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    Rosh Hashanah Giveaway!

    Giveaway time! A sweet prize for a sweet New Year. One winner will receive: 

    Yay! To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter below with your email, and follow ModernTribe on Facebook and Instagram for more chances to win. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    No purchase necessary to win. Giveaway open to US residents only. 

    What's on a Mezuzah Scroll, Anyway?

    mezuzah scrolls


    Pop quiz: which doors in your home should have mezuzah cases? Stumped? We are here to help. Like many things in Judaism (and on Facebook), it's complicated.

    The general rule is that every room except the bathroom needs a mezuzah. But of course, there are exceptions. The doors of dressing rooms and any completely open room without a door doesn't need one either. And if the room is smaller than 36 square feet, aka some NYC apartments, don't bother. Some surprises? Garage doors, sliding glass doors, and french doors are all fair game. 

    kate spade oak street mezuzah

    Why do we hang a mezuzah (plural: mezuzot)?
    It's a fun tradition, one that blesses the home and reminds us every day of our Judaism. The case is a vessel to hold the important scroll, so pick something fun that reflects your style. Something designer or cute for kids or classic or even glitter!

    What is the prayer in the mezuzah?
    The kosher scroll aka klaf, has a verse from the Shema including: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord (is) our God, the Lord is One".  The kosher scrolls are pricey because the words are handwritten by an expert scribe who is trained in the many laws involved in writing a mezuzah. Every letter must be perfect, and even one crack can make the whole scroll invalid.  


    On the back of the scroll, it says one form of God's name: Sha-dai which also means "Guardian of the doorways of Israel”. Since Sha-dai begins with the letter shin, that's why many mezuzot are inscribed with a shin. 

    LEGO mezuzah

    How do you hang a mezuzah?
    A mezuzah should be hung on the top third of the right side of the door. Slanted so the top of the mezuzah faces into the room. It's traditional to touch it as you enter the room, and some people kiss their fingers after. 

    Shop Mezuzah Cases

    Shop Kosher Scrolls

    The Best Yiddish Words

    "If you don't have anything nice to say, say it in Yiddish!" ~ Yiddish Proverb

    Shop Yiddish Gifts

    Yiddish is arguably the most fun language ever. It's both humorous, dark, and largely insulting. Spoken by Ashkenazi Jews, Yiddish is similar to German, with some Hebrew and other Slavic languages thrown in for kicks. How many ways to call someone an “idiot” does one person need? Apparently a lot! Here are some of the best Yiddish words ever:

    • Balaboosta: The ultimate Jewish homemaker – she cooks, she cleans, she fries latkes. She's the best!
    • Bubbe: Grandmother. We love our Bubbe!
    • Bubbeleh: A term of endearment, darling. Bubbe often calls her Grandkids “bubbelehs”.
    • Bupkis: Worthless or nada. As in, “I can't believe you got me bubkis from ModernTribe for Hanukkah”
    • Chutzpah: Nerve. As in, “It took a lot of chutzpah for you to take the last bagel!” (Not a compliment.)
    • Klutz: A clumsy person. 
    • Kvell: To beam with pride. As in, “Bubbe was kvelling when I started my own online Judaica store!”
    • Kvetch: To complain. As in, “If Mordechai had studied as much as he kvetched about the MCTs, he would have gotten into Med School!”
    • Mazel Tov: Literally means “good luck” but it is an expression used to express “congratulations”. 
    • Mensch: A good person. As in, “What a mensch you are for getting me a present from ModernTribe!”
    • Meshugina: Craziness. 
    • Nosh: To snack. As in, “Oy vey, I can’t stop noshing on bagels!"
    • Oy vey: An expression of dismay. As in, “Oy vey, I can't believe you ate the last bagel!”
    • Plotz: To collapse. As in, “I just ran all the way to Ess-a-Bagel to pick up bagels before they closed. I am so tired I could plotz!”
    • Putz: A vulgar word for a part of the male anatomy, or an idiot. Ironically it means both.
    • Schlep: To drag. As in, “I schlepped these bagels all the way home from NYC, the least you could do is toast me one with some schmear!
    • Shlemiel: A clumsy person, similar to a klutz. As in, “You shlemiel! You knocked the last bagel onto the floor!:
    • Shlimazel: Someone with bad luck. As in the person whose bagel got knocked over! Fun fact: On “Laverne and Shirley”, they sing “shlemiel” and “shlimazel” in the show opening hopscotch chant.
    • Shmooze: To make small talk. You would often shmooze at a cocktail party.
    • Schmuck: See putz.
    • Schmutz: Dirt. As in, “You have a little schmutz on your face.”
    • Shtup: To have sex with. I don’t think you need a sample sentence…
    • Shvitz: Sweat. As in, "I ran home to see if my ModernTribe package came and now I'm shvitzing!"
    • Tchatchke: A knick-knack, or a young floozy. Either way!
    • Yenta: A female gossip. As in, “She yaps non-stop about who is shtupping who. What a yenta!

    Shop Yiddish Gifts