Hebrew / Jewish / Israeli Proverbs

Donít be too sweet, or else you will be eaten up; but donít be too bitter, or else you will be spitted out.

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

Donít trust someone who tells you all of his troubles and keeps you from all of his joys.

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

Your friend has a friend, and your friendís friend has another friendóso know when to keep quiet.

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

Teach your tongue to say ďI donít knowĒ instead of to make up something.

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

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

First learn, and then form opinions.

(Donít) sell the sun to buy a candle.

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

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

A defendantís confession is worth a hundred witnesses.

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

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

Donít make a fence more expensive or more important than what it is fencing.

First improve yourself, and then judge others.

Jewish Folktales

More Proverbs

Hebrew was the language and culture of the Ancient Hebrews, who are the ancestors of the Jews.

The Jews were the main inhabitants of the Judah Empire (c1000s BC-586 BC) (Note: in 922 BC, the Empire split into separate Judah and Israel Empires, and Israel was conquered in 701 BC), the semi-independent Judah region (538 BC-300s BC), and the Kingdom of Judea (on-and-off from 100s BC-100 AD).

Beginning in the 500s BC, the Jews began using Aramaic more than Hebrew for ordinary everyday life, while Hebrew became the language used primarily in their religion.

After the Kingdom of Judea ended, Jewish people spread throughout the Middle East and to other regions. For many centuries after that, Hebrew was used among Jews mainly for religious, scholarly, and literary purposes.

In the 1800s, many Jews settled in Ancient Judean lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and they revived the Hebrew language. Many more Jews fled there during Nazi persecution in the 1930s and 1940s, and in 1948, the Jewish country of Israel was created with the support of the United Nations. Since then, there have been numerous wars and conflicts between Arabs and Israelis over the land.

About 80% of Israelís current population is Jewish, and most of the other 20% are Arabs.

Some Israeli themes include Judaism, music, dancing, technology, software, cell phones, weapons, an emphasis on the military, basketball, soccer, the Maccabiah Games (a Jewish athletic event held every four years), falafels (a food made from chickpeas), agricultural settlements such as the kibbutz, and the appreciation of ancient culture and architecture.