Quick Guide To Hebronics

Unofficial rules for talking Hebronics, first recognized as a valid language in New York City.


The New York City Public Schools have officially declared Jewish English, now dubbed Hebronics, as a second language.

Backers of the movement say the city schools are the first in the nation to recognize Hebronics as a valid language and a significant attribute of American culture.

According to a linguistics professor at Brooklyn College and renowned Hebronics scholar, the sentence structure of Hebronics derives from middle and eastern European language patterns, as well as Yiddish.

The Professor explains, “In Hebronics, the response to any question is usually another question with a complaint that is either implied or stated.”

Thus “How are you?” would be answered, “How should I be, with my bad feet?”

He says that Hebronics is a superb linguistic vehicle for expressing sarcasm or skepticism.

An example is the repetition of a word with “sh” or “shm” at the beginning: “Mountains, shmountains. Stay away. You should want a nosebleed?”

Another Hebronics pattern is moving the subject of a sentence to the end, with its pronoun at the beginning: “It’s beautiful, that dress.”

He says one also sees the Hebronics verb moved to the end of the sentence.

Thus the response to a remark such as “He’s slow as a turtle,” would be: “Turtle, shmurtle! Like a fly in Vaseline he walks.”

He provided the following examples of Hebronics:

Question: “What time is it?”
English answer: “Sorry, I don’t know.”
Hebronic answer: “What am I, a clock?”

Remark: “I hope things turn out okay.”
English response: “Thanks.”
Hebronic response: “I should be so lucky!”

Remark: “Hurry up. Dinner’s ready.”
English response: “Be right there.”
Hebronic response: “Alright already, I’m coming. What am I a race car?”

Remark: “I like the tie you gave me. I wear it all the time.”
English response: “Glad you like it.”
Hebronic response: “So what’s the matter; you don’t like the other ties I gave you?”

Remark: “Sarah and I are engaged.”
English response: “Congratulations!”
Hebronic response: “She could stand to lose a few pounds!”

Question: “Would you like to go riding with us?”
English answer: “Just say when!”
Hebronic response: “Riding, shmiding! Do I look like a cowboy?”

To the guest of honor at a birthday party:
English toast: “Happy birthday!”
Hebronic toast: “A year smarter you should become.”

Remark: “It’s a beautiful day.”
English response: “Sure is.”
Hebronic response: “So the sun is out; what else is new?”

Answering a phone call from a son:
English answer: “It’s been a while since you called.”
Hebronic response: “You didn’t wonder if I’m dead already?”

Priest, Rabbi and a Ham Sandwich

Priest and Rabbi talk about a ham sandwich.

ham sandwich temptation
Temptations of a ham sandwich

A priest and a rabbi were sitting next to each other on an airplane.

After a while, the priest turned to the rabbi and asked, “Is it still a requirement of your faith to abstain from pork?”

The rabbi responded, “Yes, that is still one of our laws.

“The priest then asked, “Have you ever eaten pork?”

To which the rabbi replied, “Yes, on one occasion I did succumb to temptation and tasted a ham sandwich.”

The priest nodded in understanding and went on with his reading.

A while later, the rabbi spoke up and asked the priest, “Father, is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?”

The priest replied, “Yes, that is still very much a part of our faith.”

The rabbi then asked him, “Father, have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?”

The priest replied, “Yes, rabbi, on one occasion I was weak and broke my Faith.”

The rabbi nodded understandingly and remained silent, thinking, for about five minutes.

Finally, the rabbi said, “Beats the crap out of a ham sandwich, doesn’t it?”

The Wailing Wall In Jerusalem

Yaffa, the journalist, interviews an old man praying before the historic Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

Yaffa, a journalist assigned to the Jerusalem bureau takes an apartment overlooking the historic Wailing Wall.

Every day when she looks out, she sees an old bearded Jewish man praying vigorously.

Certain he would be a good interview subject, the journalist goes down to the wall, and introduces herself to the old man.

She asks, “You come every day to the Wall. Sir, how long have you done that and what are you praying for?”

The old man replies. “I have come here to pray every day for 25 years.

In the morning I pray for world peace and for the brotherhood of man.

I go home, have a cup of tea, and I come back and pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth.

And very, very important, I pray for peace and understanding between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

The journalist is impressed.

“How does it make you feel to come here every day for 25 years and pray for these wonderful things?” she asks.

The old man replies, calmly, “Like I’m talking to a wall.”