et” (דובר/ת), which literally means “speaker”.


Here are some things that can help you :wink::blush::grin:

Made by me.

About the "letter “ch” - it’s not pronounced as “sh” or “ch”. It can either be “ח” (het) or כ/ך (haf/haf sofit).

Watch those videos. They’re helpful.


Extra tips:

  1. The Hebrew language is written from right to left.
  2. Unlike English, we don’t have tense auxiliary verbs. But, we have basic sounds and forms to express tenses, depending on the pronoun and tense.
  3. Every noun in Hebrew has a gender, either masculine or feminine (there are also some unisex nouns). Even numbers have a gender. Example: we have two ways of saying the number 3: shalosh (f) - shlosha (m). We say “shalosh” when the noun is feminine (e.g: Yesh li shalosh achayot - I have three sisters); and we say “shlosha” when the noun is masculine (e.g: Hayom halachti li’shlosha mekomot - Today, I went to three places).
    So, if you ask me how to say something to somebody in Hebrew, then be specific (to whom the sentence is said and by who).


That’s all for now. There’s a chance I’ll add more later (took me long time to write all of this :yawning_face::yawning_face:)

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@ShanniiWrites, here are more stereotypes :blush: :

  1. “The Haredim do not attend Core Studies, uneducated (like, they only learn the Hebrew Bible, Talmud, Mishna…), their skills are impaired and they will have difficulty integrating into the job market.”
    But, it’s definitely not true! They are many Haredim who have a full Bagrut certificate and they do study other things, and not only Torah.

  2. “The Haredim, especially the men, don’t work. :expressionless:; all the Haredi women work either as teachers or as kindergarten teacher.:expressionless::expressionless:

  3. “Haredi society, and Jewish in general, put education first.”

  4. “All the Haredim live in slums.”

  5. "Haredim do not live on rent. The parents buy apartments for the young couples. "
    Well, it’s not completely true. Some young couples do live on rent, and some buy apartments with their own money.


Other stereotypes:

  1. “Israelis lack manners”

  2. “Israelis have prickly and unfriendly personalities” - well, just because some Israelis can come off as prickly, it doesn’t mean that they are like that inside. This is simply their exterior and a reflection of the Israeli mentality. But believe me, once you get to know some, you’ll see that they are some of the warmest and most altruistic people you’ll meet. :wink::blush:

  3. “Israel is a country of white Jewish” - Wrong! Israel is an incredibly diverse and multicultural nation (a reason for why I like it so much :blush::smiley:). We Jews come in no specific shape, color or size.
    There are hundreds of thousands of Jews whose parents and/or their grandparents/great grandparents who came from many countries in North Africa, such as Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Libya etc.
    (in Israel, the majority of the Jewish population are mizrachim - who are Jews of North African and Middle Eastern descent). There are also over 140,000 Ethiopians Jews. Big time, Jews are from all over the world.
    In addition, there are ethnic minorities, like Arab (Muslims and Christians), Bedouins, Circassions.
    (By the way, not all the Muslims and Christians in Israel are Arab. Not necessarily)

  4. “Israel is a conservative and religious country” - It is true that Orthodox Judaism holds an institutionalized influence over various aspects of Israeli life (for example, there’s a law prohibiting the rearing of pigs, but there isn’t a law prohibiting the import of pork from abroad - there are some non-kosher supermarkets and restaurants).
    However, despite its significant tussle with religious elements, secularism and liberalism dominate in Israel, for instance - Israel hosts in Tel Aviv the pride festival and you could also find pork dishes in Tel Aviv, even in Jerusalem.

  5. " Israelis hate Arabs, and vice versa" - actually, the truth is very different. Of course, after decades of violent conflict, deep-rooted suspicions and downright hatred exist on both sides, I won’t lie. However, for the most part, Jewish in Israel do want to live on peace with the Arab-Israeli neighbors (and vice verse, I hope) - even some Jews refer to them as cousins. All over the country, Arabs and Jews mix and live alongside each other, and small acts of coexistence happen every day without anyone blinking an eye

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