The Hebrew Geek Code

Version 2.1
by Robert Kaiser

Amaze your friends and family! Communicate volumes of information about yourself with just a few letters! Give information to those in the know, without anyone else being able to understand! All this and more is possible when you use this list to create your own Hebrew Geek Code (HGC), which you then put in your .sig file. Have fun. Permission is granted to spread this everywhere, as long as credit is given.

Example Hebrew Geek Code:

S+++ K++ TM M H+ T t SY+= & SY+++ M AT++ Te+/Te++ SC

Qualifiers:    A&B     Means A and B
               A/B     Means ranging from A to B

Shabbat Observance
                    S--- I stone people walking to shul on Shabbat
                    S--  Of course.  Every Sunday!
                    S-   Not at all, or, "Shabbat - What's that?"
                    S    Reform
                    S+   Conservative, will drive to shul
                    S++  Traditional, Orthodox
                    S+++ I stone cars on Shabbat

Family              Fa--      Intermarried - I sure do love Xmas!
                    Fa-       Intermarried - but the children will
                              be raised Jewish
                    Fa.n/a    Not applicable.  I'm homosexual.
               I'm gay AND I'm married.
                    Fa1       Not married - Single
                    Fa+       I married a Jew.
                    Fa++      I married more than two wives
                              at once.  [Only applicable for
                              Yemenite Jews.  Sorry  :)  ]

                    ,c=#      Where # represents the number of
                              children you have.  Default = 0.

Examples: Fa1   Fa+   Fa+,c=1   Fa++,c=5

Tohorot Mishpacha        TM-- I married a non-Jew, so this doesn't
(Family Purity)               apply
                         TM-  I'm a pagan
                         TM   I'm mostly following the rules
                         TM+  Orthodox
                         TM++ My wife and I have separate houses

Moshiach       M--   He's already come.  Haven't you heard the
                     Good Word?
               M-    Don't believe in it.
               M     Could be
               M+    I believe with perfect faith...
               M++   We want Moshiach now!
               M+++  Watching the Rebbe's grave.
               M++++ I am Moshiach

Kashrut             K--  I only eat at McDonald's.
                         Also: What's kashrut?
                    K-   Jewish in identity, not in practice.
                         Likely to eat ham and cheese, but
                         will say a bracha afterwards
                    K    Very liberal kosher.  Won't eat any Torah
                         forbiden species, won't mix milk and
                         meat.  Will eat eat meat of a permitted
                         animal, even it not proeprly slaughtered.
                    K+   Conservative.  Kashrut fully observed.
                         Two sets of dishes, etc.  Add appropriate
                         strictures as necessary.  If no codes are
                         added, lenient options are default for K+
                    K++  Orthodox kashrut.  Same as Conservative,
                         but unless codes are added, the stricter
                         options are assumed for k++

                    K+++ Satmar or Meshugge kosher.

                         ch+  Will only eat Kosher cheese.
                         ch   Will eat cheese without a hechsher.
                         me+  Will only eat Glatt meat.
                         me   Glatt not necessary.
                         mi+  Will only drink Chalav Yisrael milk.
                         mi   Will drink regular milk.
                         ge+  Won't eat gelatin, diglycerides, etc.
                              unless with an Orthodox hechsher.
                         ge   Will eat gelatin, diglycerides, etc.
                              Considered pareve.
                         wi+  Will only drink kosher wine.
                         wi   Will drink without a hechsher.

Examples: K+   K++  K++,mi    k+,ch+

Hebrew Language     H-   Is 'Jewish' a language?
                    H    I went to Hebrew school. Shalom!
                    H+   I even took it in college.
                    H++  I'm not made fun of too badly by Israelis.
                    H+++ Ani midaberet Ivrit tov Me'od, nu?

Substitute Yid for H to denote Yiddish familiarity.
Substitue Lad for H to denote Ladino familiarity.

Talmud Knowledge    T--- I burn them whenever I get the chance.
                    (Note:  This category is especially useful for
                     apostates like Torquemada.)
                    T--  I'm a Karaite
                    T-   Is that like Torah?
                    T    Studied in Hebrew school
                    T+   Studied in college, competent to argue.
                    T++  Talmud Chochem
                    T+++  Adin Steinsaltz's chevruta.

Tribe:    t    Israel
          t+   Levi
          t++  Cohen
          t+++ Next in line to be the Cohen Gadol
          t?   Not sure (be real - this is most of us!)

How often do I      AT--  Religion is for dweebs!
Attend shul?        AT-   Only for other people's weddings.
                    AT    Regularly!  Every Rosh Hashanah and Yom
                          Kippur, and I also had a Bar/Bat Mitzvah!
                    AT+   High holidays, Shalosh Regalim (Three
                          festivals), and occasional shabbats.
                    AT++  I go on Shabbat.
                    AT+++  And I lay Tefillin on weekdays
                    AT++++ The Rabbi wants to institute a
                           restraining order to keep me away!

What type of        SY--  Jesus loves me, yes he does...
synagogue do        SY-   Allah'hu Akbar!
I go to?            -SY   I don't go to shul
                    SY0   Reconstructionist
                    SY    Reform
                    SY+   Conservative (whatever that means)
                    SY+=  Conservative egalitarian
                    SYCh  Chavura
                    SY++  UTJ/Traditional/Right wing Conservative
                    SY+++ Orthodox
                         SY+++M    Modern Orthodox
                         SY+++Y    Yeshiva Litvak Right wing
                         SY+++C    Chassidic

You can add the appropriate Nusach code shown below.  If you go to
a shul that is different that your background, then just add a
comma after the shul type, and then add the background code.  If
you don't put a code after the shul type, the default is Ashkenazi.
Nusach (What type of Jew am I? )

               A    Ashkenazi
               Az   Nusach HaAri
          (This is a Ashkenazi Chassidic nusach, which is really a
          Sephardi nusach as modifed by Rav Shneur Zalman.)
               SE   Sephardic (European)
               S    Sephardic (North African, Middle East)
               SY   Sephardic (Yementite)
               ET   Beta Yisrael (Ethiopian)
               SI   B'nai Yisrael (India)

Examples:  SY+      SY+/A          SY+/A,SE       SY+,SE

Tefillin            Te-       What's that?  Is it good to eat?
                    Te        I don't wear animal products, dude.
                    Te+       Sure, sometimes.  Irregularly.
                    Te++      Every day, or almost every day.
                              I'm a mensch!  :)
                    Te+++     The doctors say if I don't taken them
                              off soon, they'll have to amputate.
                    Te.n/a    Not applicable, I'm a woman.
                    Te!a      Of COURSE Teffilin is applicable for
                              women!  Rashi's daughters wore them!
                              (For this, add appropriate + or - )

Shabbat Candles     SC-   I don't use matches.  Only you can
                          prevent forest fires.
                    SC    Been there, done that.
                    SC+   Every Shabbat.
                    SC:(  I blow them out afterwards so that they
                          will last longer.
                    SC++  I have been arrested for arson.
                    SC+++ I have been convicted for arson.
     Add a 'W' for "My wife does that"
     Example:   SCW+, SCW ...

Festival Observance:
          FO---  Christmas Tree and Easter Eggs
          FO--   Chanukka Bush and Passover Candy Basket
          FO-    Secular home
          FO     Somewhat Traditional - add the following
                 qualifiers as required:
                    s    Go to a seder
                    m    Light the menorah.
                    p    Make noise and drink on Purim.
                    t    Dance on Simchat Torah
                    su   Eat in a Sukka on Sukkot.
                    sL   Can LEAD a Seder  :)
                    co   Count the Omer
                    hh   Go to High Holiday services.

          FO+    Full Observance - Reform
          FO++   Full Observance - Conservative
                 and Traditional/Non-egalitarian
          FO++=  Same as above, but egalitarian.
          FO+++  Strict Orthodox observance
          FO+++:(   Celebrate all festivals but Israel Independence
                    Day, since Moshiach is not yet here.

Davening (praying) ability
          D--   I daven Gospel.
          D-    What's davening?
          D     I know when to stand, sit and bow.
          D+    I also know the Sh'ma and Kaddish by heart,
                and can somehow make it through most of the rest.
          D++   I can lead services
          D+++  I can also read Torah, Haftarah and Megillot
          D++++ and they'll invite me back a second time

Pesach (Passover)
     P---      Happy Easter!
     P--       Mohammed says to celebrate Moses's birthday !
     P-        I refrain from bacon double cheeseburgers on Pesach.
               No bread at all!  My parents are sooo proud!
     P         Yeah, I think I follow most of the rules.  Mostly.
     PC        Everything except for the part about "Pour out
               thy wrath"
     P+        Even the pet eats tuna and matzah-brei for a week
     P++       I start cleaning right after Hanukkah !
     P+++      Blowtorch the kitchen, buy new dishes every Spring
     P++++     Blowtorch the house, move every Spring (This ties in
               with that arson category of Shabbos candles).

     Tz-       I'm a professional shnorrer.  Got a dollar?
     Tz        I give a few bucks - but not if it hurts! :(
     Tz+       I actually notice when I give.
     Tz++      Repeat donor to UJA, JNF, UW, or SPCA,  anything
               but the PLO.
     Tz+++     Give till it hurts.  A mensch.  :)
     Tz++++    I'm a Rothschild

Egalitarianism Factor
     E--  Don't touch that with your bare hands, it's a female!
     E-   uh...if a man heard a woman's voice, he'd be so overcome
          with lustful thoughts he wouldn't be able to concentrate
          on his prayers...
     E    OK, OK, LET them wear tefillin and have women's prayer
          groups, just keep them behind the mechitza!  But they
          don't count in a minyan.
     E+   Women (who REALLY have taken on the obligations of tefila
          Tallit and Tefillin) can read Torah and count in minyans.
     E++  Any women (even without taking on the obligations) can
          count in a minyan.
     E+++   I only like women rabbis/ I AM a woman Rabbi /
            I married a woman Rabbi.
     E++++  I'm an ultraliberal lesbian Reconstructionist Rabbi.

Lashon Hora Factor
     L-----    I am Ricki Lake;  Lashon Hora is my job.
     L----     I am a talk show host.
     L---      I have appeared on a talk show and acted like
               a true weenie in front of millions of people.
     L--       I write for check-out counter tabloids.
     L-        I never speak Lashon Hora, but I'll tell you
               someone who does!
     L         If you don't have something nice to say, than
               don't say it.
     L+        I can recite parts of Rabbi Pliskin's "Guard
               Your tounge".  A true mensch.
     L++       The Chofetz Chaim is my inspiration.  I have his
               books, his commentaries, and the new interactive
     L+++      I even refrained from criticising Intel's Pentium
               debacle.  A tzaddik.
               (Note:  People who choose this last option are
               high on morals, but possibly low on modesty)

E-mail me additions that you think would be good to They might end up in the next version.

By Robert D. Kaiser (
with contributions from

Michael Turniansky (

Jonathan and Woody Anna Dresner (

Wendy Morrison (

Yatzliakh Yisrael Abrahami (

Aaron Gross (

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