Welcome to Part 3! (Read part 2 here.)
Looking for some Hebrew sayings and idioms? Good! Knowing these will add to your Hebrew so that you can speak express yourself better.
In this post, I’ll cover the next batch of Hebrew sayings (or idioms – whatever you want to call them) and provide English translations and explanations so you know when and how to use them.
(And if you want to REALLY learn Hebrew with Audio & Video lessons from real teachers, be sure to check out HebrewPod101.com and click here)
21. Love thy neighbor as you love thyself
- Love thy neighbor as you love thyself
- Ve’ahav’ta lere’acha ka’mocha
Do you love yourself? Well, you should love your neighbor as well even if your differences are great. You’ll never know when they can help you. Plus, it’s only one life – we’re all humans – and we all have the same final destination. So, treat them kindly. Common proverb from Biblical times.
22. Don’t do unto others what you want done to you
- Don’t do unto others what you want done to you
- Ma she’sanu a’lecha al ta’ase la’chaver’cha
Very common proverb that’s available in many languages. Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you. Or, simply, treat others how you want to be treated.
23. Do not judge a book by its cover in Hebrew
- Do not judge a book by its cover
- Al tis’takel ba’kankan, ela be’ma she’yesh
This is the all-too-common saying that you already know. Basically, you can’t judge something by looks or first impressions. Whether it’s a book, a person, an animal and such. There’s more to it if you give it time.
Same thing with learning Hebrew. Don’t write it off as “hard” without persisting with it.
24. All Jews are responsible for the other
- All Jews are responsible for the other
- Kol Yisrael arevim ze ba’ze
This is kind of similar to the Igbo and Yoruba proverb – It takes a whole village to raise a child. In other words, the community must look out for itself to succeed. So, every Jew is responsible for the other. They must help, educate and be responsible for the well being of their own.
Why? One can’t go about it alone. No-one succeeds alone. It makes for a strong, rich community.
25. Who is rich? The one who appreciates what he has
- Who is rich? The one who appreciates what he has
- Eizu ashore? Ha’same’ach be’chelko.
Here’s what most don’t have – enough. Greedy people want more. Poor people want more. Everybody needs more. But rich is the person who appreciates what he has… and has enough.
Rich because he’s not tormented by wanting more. He has the sanity and calm that comes with satisfaction of having enough.
26. Who is wise? He who learns from all people
- Who is wise? He who learns from all people
- Eizehu chacham? Ha’lomed mi’kol adam
There’s always something to learn from everybody. With some people – you learn what to do correctly. With others and with their mistakes, you learn what not to do. So, everyone can be learned from – if you’re wise enough to see the lessons in each person.
27. Who is mighty? He who subdues his passions.
- Who is mighty? He who subdues his passions
- Eize’hu gibor? Ha’kovesh et yitsro
In this case, passions refer to emotions and feelings – not the pursuits and goals of life. If you cannot control your emotions, then you’re not mighty. You’re reacting to the world around you and are a victim of things that happen to you.
Mighty is the person that controls their emotions and chooses their reactions.
28. If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
- If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
- Im ein ani li, mi li?
If you don’t ask for help, who will help you? If you do nothing, then who will do it for you? This proverb stresses the importance of you taking action because no-one else will do it for you.
29. And if not now, when?
- And if not now, when?
- Ve’im lo achsav, ei’matay?
This is a great Hebrew saying that’s perfect for procrastinators. Especially Hebrew learners. Have you asked yourself “If not now… then when?” Sometime ago, you were too young. Now, you’re “busy.” Then, you’ll be old. Then, you’ll be dead.
So… if not now, then when?
30. Say little and do much
- Say little and do much
- Emor me’at ve’aseh harbe
Ever met a person that told you everything they were going to do. Their plans. Dreams. Goals. AND they want to be a movie star on top of it all. Well, chances are, they won’t get it done. Too much talking… and not enough doing.
Great Hebrew proverb that carries this reminder.
And that’s it for part 3 of Hebrew sayings.
What do you think?
Be sure to leave a comment and let me know. If you want, print this article for your own review so you can come back to it later. It’s better to have a physical copy.
– The Main Junkie
P.S. I highly recommend this if you want to learn to Hebrew. Learn to speak and understand Hebrew with with Audio & Video lessons from real teachers – Sign up for free at HebrewPod101 and start learning. They have new lessons every week.