June 6, 2024
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June 6, 2024
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Rabbi Shawn Zell

Rabbi Shawn Zell has recently returned to New Jersey, after serving at a pulpit in Dallas. He possesses certification in teaching Yiddish. Rabbi Zell is the author of three books.

Articles by Rabbi Shawn Zell

Torah Truisms

One would think that the world of our Eastern European ancestors held the teachings of our holy Torah in the highest esteem. Yet, Yiddish aphorisms


“They are all meshuggeneh” is the way Noam Laden of WABC radio described those waiting in line to receive an owl tattoo in memory of

Paying Uncle Sam His Due

The late Barry Goldwater, who served as a senator from the state of Arizona and who, 60 years ago, made an unsuccessful bid for the


As one who has complete disregard for April Fool’s Day and the pranks that go along with it, I am intrigued by the Yiddish word

The Lozt Tribe

It has been half a century since Jews with even a smattering of Yiddish burst out laughing in movie theaters while watching the unconventional classic,


Like other languages, Yiddish has prefixes. Among them is the prefix “tzeh.” “Tzeh” combines with a verb to intensify it. For example, klahp means “bang.”

 Idol Talk

No paucity of names exists in our tradition when referring to Hashem. The same holds true l’havdil (perish the comparison) when referring to idols. Because

 Bearing Fruit

With Tu B’Shevat mere days away, the time is ripe to look into Yiddish words associated with fruit. Fruit was the first food mentioned in


Although national elections are a little less than a year away, many of the presidential hopefuls are filled with dread lest any of their rivals

Deal Me Out

A Korten Shpiller (card player) I’m not. Yet, for centuries now, a custom has arisen where, come this Sunday night, Torah study is put on