the schmooze

*Yiddish expression meaning, "From your mouth to God's ears"

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Lily Tomlin said, "When we talk to God, we're praying.  When God talks to us, we're schizophrenic."

In the January 1990 issue of Harper's Magazine we see an article titled, [checklist] "Prayers A La Carte."  The Reverend Ike, senior minister of the United Church in New York City, offers a list of personal "needs" and urges recipients to check off their own and send a donation.

What were the requests?  A partial list is shown below; the Yiddish words/comments were added by the writer:

       Ding-Dong Kvell

       Ding-dong kvell,
       Zeyde's doing well.
       Prostate was big,
       Swollen like a fig.
       Who made it small?
       Tahkeh!  Dr. Ball!

Would you believe that the concern for a hernia ("kileh") was omitted from the list? Some people say that a "kileh" is the most-beloved Yiddish word.  In older slang, the hernia was known as "zeks-in-zekhtsik."  And a hernia was often treated with a "brokh-gart" (or "brokh-gartl"--a rupture-belt or truss).

iBlessing is a product developed by The Jewish Learning Group and now available on iTunes.  If you forgot the prayer, all that is necessary is for you to check your iPod.  Click on any one of the food groups displayed on the screen (no traif, of course), and the appropriate blessings appear.

The prayers are played aloud in Hebrew and English.  If you need assistance with the prayer to be recited upon waking, or the Shema, the holy high-tech iPod will assist you.  There are additional "bonus blessings" as well for events like hand-washing and the after meal grace.  (Can we expect to learn the blessing for a B-A-R-K Mitzvah in the near future? "Nokh Nit!" (Not yet.)

There's also the ParveOMeter, which is "perfekt" for those people inclined to lose track of time.  The meter counts down the minutes between meat meals and dairy meals.  The timer is automatically set to go off six hours after the eat button is pressed. It can be customized, based on levels of observance, to zero, 30, or 60 minutes following a dairy meal.  When the time is up you are rewarded with a large round of applause. says that iBlessing and Parve OMeter iPhone Apps make you a kosher keeping mensch.  Their website says, "So wipe that schmutz off your punim, get off your tuchas, and let me show you how they work."  Check it out!

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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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