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Friday, March 10, 2006

Photo Friday (Vol. LIX) ['huh?' edition]

Sorry this is up so late in the day... I'm home alone with Yonah on a rainy Friday morning and he has required my, er,  undivided attention.  :-)

Today's Photo Friday is a tiny sampling of the kind of signage one sees around Israel that blurs the border between Hebrew and other languages spoken here.

First up is one of the many political billboards that have sprung up around the country with the elections fast approaching.  It is an ad for the party 'Yisrael Betainu' which has a very strong following in the Russian immigrant community.  No party can take for granted its support base and most are always looking to strengthen ties.  The billboard has pictures of the #1 candidates on the Likud, Kadima and Yisrael Betainu lists respectively (I guess they consider Amir Peretz - with his Stalin mustache - to be a non-starter) above the Russian words 'Nyet' 'Nyet' and 'Dah' (no, no, yes) written in Hebrew characters:


The next picture is a neon sign I notice each evening as I leave work.  I 'notice' it, but until yesterday I hadn't bothered to read it.  It is written in Hebrew letters but they spell the English words 'Car Lease Trade In'' phonetically. 

Last up is a Beer Sheva florist (who knows, it might be a national chain for all I know) that chose as its name an English expression (There for You), but written phonetically the way an Israeli would pronounce it.  I crack up every time I pass this place:

[Update:  Thank you to the astute commenters who pointed out to me that 'Zer' is both the Hebrew word for 'bouquet' and a play on the way Israeli's would pronounce the English word 'there'.  I'll still giggle when I see if but part of the joke will be on me for not knowing the Hebrew word.  In fairness... an Israeli living in the US might not be familiar with the English word 'bouquet'... oh wait a minute... bouquet is a French word!  There goes that theory! ;-)]

That's it for this week.  Next week I have some great pictures of a ruin that sits in the Negev Desert outside of Beer Sheva.


Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by David Bogner on March 10, 2006 | Permalink


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I loved the "zer 4 u" sign... just looking at it, you can hear someone saying it in a grovely type of voice! Very funny!
Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by: Val | Mar 10, 2006 1:36:09 PM

Zer4U is a chain. There is one in Rehavia. Could it also be a play on words since "zera" is seed?

Posted by: amechad | Mar 10, 2006 1:56:04 PM

the flower shop *is* a national chain, we have one too -- and what makes it clever is the play on words/pronounciation: a "zer" is a bouquet! shabbat shalom

Posted by: nikki | Mar 10, 2006 1:57:04 PM

Sorry to diappoint you but a "Zer" is a bunch of flowers, and a wreath, both for funerals and olympic gold medallists.

Posted by: asher | Mar 10, 2006 2:59:07 PM

Everyone has beat me to the Zer4u comments - yes, its hebrew for bouquet AND making fun of Israeli accents all in one....the fact that you don't know its a national chain means, um, time to buy Zahava flowers?

Posted by: Noa | Mar 10, 2006 3:17:31 PM

Val... Just as we Americans have trouble with certain letters in Hebrew (most of us do, anyway), Israelis have a hell of a time with the 'TH' sound.

Amechad... Good point but read on to learn a new word along with me. :-)

Nikki... I love learning new words this way. If I would simply look up the word for bouquet I would forget it in ten minutes. 'Zer' is now burned into my mental hard drive for life. :-)

Asher... Sure, pile on. :-)

Noa... Chez treppenwitz gets its flowers either from street vendors or the kid who comes door-to-door every Friday. National chain? Florist shop? Feh. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Mar 10, 2006 3:43:29 PM

Great pics this week!

Posted by: gebrec | Mar 10, 2006 4:25:10 PM

The last time you posted about staying with Yonah you had a pretty interesting story to tell.

Wonder if this day will be the same. ;)

Have a good Shabbos.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 10, 2006 6:12:18 PM

Always great pics, David.

Do they no longer have the Bedouin market in the Beer Sheva area -- I visited one there in 1983. THAT would make for some great photos.

Shabbat Shalom.

Posted by: Pearl | Mar 10, 2006 7:03:03 PM

Happy Purim to the whole Bogner Family!! The pics were hilarious!

Posted by: Ezer Knegdo | Mar 10, 2006 7:17:22 PM

Love the pics Dave...

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | Mar 10, 2006 8:17:54 PM


I wonder if they have some of these in other countries, making fun of the way *Americans* pronounce things...

Posted by: Irina | Mar 10, 2006 11:20:50 PM

gebrec... Thanks.

Jack... Nothing that entertaining... but there might be a story or two.

Pearl... They have two different markets that people call by that name. They are both within a block of the central bus station. One is the old market that is open all week and sells everything from produce to tools to prepared foods. The other, which is called the 'shuk habedu'i' is only on Thursday morning and is really just a glorified flea market with nary a Bedouin in sight (most of the vendors are Israelis that sell their wares at other such markets on other days of the week.).

Ezer Knegdo... Thanks, and same to the Knegdo family.

Jewish Blogmiester... Thanks, I try to keep it interesting.

Irina... There is so much about Americans to make fun of... why stop at pronunciation. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Mar 11, 2006 6:50:02 PM

Just had to add my comment that I also found the "zer4u" name to be very funny. Shavua Tov and Purim Sameach to the whole family!

Posted by: Essie | Mar 12, 2006 6:14:21 AM

lol @ the pics... only in israel of course!!

purim sameach!!

Posted by: Sarah | Mar 14, 2006 3:00:17 AM

Essie... You can hear an Israeli saying it, right? :-)

Sarah... Thanks... Enjoy Shushan Purim!

Posted by: treppenwitz | Mar 14, 2006 9:12:38 PM

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