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People accuse Israelis of not being proper. If they were living in Britain and didn't say how pleased they were, throwing in a 'thank you' to the person who just slammed the door on them, I would agree. However, we are talking about Israelis in Israel. They do not have to live by British mores, standing on the queue when every other person in Israel is knocking them over to get on the bus.
People blame Israelis because they don't understand the society. This is why Israelis don't say 'thank you.'
You Have To Deserve It
What did you do to deserve a 'thank you'? You held a door? He could've done that. You purchased some milk from his bodega? He's providing you the milk. And it's called a Makolet. Did you thank him for teaching you how to pronounce Makolet correctly? Who should be thanking who? You paid the cab driver for the ride? He's taking you to dinner. You should be thanking him. You should be bringing some horderves out to him.
They may appreciate your business. I am sure that your kind gesture of holding the door is well taken. Did they curse you for holding the door? Then, it was appreciated. Take it as a 'thank you.' They just don't waste their words in Israel.
You need to reach a level to be thanked. Did you pay for his daughter's wedding band? Then, you would deserve a thank you.
When Israelis Say Something, They Mean It
The real reason you don't hear a 'thank you' is because when we say something in Israel, we mean it. When you say 'thank you' in Israel, it's from the heart. Somebody pours me a drink, I don't thank them, because my level of Israeli sincerity is too much for a pour. Somebody helps me move, I can give an Israeli 'thank you.' I'll 'Todah Rabbah' you, cup my hands together and give a curtsy.
When an Israeli tells a co-worker to have a good day, they want them to have a good day. They mean it. They're bringing blueberry pancakes to the cubicle for breakfast. They're playing Sarit Hadad on the radio at work, because she is the light of Israel. They're taking over the second half of your shift, making sure you get paid for it. They really want you to have a good day. They said it and they meant it. They didn't say 'shalom' the day before, because they wanted that day to be not good.
There Are Repercussions
You better mean something when you say it in Israel. I made a mistake and said 'thank you' once. The fact that I acknowledged my appreciation now had me obligated to him. The guy helped me close the trunk of my car when I was pulling out groceries. I didn't realize I was now indebted to him. Next I know, I'm taking him to the airport. I'm stuck checking in his bags and checking on his house while he's away. I'm not saying 'thank you' again. Not unless I know you and you're paying for the gas.
Israelis Take Words Seriously
This isn't Britain. Sarcasms is you lying. When we hear CNN and the BBC talking about Israel, we think they actually mean what they're saying. Israelis don't know that they're joking when they report about the 'Israeli oppressors.' I'm from America, so I assume that CNN is doing a satire piece on how Israel should be thanking Hamas and their northern neighbors for shooting rockets at them.
Time Is Important
I don't have time to stop and say 'thank you.' Do you also need me to give you a foot rub after you got the door for me? How much do we have to do for you.
I'm in Israel, where we're working towards redemption. You need a 'thank you' from the guy at the falafel shop. I'm sorry if I was the guy who didn't say 'thank you.' Maybe bringing in the dispersed Jews from the diaspora back to our Home Land is more important.
Your holding the door should be expected. You might be holding the door for Mashiach.
They Did the Army
Did you do the army? Maybe you should be thanking them. Maybe you should be thanking them that the door is still there and wasn’t blown up.
Maybe, if you spent five months in a tank, defending Sderot, they would thank you. I am sorry they didn't thank you for holding a door.
A Lot of Israelis Do Say 'Thank You'
That's a mistake. They weren't educated right.
Come to think of it, I've been in America for a while and American kids don't say 'thank you.' Israeli kids say 'thank you.' Somebody is educating the next generation wrong. Kids should know that they deserve stuff. They should not have to show appreciation.
An Israeli wouldn't know that was sarcasm. American kids should be saying 'thank you.' You see how hard it is to do comedy in Israel?! It's hard to be funny when people are genuine. You do a joke about mother-in-laws and you've got to then spend half an hour explaining how we all love mother-in-laws and how they are the rock of the family.
To note, I've started letting the door close on the American kids. They have no reason to not say 'thank you.' They did not do the army.'
Ever heard of a Chamsin? Imagine a heatwave with sand that penetrates into your living room.
Try talking in 120 degree desert heat. You can't. Your mouth is dried up. They can't get it out. They gave you a look. Whatever that look was meant 'thank you.' It might have been intimidating, but it meant they appreciate what you did.
I'd be surprised if they even realized you were holding the door. Try realizing anything going on around you when it's 120 degrees outside. They probably thought it was a hallucination. After years of hallucinating, it became tradition to not say 'thank you.'
My big question for you is, why are you judging a whole society because one guy didn't say 'thank you'?
Now that I think of it, your holding the door is not appreciated. Your holding the door is killing the air-conditioning. You're letting the 120 degree Chamsin into the building. At best, you’re bringing in another inch of sand.
Todah Rabbah for caking the floor in 200 degree sand. The sand is hotter than the whatever it is outside. The sand holds the heat so that you can't enjoy going to the beach.
Showing appreciation is important. It's just that they're saving the 'thank you' for that time you give them a drink of water. Hold the door and bring me a bottle of cold water, and I will take a break from helping to ingather the exiled, and say 'thank you.'
Please know that you did the right thing, holding the door. If it's not extremely hot, you probably did the right thing and you should be thanked. There's just more that is expected in Israel.
I hope you appreciate that the Israelis are making you a better person, teaching you that you need to deserve a 'thank you.' Maybe you'll stop letting the heat into the building. Maybe you'll allow the doorman to do his job, instead of having everybody asking why they hired the guy. Maybe you'll volunteer and serve the country. Do the army and hold the door, and you'll get a 'thank you' and a 'Kol Hakavod' from everybody.
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What do you call a bird with good Hebrew grammar? A dikduck.
You get it? Dikduk means grammar in Hebrew. Substituting 'duk' with 'duck.' Brilliant. And the animals are laughing too.
The reason we moved to Israel. Kosher Burger King. Menu on the wall... As David shared upon his Aliyah arrival, 'The burgers are kosher. We've been redeemed.' Then, he ate and expressed his amazement at how they already knew what he wanted, like a miracle, as the burger was ready before he ordered.