Jewish / Hebrew / Israeli Proverbs

Jewish proverbs are short expressions of popular wisdom in Jewish culture. Jews took up many proverbs of their hosting cultures where Jews lived for generations. If a host culture’s proverb is taken up in one or more its Jewish communities and later written down as a proverb

Jews (יְהוּדִים Yehudim) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.

(Don’t) sell the sun to buy a candle.

The example of the chevra kadisha, the Jewish burial society, Prague, 1772

Jewish Proverbs

A bachelor should not be a match-maker. – Jewish Proverbs

A basic rule of caution: Don’t be overly cautious. – Jewish Proverbs

A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return. – Jewish Proverbs

A broken nail cannot be straightened. – Jewish Proverbs
(i.e. It is useless to preach to one completely spoiled)

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Jewish Proverbs

A dead cow gives no milk. – Jewish Proverbs

A defect – the bride is too pretty. – Jewish Proverbs
(Usually said when some one is seeking non-existent faults.)

A defendant’s confession is worth a hundred witnesses. – Jewish Proverbs

A dog can’t be a butcher, and a bachelor can’t be a matchmaker.

A dream which has not been interpreted is like an unread letter. – Jewish Proverbs

A drowning man will grab even for the point of a sword. – Jewish Proverbs

A fault-finder complains even that the bride is too pretty. – Jewish Proverbs

A fool believes everything he hears. – Jewish Proverbs

A friend you have to buy; enemies you get for nothing. – Jewish Proverbs

A full sack stands upright. – Jewish Proverbs

A good dream is better than a bad one. – Jewish Proverbs

A good name is more valuable than a velvet garment. – Moroccan Jewish Proverbs

A good son-in-law is like the acquisition of a new son; a bad one is like the loss of your daughter. – Jewish Proverbs

A good tree bears good fruit. – Jewish Proverbs

Jewish Proverbs

A good wife and health are a man’s best wealth. – Jewish Proverbs

A half-truth is a whole lie. – Jewish Proverbs

A healthy person instinctively loves life. – Jewish Proverbs

A heavy purse makes a light heart. – Jewish Proverbs

A house divided against itself – its future is to be destroyed. – Jewish Proverbs

A leader is not necessarily one who knows the way but one who thinks he knows the way. – Jewish Proverbs

A little child weighs on your knee, a big one on your heart. – Estonian Jewish Proverbs

A little fire burns up a great deal of corn. – Jewish Proverbs

A man in love is a happy man. – Jewish Proverbs

A man is not allowed to eat before he feeds his animal. – Jewish Proverbs

A man should stay alive if only out of curiosity. – Jewish Proverbs

A man too good for the world is no good for his wife. – Jewish Proverbs

A man’s clothes hint at his inner character. – Jewish Proverbs

A mother understands what a child does not say. – Jewish Proverbs

A myrtle standing among reeds still retains the name of myrtle. – Jewish Proverbs

A nation’s future lies in its past. – Jewish Proverbs

A people’s legends reveal its character more clearly than its acts and events. – Jewish Proverbs

A person can understand things deeply through proverbs. – Jewish Proverbs

A person cannot create even a tiny worm, but he fashions thousands of idols. – Jewish Proverbs

A person is lonely until he finds himself. – Jewish Proverbs

A person should not derive pleasure from his modesty. – Jewish Proverbs

A person should walk down the middle of the path, and not veer to one side or the other. – Jewish Proverbs

A person who lives among the righteous and sins is worse than one who lives among the wicked and sins. – Jewish Proverbs

A person who travels knows a great deal. – Jewish Proverbs

A person worries about the past, distresses about the present, and fears the future. – Jewish Proverbs

A pessimist, confronted with two bad choices, chooses both. – Jewish Proverbs

A quotation at the right moment is like bread to the hungry. – Jewish Proverbs

A raven that brings fire to its nest. – Jewish Proverbs

A shut mouth catches no flies. -Irish Jewish Proverbs

A slave shows his true character, not while he is enslaved but when he becomes a master. – Jewish Proverbs

A small hole can sink a big ship. – Jewish Proverbs

A store is a golden chain. – Jewish Proverbs
(Any business, though profitable, keeps its owner tied down.)

A time to keep silent and a time to speak. – Jewish Proverbs

A wife is like a defensive wall for her husband. – Jewish Proverbs

A wolf loses his hair, but not his nature. – Jewish Proverbs

A woman’s voice arouses lust in a man. – Jewish Proverbs

A young man has to live, an old man wishes to live. – Jewish Proverbs

A young tree bends, an old tree breaks. – Jewish Proverbs

A bad partner is worse than rain — the latter makes you go home, while the former makes you go outside. – Jewish Proverbs

A deaf man heard a dumb man recount that a blind man saw a lame one run very fast. – Jewish Proverbs

A guest and a fish start reeking on the third day. – Jewish Proverbs

A man should live at least for curiosity. – Jewish Proverbs

According to the camel is the load. – Jewish Proverbs
[Great people get bigger burdens.]

Adam was the first lucky man as he had no mother-in-law. – Jewish Proverbs

Advice often comes too late when a thing is done. – Jewish Proverbs

Against stupidity; God Himself is helpless. – Jewish Proverbs

All people are good from afar. – Jewish Proverbs

All things grow with time — except grief. – Jewish Proverbs

Always marry for love -but it’s as easy to fall in love with An angry man sleeps alone. – Jewish Proverbs

Among those who stand, do not sit; among those who sit, do not stand. Among those who laugh, do not weep; among those who weep, do not laugh. – Jewish Proverbs

An ill marriage is a spring of ill fortune. – Jewish Proverbs

An intelligent mind will search for knowledge. – Jewish Proverbs

An intelligent person is like a strong oak: he rides over his misfortune. – Jewish Proverbs

Any Jew knows what’s better. – Jewish Proverbs

Anyone who teases you loves you. – Jewish Proverbs

As he thinks in his heart, so he is. – Jewish Proverbs

As long as the cow can be milked, it is not brought to the slaughterer. – Jewish Proverbs

As men age, their views change. – Jewish Proverbs

As you do, so will be done to you. – Jewish Proverbs

As you make your bed so will you lie on it. – Russian Jewish Proverbs

As you teach, you learn. – Jewish Proverbs

Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house. – Jewish Proverbs

Ask your enemy for counsel and do the reverse. – Jewish Proverbs

At different ages, a person feels differently. – Jewish Proverbs

At times you’ll find a people’s outlook in its proverbs. – Jewish Proverbs

Attend no auctions if you have no money. – Jewish Proverbs

Bad servants ask for advice after the deed is done. – Jewish Proverbs

Baseless hate is a serious disease. – Jewish Proverbs

Be a pauper rather than a liar. – Jewish Proverbs

Jewish Proverbs

Be careful not to cause woman to weep, for God counts her tears. – Jewish Proverbs

Be exceeding lowly of spirit, for the hope of man is the worm. – Jewish Proverbs

Be sure to send a lazy man for the angel of death. – Jewish Proverbs

Be the day weary or be the day long, at last it ringeth to evensong. – Jewish Proverbs

Be not sweet, or else you’ll be eaten. Be not bitter, or else you’ll be spat out. – Jewish Proverbs

Because of money, the world became ugly. – Jewish Proverbs

Being gray of hair means you’re simply old, not wise. – Jewish Proverbs

Being too nice can cost a lot. • Too nice can cost a lot of money. – Jewish Proverbs

Benevolence does not impoverish all and sundry. – Yiddish Proverbs

Better a Jew without a beard, than a beard without a Jew. – Jewish Proverbs

Better an easy death than a hard life. – Jewish Proverbs

Better ask twice than go wrong once. – German Jewish Proverbs

Better late ripe and bear, than early blossom and blast. – Jewish Proverbs

Better to get from God by the spoonful than from Man by the bushel. – Jewish Proverbs

Better wit than wealth. – Jewish Proverbs
[Wit: Intelligence; mind, astute mental soundness and so on, including “clever and apt humour”. Cf. Merriam-Webster]

Between bad company and loneliness, the latter is preferable. – Sephardic Jewish Proverbs

Beware of the person who gives you advice according to his own interests. – Jewish Proverbs

Blick auf die Maid, und nicht aufs Kleid. – Jewish Proverbs

Cancer–schmancer! – as long as you’re healthy. – Jewish Proverbs

Charity and pride have different aims, yet both feed the poor. – Jewish Proverbs

Charity is the spice of riches. – Jewish Proverbs

Chickens come home to roost. – Jewish Proverbs

Choose your companion before (taking) the road. – Arabian Jewish Proverbs

Choosing between two evils, a pessimist picks both. – Jewish Proverbs

Commit a sin twice and it will not seem a crime. – Jewish Proverbs

Consider the mother, woo the daughter. – Bulgarian Jewish Proverbs

Constant dripping eats away at a stone. – Jewish Proverbs

Das letzte Hemd soll man versetzen und ein Ojscher (reicher Mann) soll man sein. – Jewish Proverbs

Dead men usually tell no tales. – Jewish Proverbs
[Saul speaking with the dead Samuel]

Death does not knock at the door. – Jewish Proverbs

Deeds count; words not so much. – Jewish Proverbs

Deliver your words not by numbers but by weight. – Jewish Proverbs

Descend a step in choosing your wife. – Jewish Proverbs

Dieselbe Sonne bleicht die Leinewand, und bräunt das Gesicht. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not abandon us when we grow old. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not ask questions of fairy tales. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not be wise in words – be wise in deeds. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not despise an ignorant man who strives to gain knowledge, or a man of ill repute who strives to redeem his past. – Jewish Proverbs, [Midrash Proverbs 7]

Do not drain the waters of your well while other people may desire them. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not grow accustomed to uttering oaths. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not limit you children to your own learning, for they were born in a different time. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not make yourself so big, you are not so small. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not measure the tail of a live wolf. – Bulgarian Jewish Proverbs

Do not meet troubles half-way. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not place an obstacle before a blind person. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not pour out your dirty water ere you have clean water. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not put all your cheese into one fritter. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not say, “I’ll study when I’m free” – you may never be free. Also: say not, ‘When I have leisure I will study; perchance you may not have leisure.’ – Jewish Proverbs

Do not side with the majority to do wrong. – Jewish Proverbs

Do not swallow poison because you know an antidote. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t be too sweet, or else you will be eaten up; but don’t be too bitter, or else you will be spitted out. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t make a fence more expensive or more important than what it is fencing. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t open a shop unless you know how to smile. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t trust someone who tells you all of his troubles and keeps you from all of his joys. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t ask questions of fairy tales. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t bargain when you don’t have any money. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t be choleric and you shall not sin. – Jewish Proverbs
[Getting furious may weaken our judgement.]

Don’t be sweet, lest you be eaten up; don’t be bitter, lest you be spewed out. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t be too sweet lest you be eaten up; don’t be too bitter lest you be spewed out. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t be too sweet, or else you will be eaten up; but don’t be too bitter, or else you will be spitted out. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t enter the forest if you fear leaves. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t follow the majority in the wrong path, because the majority are not always wise. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t gut your fish till you get them. – Scottish Jewish Proverbs

Don’t live in a town where there are no doctors. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t look for more honor than your learning merits. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t make a fence more expensive or more important than what it is fencing. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t make a toil of pleasure. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t open a shop unless you know how to smile. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t pick a wasp out of a cream-jug. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t put all your money into one corner. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t sell the sun to buy a candle. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t shame an oldster, for we’ll all be counted among them. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t spit into the well – you might drink from it later. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t throw out an old friend for a new one. – Jewish Proverbs

Don’t withhold the good where it is due, if it’s in your power to do it. – Jewish Proverbs

Drive your horse with oats – not with a whip. – Jewish Proverbs

Dying men speak true. – Jewish Proverbs

Each child brings his own blessing into the world, presumably. – Jewish Proverbs

Eat to live, at least. – Jewish Proverbs

Eat your fill before you get children.Iß dich satt, bevor du Kinder kriegst. – Jewish Proverbs

Eggs may be much cleverer than chickens, but they go rotten too quickly. – Jewish Proverbs

Even butter and honey make you sick in time. – Bulgarian Jewish Proverbs

Even in this world, one can taste the joy of paradise. – Jewish Proverbs

Even the most expensive clock still shows sixty minutes in every hour. – Jewish Proverbs

Even the weather bureau is sometimes right. – Jewish Proverbs

Every man knows that he must die, but no one believes it. – Jewish Proverbs

Everyone complains about a lack of money, but none complain about a lack of brains. – Jewish Proverbs

Everything should be done within reason. – Jewish Proverbs

Experience is the mother of wisdom. – Jewish Proverbs

Experience is what we call the accumulation of our mistakes. – Yiddish Proverbs

Experience is the word people use to call their mistakes. – Jewish Proverbs

Faith is not a whole series of axioms but a whole way of life. – Jewish Proverbs

Fear a goat in front of you, a horse behind you, and a fool all around. – Jewish Proverbs

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and morality. – Jewish Proverbs

First improve yourself, and then judge others. – Jewish Proverbs

First learn and then teach. – Jewish Proverbs

First learn, and then form opinions. – Jewish Proverbs

First mend yourself, and then mend others. – Jewish Proverbs

Flattery sits in the parlour when plain dealing is kicked out of doors. – Jewish Proverbs

Folly is a joy only to a person lacking in understanding. – Jewish Proverbs

Fools love to eat the wrong sorts of sweets. – German Jewish Proverbs

For the benefit of the flowers, we water the thorns, too. – Egyptian Jewish Proverbs

For the wise, old age is the harvest season. – Hassidic Jewish Proverbs

Frag’ einen Feind um Rat, und mach es umgekehrt. – Jewish Proverbs

From a foolish judge, a quick sentence. – Jewish Proverbs

From death one cannot hide. – Russian Jewish Proverbs

From one who has inherited, not from one for whom men plunder, [accept gifts]. – Jewish Proverbs

From the black earth there grows the finest grain. – Jewish Proverbs

Für die Wahrheit bekommt man Hiebe. – Jewish Proverbs

Generations come and go, but controversy lasts. – Jewish Proverbs

Gentle speech increases the number of friends. – Jewish Proverbs

Gluttony has killed more people than famine has. – Jewish Proverbs

God cannot be everywhere at once, that’s why He created mothers. – Jewish Proverbs

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers. – Jewish Proverbs

God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers. – Jewish Proverbs

God created man in His own image. – Jewish Proverbs

God gave man two ears and one mouth, so listen more and talk less. – Jewish Proverbs

God gives burdens also shoulders. – Jewish Proverbs

God help me rise to my feet; a fall is what I can do myself. – Jewish Proverbs

God is a father; luck is a stepfather. – Jewish Proverbs

God is closest to those with broken hearts. – Jewish Proverbs

God protect the poor — at least from expensive sins. – Jewish Proverbs

Good manners [often] supersede learning. – Jewish Proverbs

Growing old, man’s sight worsens, but this allows him to see more. – Jewish Proverbs

Habits are at first cobwebs, and at last cables. – Jewish Proverbs

Happiness is found in the heart. – Persian Jewish Proverbs

Happiness is more than gold. – Jewish Proverbs

Jewish Proverbs

Happy is she who conducts herself honorably. – Jewish Proverbs

Having gone into the city, conform to its laws. – Jewish Proverbs

He is at ease who has enough. – Jewish Proverbs

He that can’t endure the bad, will not live to see the good. – Jewish Proverbs

He that does not bring up his son to some honest calling and employment, brings him up to be a thief. – Jewish Proverbs

He that eats till he is sick must fast till he is well. – Jewish Proverbs

He that goes for wool may chance to come home shorn. – Scottish Jewish Proverbs

He that knows nothing, doubts nothing. – Jewish Proverbs

He that sows thistles shall reap prickles. – Jewish Proverbs

He who changes his location, changes his luck. – Jewish Proverbs

He who comes first, grinds first. – Jewish Proverbs

He who feels no compassion will become insane – Jewish Proverbs

He who flatters you is your enemy – who rebukes you is your friend. – Jewish Proverbs

He who has a certain nature will not sell it. – Moorish Jewish Proverbs

He who knows he is a fool is not a big fool. – Chinese Jewish Proverbs

He who marries for money earns it. – Jewish Proverbs

He who prays for his neighbor will be heard for himself. – Jewish Proverbs

He who puts up with insult invites injury. – Jewish Proverbs

He who sits at home, does not tear any boots. – Jewish Proverbs

Heavy purses and light hearts can sustain much. – Dutch Jewish Proverbs

He’s got to learn how to shave another’s beard. – Jewish Proverbs

Hospitality is one form of worship. – Jewish Proverbs

How lovely is the sun after rain, and how lovely is laughter after sorrow. – Tunisian Jewish Proverbs

However sweet love may be, you can’t make a stew out of it. – Jewish Proverbs

Humour is an important asset: it means understanding and self-criticism. Where humour is absent, you’ll find small-mindedness. – Jewish Proverbs

I can chew for you, my child, but you must swallow by yourself. – Hungarian Jewish Proverbs

I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. – Jewish Proverbs

I learned much from my teachers, more from my friends, and the most from my pupils. – Jewish Proverbs

Ideas are something that usually comes like fireman- too late. – Jewish Proverbs

Idleness causes much mischief. – Jewish Proverbs

If a Jew cannot be a shoemaker, he will dream of being a professor. – Jewish Proverbs

If a link is broken, the whole chain breaks. • If one link has broken so has the whole chain. – Jewish Proverbs

If a word be worth one shekel, silence is worth two. – Jewish Proverbs

If charity cost nothing, the world could be full of philanthropists. – Jewish Proverbs

If God lived on earth, people would break his windows. – Jewish Proverbs

If I am not for myself, who will be? – Jewish Proverbs

If it must always be better, it can never be good enough. – Jewish Proverbs

If not for fear, sin would be sweet. – Jewish Proverbs

If someone is coming to kill you, get up early and kill him first. – Jewish Proverbs

If the arrow-maker is killed by his arrow, he is paid out of his own work. – Jewish Proverbs

If the Creator wills it, the broom can shoot a bullet. – Jewish Proverbs

If the grandmother had a beard she would be a grandfather. – Jewish Proverbs

If the house has fallen, woe to the windows. – Jewish Proverbs

If the pupil is smart, the teacher gets the credit. – Jewish Proverbs

If the rich could hire someone else to die for them, the poor would make a wonderful living. – Jewish Proverbs

If the rich could hire the poor to die for them, the poor would make a very nice living. – Jewish Proverbs

If the wheat of the city be rye-grass, sow of it. – Jewish Proverbs

If there is bitterness in the heart, sugar in the mouth won’t make life sweeter. – Jewish Proverbs

If there’s a fire at your neighbor’s you, too, are in danger. – Jewish Proverbs

If you built up bundles of sins, make bundles of good deeds to offset the former. – Jewish Proverbs

If you can’t afford chicken, herring will do. – Jewish Proverbs

If you can’t bite, don’t bare your teeth. – Jewish Proverbs

If you can’t go over, you must go under. – Jewish Proverbs

If you did a good deed, don’t ask for an immediate reward. – Jewish Proverbs

If you don’t aspire to great things, you won’t attain small things. – Jewish Proverbs

If you ever need a helping hand you’ll find one at the end of your arm. – Jewish Proverbs

If you examine carefully enough, everything is tref. – Jewish Proverbs
treif, not kosher. Treif is a Yiddish word for food that does not conform with Jewish religious dietary laws, kashrut.]

If you have money, men think you are wise, handsome, and able to sing like a bird. – Jewish Proverbs

If you lack wisdom, what have you got? If you have got wisdom, what do you lack? – Jewish Proverbs

If you lie on the ground, you cannot fall. – Jewish Proverbs

If you quarrel with the rabbi, make peace with the bartender. – Jewish Proverbs

If you stay at home you won’t wear out your shoes. – Yiddish Proverbs

If you steal from a thief, you also have a taste of it. – Jewish Proverbs
(Just because someone steals, you have no right to rob them.)

If you want to know what God thinks of money, look at the people he gives it to. – Jewish Proverbs

If your son-in-law is good, you gained a son. If he is bad, you’ve lost a daughter. – Jewish Proverbs

If a problem can be solved with money, then it’s not a problem but a cost. – Jewish Proverbs

If charity was worth nothing, everyone would be philanthropists. – Jewish Proverbs

If life doesn’t change for the better, wait, and it will change for the worse. – Jewish Proverbs

In a large river, large fish swim. – Jewish Proverbs

In a restaurant choose a table near a waiter. – Jewish Proverbs

In choosing a friend, go up a step. – Jewish Proverbs

In every generation there is more knowledge of philosophy, and new wisdoms arise – thus new illnesses are added to every generation. – Jewish Proverbs

In the hour a man dies, the Law and his good works accompany him. – Jewish Proverbs

It is a good tongue that says no ill. – Jewish Proverbs

It is a great point of wisdom to find out one’s own folly. – Jewish Proverbs

It is best not to live in a city run by scholars. – Jewish Proverbs

It is better to eat vegetables and fear no creditors than to eat duck and hide from them. – Jewish Proverbs

It is easier to guard a sack full of fleas than a girl in love. – Jewish Proverbs

It is good to draw the snake out of the hole with another’s hand. -Spanish -Jewish Proverbs

It is not every question that deserves an answer. – Jewish Proverbs

It is not the beard that makes the philosopher. – Jewish Proverbs

It is too late to call back yesterday. – Jewish Proverbs

It’s better to die of laughter than of fear. – Jewish Proverbs

It’s better to talk to a woman than stop living. – Jewish Proverbs

It’s easier to be a critic than an author. – Jewish Proverbs

It’s good to hope, it’s the waiting that spoils it. – Jewish Proverbs

It’s not as good with money, as it is bad without it. – Jewish Proverbs

Jealousy has teeth made of iron. – Jewish Proverbs

Judge every person with the benefit of the doubt. – Jewish Proverbs

Justice shall you pursue. – Jewish Proverbs

Keeping good silence is harder than talking good. – Jewish Proverbs

Know where you came for, where you are going, and who you are about to give account and reckoning in front of. – Jewish Proverbs

Knowledge does not take much space. – Jewish Proverbs

Koch einen Bauern süß oder sauer, er bleibt doch alleweil ein Bauer. – Jewish Proverbs

Learning is better than goods. -Moorish Jewish Proverbs

Leave the drunkard alone; he will fall by himself. – Jewish Proverbs
[Det er eit ord mot å gjere narr av og plage den fulle, eit ord som nok ikkje gjeld nemneverdig for hjelpande hender. Tanken som jødar legg i ordtaket er om lag slik: “Unngjelding kjem nok i si eiga tid. Prøv ikkje å framskynde ho.” (Jf. Cohen No. 198). Det er hyppig mange måtar å forstå ordspråk på om vi oppfattar dei figurativt, i overført meining.]

Lend your money and lose your friend. – Jewish Proverbs

Let your ears hear what your mouth says. – Jewish Proverbs

Life and misery began together. – Jewish Proverbs

Life is the biggest bargain. We get it for nothing. – Jewish Proverbs

Life’s not as good with money as it is bad without it. – Jewish Proverbs

Locks keep out only the honest. – Jewish Proverbs

Loneliness breaks the spirit. – Jewish Proverbs

Look for the good, not the evil, in the conduct of members of the family. – Jewish Proverbs

Loose tongues are worse than wicked hands. – Jewish Proverbs

Love speaks, even when the lips are closed. – Jewish Proverbs

Love which depends on some thing, when the thing ceases, the love ceases. – Jewish Proverbs

Love work, loath mastery over others, and avoid intimacy with the government. • Love work; and hate lordship; and make not thyself known to the government. – Jewish Proverbs

Luck is better than wisdom. – French Jewish Proverbs

Luck makes you wise, luck makes you wealthy. – Jewish Proverbs

Lust [easily] leads to love. – Jewish Proverbs

Make no more haste than good speed. – Jewish Proverbs

Make room for the new. – Jewish Proverbs

Make sure to be in with your equals if you’re going to fall out with your superiors. – Jewish Proverbs

Make sure to send a lazy man for the Angel of Death. – Jewish Proverbs

Man lives in hope. – Yiddish Jewish Proverbs

Man sees the mote in his neighbor’s eye, but does not know of the beam in his own.

May God protect you from bad people, and save yourself from good ones!

Men worry over the loss of their possessions, not over the loss of their years—which never return. – Jewish Proverbs

Mind your own business. – Jewish Proverbs

Misfortune tell us what fortune is. – Jewish Proverbs

Money rules the world. – Dutch Jewish Proverbs

Money will buy you everything but good sense. – Jewish Proverbs

Morality and beauty are essentially the same. – Jewish Proverbs

My fathers planted for me, and I planted for my children. – Jewish Proverbs

My pen is my harp and my lyre; my library is my garden and my orchard. – Jewish Proverbs

My son, do as much good as you can . . . remember, there is no joy in the nether world. – Jewish Proverbs

Never be weary of doing good. – Jewish Proverbs

Never cry hallo till you are out of the woods. – Jewish Proverbs

Never make a promise you cannot keep. – Jewish Proverbs

Never mention rope in the house of a man who has been hanged. – Jewish Proverbs

Never too late to learn Latin. – Jewish Proverbs

Never trust people who tell you all their troubles but keep from you all their joys. – Jewish Proverbs

Never waste good agony. – Jewish Proverbs

Nicht jeder, der am Ehrenplatze sitzt, ist ein vornehmer Herr. – Jewish Proverbs

Nine rabbis can’t make a minyan, but ten cobblers, yes. – Jewish Proverbs

No individual can be whole without some link to the past. – Jewish Proverbs

No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen. – Jewish Proverbs

No one shoe fits every foot. – Jewish Proverbs

No person is too old to learn. – French Jewish Proverbs

No rose without a thorn. – Jewish Proverbs

No use crying over spilt milk. – Jewish Proverbs

None is as deaf as the man who will not listen. – Jewish Proverbs

None should stand up to pray save in sober mood; the pious men of old used to wait an hour before they said their prayer, that they might direct their heart toward God. – Jewish Proverbs

Not everyone who is happy today will be happy tomorrow. – Jewish Proverbs

Not everyone with a good memory is intelligent. – Jewish Proverbs

Not to have felt pain is not to have been human. – Jewish Proverbs

Old people often survive the young. – Jewish Proverbs

One beggar cannot be at two fairs [at the same time]. – Jewish Proverbs

One cannot dig a well with a needle. – Turkish Jewish Proverbs

One has fear in front of a goat, in back of a mule, and on every side of a fool. – Jewish Proverbs

One lie begets another. – Jewish Proverbs

One match can set fire to a whole city. – Jewish Proverbs

One mother achieves more than a hundred teachers. – Jewish Proverbs

One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world. – Jewish Proverbs

One person’s candle furnishes light for many. – Jewish Proverbs

One should not send a cat to deliver cream. – Jewish Proverbs

One who bears false witness against his friend deserves to be thrown to the dogs. – Jewish Proverbs

One who has the reputation of an early riser may safely lie abed till noon. – Jewish Proverbs

One’s handwriting delineates his intelligence. – Jewish Proverbs

Only love gives us the taste of eternity. – Jewish Proverbs

Opinions are scanty, but differences of opinion abound. – Jewish Proverbs

Paradise exists everywhere for the true believers. – Jewish Proverbs

Parents teach their children to talk; children teach their parents silence. – Jewish Proverbs

Partnership is good only with your wife – and there are those who say this too is not certain. – Jewish Proverbs

Peace will not rise by force. – Jewish Proverbs

People are like grass in the field: some blossom, some wither. – Jewish Proverbs

People make plans and God laughs. – Jewish Proverbs

Perfection anywhere is very rare. – Jewish Proverbs

Play the flute to noblemen (and they find it pleasant; play it) to weavers and they will not accept it. [Fools criticise what the wise admire, adds Cohen. Among Jews, weavers were looked down on. – Jewish Proverbs

Poverty and old age often travel together. – Jewish Proverbs

Poverty is a wonderful thing. It sticks to a man after all his friends have forsaken him. – Jewish Proverbs

Praise a fair day at night. – Jewish Proverbs

Pray that you will never have to bear all that you are able to endure. – Jewish Proverbs

Prepare your proof before you argue. – Jewish Proverbs

Prepare your proof before you argue. – Jewish Proverbs

Pretended holiness is double iniquity. – Jewish Proverbs

Prevention is better than cure. – Jewish Proverbs

Pride can live in the dungheap. – Jewish Proverbs

Pride is the mask of one’s own faults. – Jewish Proverbs

Pride joined with many virtues chokes them all. – Jewish Proverbs

Pride that dined with vanity supped with poverty. – Jewish Proverbs

Provide for the worst; the best can take care of itself. – Jewish Proverbs

Punishment of the sinner should not be seen as revenge. – Jewish Proverbs

Real success is success of the soul. – Jewish Proverbs

Reflection insures safety, but rashness is followed by regrets. – Jewish Proverbs

Regard not the flask, but what is in it; there is a new flask that is full of old (wine), and an old one in which there is not even new (wine). – Jewish Proverbs

Rejoice not at thine enemy’s fall – but don’t rush to pick him up either. – Jewish Proverbs

Say little and do much. – Jewish Proverbs

Say well, or be still. – Jewish Proverbs

Schickt man einen Narren einkaufen, dann freuen sich die Krämer. – Jewish Proverbs

Scholars expand peace in the world. – Jewish Proverbs

Scratching and lending help only for a while. – Jewish Proverbs

Sell the Holy Scrolls in the synagogue to give a poor girl a dowry. – Jewish Proverbs

Should the castle totter, its name is still castle; should the dunghill be raised, its name is still dunghill. – Jewish Proverbs

Should there be a case of hanging in someone’s family record, say not to him, “Hang up this fish”. – Jewish Proverbs
[Consideration and good judgement can be developed.]

Silence is the fence round wisdom. – Jewish Proverbs

Sin crouches at every door. – Jewish Proverbs

Slander is worse than idolatry. – Jewish Proverbs

Small children stamp on your lap, big ones on your heart. – Czech Jewish Proverbs

Soldiers die while the politicians receive glory.~ Jewish Proverb

Some that dance must pay the fiddler. – Jewish Proverbs

Some wispered words are heard afar. – Jewish Proverbs

Someone else’s worries don’t take away your sleep. – Jewish Proverbs

Sometimes a penny is better spent than saved. – Jewish Proverbs

Sometimes even the liar will speak the truth. – Jewish Proverbs

Sometimes it’s worthwhile for a wise man to play the role of a fool. – Jewish Proverbs

Sometimes people admit their mistakes, to mask their crimes. – Jewish Proverbs

Strike while the iron is hot. – Jewish Proverbs

Study today and don’t delay. – Jewish Proverbs

Stupid solutions that succeed are still stupid solutions. – Jewish Proverbs

Sympathy doesn’t provide food, but it makes hunger more endurable. – Jewish Proverbs

Sympathy is a little medicine to soothe the ache in another’s heart. – Jewish Proverbs

Teach thy tongue to say, “I do not know. – Jewish Proverbs

Teach your tongue to say “I don’t know” instead of to make up something. – Jewish Proverbs

Tell nothing to your friend that your enemy does not know. – Jewish Proverbs

The beard does not make the philosopher. – Italian Jewish Proverbs

The bigger thief is he who steals people’s minds. – Jewish Proverbs

The birds of the air despise a miser. – Jewish Proverbs

The common soldiers do the fighting, and the officers claim the victory. – Jewish Proverbs

The costliest clock can only show sixty minutes in every hour. – Jewish Proverbs

The crime itself is the punishment for crime. – Jewish Proverbs

The darkest hour of night heralds break of dawn. – Jewish Proverbs

The devil lurks behind the cross. – Jewish Proverbs

The dog follows you for the crumbs in your pocket. – Jewish Proverbs

The egg of today is better than the hen of tomorrow. – Jewish Proverbs

The friar preached against stealing and had a goose in his sleeve. – Jewish Proverbs

The glory of young men is their strength. – Jewish Proverbs

The good fellow to everyone is a good friend to no one. – Jewish Proverbs

The greatest wisdom is that a person should not be over-wise. – Jewish Proverbs

The heart is small and embraces the whole wide world. – Jewish Proverbs

The heart of a man may be compared to a sausage; few know exactly what’s inside it. – Jewish Proverbs

The innkeeper loves a drunkard, but not for a son-in-law. – Jewish Proverbs

The man who cannot survive bad times will not see good times. – Jewish Proverbs

The man who gives little with a smile gives more than the man who gives much with a frown. – Jewish Proverbs

The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others. – Jewish Proverbs

The masses are no asses. – Jewish Proverbs

The merchant’s way is first to show you junk, and then the good stuff. – Jewish Proverbs

The old lack enthusiasm, the young lack shrewdness. – Jewish Proverbs

The only truly dead are those who have been forgotten. – Jewish Proverbs

The pearl is found in mud. – Latin Jewish Proverbs

The person who only accepts friends without faults will never have any real friends. – Jewish Proverbs

The place does not honour the man – it is the man who gives honour to the place. [It may be a both-end also.] – Jewish Proverbs

The poor fool is a man who falls on his back and breaks his nose. – Jewish Proverbs

The rich man carries God in his pocket, the poor man in his heart. – Jewish Proverbs

The righteous say little and do much. – Jewish Proverbs

The rivalry of scholars advances science. – Jewish Proverbs

The soldiers fight, and the kings are heroes. – Jewish Proverbs

The soul cannot be spat out. – Jewish Proverbs

The sun will set without your assistance. – Jewish Proverbs

The talk of the child in the street is that of his father or his mother. – Jewish Proverbs

The thief on the point of breaking into (a house) calls on God (for help). – Jewish Proverbs

The thief who finds no opportunity to steal considers himself an honest man. – Jewish Proverbs

The tongue has no bone, yet it crushes. – Turkish Jewish Proverbs

The truly rich enjoy what they have. – Jewish Proverbs

The truth is not always what we want to hear. – Jewish Proverbs

The weeping of an heir is laughter under a mask. – Latin Jewish Proverbs

The wine belongs to the master, but the waiter receives the thanks. – Jewish Proverbs

The wise man conceals his intelligence; the fool displays his foolishness. – Jewish Proverbs

The world exists for the sake of kindness. – Jewish Proverbs

The world is bound to no man. – Jewish Proverbs

The world resembles a collapsing bridge. – Jewish Proverbs

The world will not disappear because there are many people, but because there are too many non-people. – Jewish Proverbs

There are lots of wise cures for slanderers. One of them is to get and stick to material that brings an accurate, fairly gained picture, and take pains to be precise to that purpose. – Jewish Proverbs

There are many academic chairs but few outstanding teachers. – Jewish Proverbs

There is no book that contains absolutely nothing bad, and there is no book that contains absolutely nothing good. – Jewish Proverbs

There is no book that has not something bad in it, none that has not something good. – Jewish Proverbs

Jewish Proverbs

There is no chasm in nature. – Jewish Proverbs

There is no place like home. – Jewish Proverbs

There is no time like the present. – Jewish Proverbs

There is seldom any occasion to light your lamp at noontide. – Jewish Proverbs

There’s a time to throw and a time to gather stones. – Jewish Proverbs

Through Kamtsa and Bar Kamtsa was the Temple destroyed. – Jewish Proverbs, [” Kamsa and Bar Kamsa”]

Time and chance happen to everyone. – Jewish Proverbs

Time enough to bewail your misfortune when it is here. – Jewish Proverbs

To be conscious that you’re ignorant is a great step to knowledge. – Jewish Proverbs

Tradition must be a springboard to the future, not an easy chair for resting. – Jewish Proverbs

Trees were created for mankind’s companionship. – Jewish Proverbs

Truth is a tree of life – you shall eat from it all your life. – Jewish Proverbs

Truth is heavy, therefore few care to carry it. – Jewish Proverbs

Truth is the safest lie. – Jewish Proverbs

Uphill we always climb with caution, downhill we dash, carefree. – Jewish Proverbs

Use your noble vase today; tomorrow it may break.. – Jewish Proverbs

Verkehrt gefahren ist auch gefahren. – Jewish Proverbs

Victuals prepared by many cooks will be neither hot nor cold. – Jewish Proverbs

Vom Nichtnehmen ist noch kein Mensch reich geworden. – Jewish Proverbs

Vor dem Tod und vor dem Dalles [poverty] kann man sich nicht schützen. – Jewish Proverbs

Was nützt es, wenn die Kuh viel Milch gibt, wenn sie nachher den Milchkrug umwirft. – Jewish Proverbs

Was nutzt, daß der Bursch Sporen anhat, wenn er nicht reiten kann. – Jewish Proverbs

We are too soon old, and too late wise. – Jewish Proverbs

We do not even get death free of charge, for it costs us a life. – Russian Jewish Proverbs

Weak walls invite the burglar. – Jewish Proverbs

Well-known things do not need proof. – Jewish Proverbs

Wenn ein Kantor alt wird, bellt er wie ein Hund und frißt wie ein Schwein. – Jewish Proverbs

Wenn Gott will, schießt ein Besen. – Jewish Proverbs

Wenn man keinen Knoblauch ißt, stinkt man nicht. – Jewish Proverbs

What cannot be cured, must be endured. – Jewish Proverbs

What is the use of spurs when you cannot ride. – Jewish Proverbs

What one has, one doesn’t want, and what one wants, one doesn’t have. – Jewish Proverbs

What one wants, one doesn’t have. – Jewish Proverbs

What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul. – Jewish Proverbs

What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth. – Jewish Proverbs

What you give for charity while you’re in health is gold; what you give after death is lead. – Jewish Proverbs

What you give for the cause of charity in health is gold; what you give in sickness is silver; what you give after death is lead. – Jewish Proverbs

Whatever has not happened in a thousand years may happen the next moment. – Jewish Proverbs

What’s done is done. – Jewish Proverbs

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry. – Jewish Proverbs

When a father helps a son, both smile; but when a son must help his father, both cry. – Jewish Proverbs

When a fool is sent to market, all the merchants are happy. – Jewish Proverbs

When a habit begins to cost money, it’s called a hobby. – Jewish Proverbs

When a pauper eats a chicken, either he is ill – or the chicken was. – Jewish Proverbs

When a thief has no opportunity for stealing he considers himself an honest man. – Jewish Proverbs

When an old maiden marries, she becomes a young wife. – Jewish Proverbs

When brains are needed, brawn won’t help. – Jewish Proverbs

When con men meet a legitimately honest man, they are so bewildered that they consider him a greater con man than themselves. – Jewish Proverbs

When God is with you, fear not foe! – Jewish Proverbs

When he was a puppy, I fed him, and when he became a dog he bit me. – Jewish Proverbs, [Talmud]

When luck comes, offer him a chair. – Jewish Proverbs

When one band is broken, two are broken. – Jewish Proverbs
[A reminder of possible interconnections, as in a loom and a network.]

When one guest brings an uninvited guest, that is improper. – Jewish Proverbs

When people have nothing to do, they take up great deeds. – Jewish Proverbs

When someone claims an inheritance, he sometimes has to pay for the funeral. – Jewish Proverbs

When swindlers meet a genuinely honest man, they’re so astonished they regard him as a greater swindler than themselves. – Jewish Proverbs

When the ox falls, they sharpen their knives. – Jewish Proverbs

When the ox is down many are the butchers. – Jewish Proverbs

When two divorced people marry, four people get into bed. – Jewish Proverbs

When wood is chopped splinters fall. – Jewish Proverbs

When you have no choice, mobilise the spirit of courage. – Jewish Proverbs

When you open a door, don’t forget to close it. Treat your mouth accordingly. – Jewish Proverbs

When your daughter matures, marry her off! – Jewish Proverbs

When your enemy falls, don’t rejoice overtly. – Jewish Proverbs

When schnapps [‘drink’] goes in, judgment goes out. – Jewish Proverbs

Where many go, no grass will grow. – Jewish Proverbs

Where there is too much, something is missing. – Jewish Proverbs

Where two Jews, three opinions. – Jewish Proverbs

Wherever I sit, there is the front. – Jewish Proverbs
(Usually said by an important person when he declines to sit up front.)

Wherever there is a secret, smell if something is wrong. – Jewish Proverbs

Whether a person be Jew or Gentile . . . according to his acts does the Divine Spirit rest upon him. – Jewish Proverbs

While the fire is burning, slice your pumpkin and roast it. – Jewish Proverbs
[“Strike while the iron is hot” has the same main meaning.]

Who doesn’t have children brings them up best. – Jewish Proverbs

Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure. – Jewish Proverbs

Who has eaten of the pot knows the taste of the broth. [About knowing things from one’s own experience. – Jewish Proverbs

Who seeks more than he needs hinders himself from enjoying what he has. – Jewish Proverbs

Who sits on the ground fears no fall. – Slovakian Jewish Proverbs

Who slanders others for what they are innocent of will be damned for his own guilt. – Jewish Proverbs

Who spends before he thrives, will beg before he thinks. – Jewish Proverbs

Whoever does not try, does not learn. – Jewish Proverbs

Whoever enjoys his life is doing the Creator’s will. – Jewish Proverbs

Whoever is crying for the past is praying in vain. – Jewish Proverbs

Whoever teaches his son teaches not only his son but also his son’s son, and so on to the end of generations. – Jewish Proverbs

Wie du einen ansiehst, so sieht er aus. – Jewish Proverbs

Wie kommt die Katz übers Wasser? “Mit nasse Fuß.” – Jewish Proverbs

Wisdom by itself does not pay for groceries. – Jewish Proverbs

Wisdom goes not always by years. – Jewish Proverbs

Wisdom is a very great pedigree. – Jewish Proverbs

Wisdom is more precious than jewels. – Jewish Proverbs

With money in your pocket, you are wise, and you are handsome, and you sing well too. – Jewish Proverbs

With money in your pocket, you are wise, handsome, and you sing well too. [i.e. – you are fawned on] – Jewish Proverbs

With much wealth comes many worries. – Jewish Proverbs
[- and easily, unless you are smart at handling such things and what each brings].

With wisdom alone you cannot go to market. – Jewish Proverbs

Without [sound] family life, no nation can be built. – Jewish Proverbs

Woe to him who is hated by all, or to him who is loved by all. – Jewish Proverbs

Words should be weighed, and not only counted. – Jewish Proverbs

Words should be weighed, not counted. – Jewish Proverbs

Work [has the capacity to] make life sweet. – Jewish Proverbs

Worries go down better with soup than without. – Jewish Proverbs

Ye wise, be guarded in your words. – Jewish Proverbs

You can’t force anyone to love you or lend you money. – Jewish Proverbs

You don’t put the cat in charge of the cream. – Jewish Proverbs

You don’t need intelligence to have luck, but you do need luck to have intelligence. – Jewish Proverbs

Your enemy’s enemy is your friend. – Jewish Proverbs

Your friend also has a friend. – Jewish Proverbs
(So be wary of telling your secrets even to your friends.)

Your friend has a friend, and your friend’s friend has another friend — so know when to keep quiet. – Jewish Proverbs

Your friend has a friend; don’t tell him. – Jewish Proverbs

Jewish Proverbs

  • .נפלה האבן על הקדרה, אוי לקדרה. נפלה הקדרה על האבן, אוי לקדרה
    • The stone fell on the pitcher? Woe to the pitcher. The pitcher fell on the stone? Woe to the pitcher.
    • Esther Rabbah 7:10, quoted in Lewis Browne: The Wisdom of Israel, an Anthology
  • בכל החזיתות שאנו מטילים על אחרים אנחנו מדגימים את הפוטנציאל שלנו, דרך הילדים שלנו אנחנו מגלים את המציאות שלנו. – לורנס קלמן, כדי ללבות עמ ‘נשמה
    • In the facades we put on for others we demonstrate our potential; through our children we reveal our reality.
    • Lawrence Kelemen, To Kindle A Soul, p. 195
  • When a poor man eats a chicken, one of them is sick.
    • Quoted in Forbes Magazine vol.146 (1990), p.182 as a Yiddish proverb. (It was also used in Fiddler on the Roof.)
  • If you steal from a thief, you also have a taste of it.
    • Just because someone steals, you have no right to rob them.
    • Talmud Bavli, Berakoth, 5b

Ethics of the Fathers

  • Rabbi Levitas of Yavneh said: Be exceedingly humble in spirit, for the hope of earthly man is but decay.
    • Avot, Pirkei (1979). “4”. פרקי אבות. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-87306-182-7.
  • Let your home be a meeting place for the wise; dust yourself in the soil of their feet, and drink thirstily of their words. -Yossei ben Yoezer
    • Ethics Of The Fathers Text of Chapter One – Texts & Writings. Chabad.org. Retrieved on 2019-05-28.
  • Love work, loath mastery over others, and avoid intimacy with the government. -Shmaayah
    • “Every great man of business has got somewhere a touch of the idealist in him.”
    • Woodrow Wilson (1972) The papers of Woodrow Wilson. Vol 14. p. 244.
    • Ethics Of The Fathers Text of Chapter One – Texts & Writings. Chabad.org. Retrieved on 2019-05-28.
  • Who is wise? He who learns from all men -Ben Zoma
    • Ethics Of The Fathers Avot, Pirkey (1979). “4”. פרקי אבות. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-87306-182-7.
  • על דאטפת אטפוך וסוף מטיפייך – יטופון (Mishnah Avot 2,7)
    • ‘Al d’ateft atfu’kh, v’sof m’tifaikh ytufun
    • Translation: Because you have drowned others, you were drowned — and in the end, those who drowned you will be drowned.
    • Meaning: Sins shall be punished, but people are not allowed to take the law into their own hands.
    • שפירא (1998). ספר המאור שבתורה. ש.צ. בן ב. הכהן שפירא.

“Ancient Jewish Proverbs”, Abraham Cohen

  • Youth is a crown of roses, old age a crown of willows.
    • Youth is a light burden, old age a heavy one.
    • Talmud Bavli, Shabbat, 152a
  • In old men there is no taste, in young no insight.
    • The old lack enthusiasm, the young lack shrewdness.
    • Talmud Bavli, Shabbat, 89b
  • I do not want a shoe larger than my foot.
    • I do not want a husband of higher rank than my own.
    • Talmud Bavli, Kiddushin, 49a

“Dictionary of 1000 Jewish Proverbs”, David C. Gross

  • Don’t boast of tomorrow, for you know not what a day will bring.
  • Whoever seeks cake loses his bread.
  • Whoever argues for the sake of argument is a boor.
  • Any home not built for hot days or rains is not a home.

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