Jewish Quirks and Superstitions

Outside of our a Jewish holidays and life celebrations [which are honored in age old celebratory steps and listed on my other pages] we seem to have a lot of funny little life coping skills, theories and superstitions that are handed down through our families. My grandmother called these Bubbe Meises. My husband calls them Jewish-isms.

I can’t attempt to list them all, nor is there any logical order for them on this page. I’m just going to randomly add to this page as they occur [or are forwarded] to me.

In no particular order:

  • If something edible falls on the floor, you have three seconds to pick it up, kiss it up to the air, and then it’s still safe to eat. After the three seconds, it’s inedible.
  • Keys and shoes should never touch a bed.
  • We don’t eat shellfish or anything with a pronged hoof.
  • We don’t ever sew or pin anything onto clothes we are wearing. You must take off the item, sew or pin it, then put the item back on. If this isn’t realistic, bring a piece of string or yarn with you and keep it inside your mouth when the pinning/sewing takes place.
  • When travelling somewhere far you’re supposed to wear a pin of metal. Just make sure you don’t pin it on when you’re wearing the item!
  • You must feed your guests until they are more than full. Then you must send them away with food when they leave. [As an aside, a simple 'no' still means 'yes' when asked if you want any more servings so if you truly are full you MUST be vocal and adament that you are full otherwise the meal will never end!!]
  • If someone says something bad, you’re supposed to spit [or say pooh pooh pooh!] three times to ensure the bad comment doesn’t come true.
  • If someone says something good, touch wood.
  • Jewish boys are typically groomed by their mothers to become doctors, lawyers or accountants.
  • Jewish boys are almost always mama’s boys. As a result, they expect to be nurtured and indulged their whole lives. Another painful reality? Mama always comes first, and her opinion is always sought. If the wife and the mother disagree? Guess which side the Jewish son will take? Yup. Mama wins every time.
  • Sons are to be named after someone in the family, but not someone living.
  • Boys can date non-Jewish girls, but if they bring one home to meet the parents, she has to be Jewish. Shiksa’s [as non-Jewish girls are called] are not ‘marriage material’. Despite Charlotte making it seem that conversion is possible, it doesn’t happen often, and oy! What a lot of work!
  • Ironically, Jewish girls can marry a goyish man IF he gets snipped and takes classes. HOWEVER, How many men are willing to be circumcised in adulthood? I suppose it’s a test of true love! Why the double standard? Jewish religion is carried down by the mother. If your father is not Jewish but your mother is, you’re considered Jewish. If your father is Jewish and your mother is not? Nada. The hardcore Jews will reject you.I personally think that’s all a bit silly. If you want to marry in and are willing to take all of this on board, be my guest! Just don’t fess up to the Rabbi’s wife or you won’t be invited to future engagements.

There’s a Jewish Proverb that says:

“These three are the marks of a Jew: 

A tender heart, self respect, and charity.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s how you can really pick a Jewish person out of the crowd. All three are equally important, they are our rules to live by. Whether you are taught them by your mother or adopt them for the person you love, just live by them to consider yourself Jewish at heart.



  1. Farrah says:

    This is fast becoming one of my fraouvite blogs! I love your ideas and your humor!

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