Israeli Independence Day

April 29, 2009

For a fun take on the awesomeness of freedom in Israel, check out Benji Lovitt’s blog post over at 61 more things I love about Israel. I counted about 7 references to doody. See how many you can catch!

My favorite thing: “I love the distant cousin of the shuk vendor, the guy outside the Arlozorov train station selling ‘baigeles.’ Apparently he gets paid to say baigele 568 times per minute without taking a breath. ‘BAIGELE BAIGELE BAIGELE!!!'”

Miki Buganim Rocks America!

September 20, 2008

Check out Best Week Ever’s coverage of visiting Israel and enlistign the help of Ivri Lider to get an appointment with the fa-bu-lous Miki Buganim.

Tu B’Av = Sexy Israelis + Silly Americans

August 15, 2008

On the mystical, magical “Jewish Valentine’s Day” Zabaj would like to make fun of Americans for a change (Americans who’ve moved to Israel, of course). Check out this video made by our friends Benji and Molly:

Because You Suck, That’s Why

November 20, 2007


I read an interesting article in Haaretz today on the recent 5-day mission to Israel of a few Hollywood bigwigs. Apparently the experience culminated with a Q&A at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque with the Hollywood visitors fielding questions by Israeli film industry hopefuls. The author of the article refers to the questions unabashedly centering around “how can I get a job in Hollywood?” and never straying from that theme for too long. I mean, I see why, but some common sense? You’re talking to the most vile elitists of American society and expecting them to actually give you a satisfying answer to that question by cornering them over and over?

I can probably recreate the scene:

BigWig: So, you can see, we’re always looking abroad to film our projects and draw talen..

Dudi: Ehhhhh, how I get job in Hollywood?

BigWig: ..nt from all over the- huh? Oh, um, hi. Yeah, like I said we’re always open to new talent and …(general noncommital platitudes)…

Shmulik: So you say, I must to come make film and you pay me in Hollywood USA?

BigWig: Well, let me repeat that we’re interested in anything that makes us lots of money; with regards to specifics I can’t… (generally phony but nonoffensive American expressions of disinterest)…

Dedi: I give you script!

BigWig: No, we can’t accept unsolicited scripts for legal rea-

Dedi: No? Why? I give you — It’s make tale of hummus legacy set in…

Ugh. You see where this is going. What is it with all the “why?” anyway when you simply reject something straight up? I get it *without fail* at the car wash I occasionally go to. They’re trying to pimp on me some 600 shekel membership when a) I don’t always go there and b) I don’t need to prepay my car washes. But “no, not interested” is never enough. It’s all, “why not? nu??” Do they really think that by cornering a consumer and making him rue the day he ever told them he wasn’t interested, that I’m going to be the least bit inclined to buy anything there? BECAUSE YOUR PROPOSITION SUCKS, THAT’S WHY NOT. Why should I down-pay hundreds of shekels to save like, ten over the next 6 months? The math doesn’t even work out. I’m half tempted to bust out a PowerPoint next time.

Little Lost, Pardner?

October 7, 2007

To the owner of Texas license plate TLJ 69Z: Your car has been…spotted in f’n ISRAEL.

I love that it’s a big ‘ol V8 SUV too (click for full size).




Zabaj on the Radio

July 3, 2007

Tune in at around 2:00AM tonight to hear an interview with a Zabaj writer on גלי צהל!

Thanks again to Dana from for a great write up and keeping the Zabaj momentum going.

After You, Ludacris?

July 3, 2007

This one comes straight from Zabajist-at-Large Ilia who spotted this gem in a Ludacris video. Turns out he’s got a lot of pride in his Tzanchanim (click pic to watch video. His “training” for the big masa kumta begins at 1:41):

I don’t know either. Maybe MTV is being secretly infiltrated by elite Israeli paratroopers?

Did you say Un-Alphabet?

April 18, 2007

A friend and I were talking (in Hebrew) when I heard him say “alphabet” in a sentence. Yeah, the English word “alphabet” … pronounced “alphabet” … just likeUn-Alphabet we say it in English.

I said … “Alphabet?”

And he said … “No, Un-Alphabet”.

So I said … “What the crap is an Un-Alphabet?”

In case you were wondering, the word אלפבית (alphabet) in Hebrew has no meaning, but the word אנאלפבית (pronounced Un-alphabet) means illiterate. I’ve asked some friends how you say “literate,” and they told me there is no word for “literate.” I looked it up in the dictionary, and apparently they’re right…there is no word for “literate.” If you look up the word “literate” in the dictionary, it’s the same word for “learned” (Melumad) which generally refers to biblical learning.

Some other funny nouns …

Narcoman – Is not an Israeli super hero with special Narc powers. It’s a drug addict.

Alcoholist – Is not a scholar who majored in Alcohol (chemist, biologist, physicist, psychologist, etc.). It’s an alcoholic.

Fire-o-man – Is not a fireman. It’s a pyromaniac. I think us anglos screwed this one up. In Hebrew, a fireman is a (mechabeh esh … a fire putter outer). Our firemen should be called Fire-putter-outers, but that just sucks to say.

Chag Sameach!

April 2, 2007

“Dream a Little חיים”

March 25, 2007


Ok, so, we all know that Corey Feldman is Jewish, and I think maybe some of us assumed that Corey Haim is also Jewish. I mean, look at that mug. I think that kid was at my Bar Mitzvah for cry-i.

How is this Zabaj, you ask? Well look at the dude’s last name: I never thought of this, but it’s clearly f’n Chaim (חיים) transliterated for American (and Hollywood) consumption. Could you ever imagine a teen heartthrob “Corey Chaim?!”

Another tidbit: he has an Israeli parent…it’s gotta be Chaim.

A Hypothetical Conversation With Ivri Lider

March 11, 2007


So, last weekend a friend of mine had a birthday party at a popular Ahad Ha’am bar. One of her friends is apparently dating Ivri Lider, who was in attendance unbeknown to me. He was sitting against the wall in the room we had reserved — most definitely looking like a rock star — but if someone hadn’t told me who he was I probably wouldn’t have made the connection. Which brings up a funny hypothetical conversation that very well could have happened if nobody had told me and I had, well, gotten a little drunker:

Jook: Hey, what’s up.

Ivri: Hi.

Jook: So, who do you know here?

Ivri: …

Jook: K. Um, so, what do you do?

Ivri: I’m in music.

Jook: Oh really? Me too! Have you heard Kojakabana or La Chaka-

Ivri: No. Haven’t.

Jook: Aw man, sucks. I have this studio even, you should check it out. I used to be in this band in the States too…we played the House of Blues a few times. You ever played there?

Ivri: No, I’m mostly–

Jook: Aw sh*t man, it was cool. Like, over a thousand people. Well, anyway, good luck with the music thing and if you wanna jam sometime get my number from [name omitted]!

Everything’s Cheddar Cheese

March 7, 2007

Just like with “zabaj,” its always fun to create new Israeli slang. Another invention of our’s is a slight twist on two popular phrases: “hakol beseder” and “beseder gamur,” which translate to “everything’s ok” and “perfectly ok.” I proudly present:

הכל בצ’דר and בצ’דר גמור (“hakol bechedder” and “bechedder gamur)

As you might imagine, we delighted in recognizing the phonetic similarities between “cheddar” and “beseder” in Hebrew. Even thought it doesn’t make any sense – “everything’s cheddar” and “perfectly cheddar” – we stand behind our new slag. So

next time you’re out and the waiter asks you if everything’s ok, tell him everything’s perfectly cheddar.

Squeegee Rehab!

March 1, 2007

I don’t get it … what is the obsession with squeegees in this country?! Israel needs a squeegee rehab.Squeegee

I need a squeegee rehab. I’m getting addicted to squeegees… it’s almost normal for me to squeegee stuff up. I’m starting to wonder how the hell I ever washed a dish without squeegeeing up all the crap water when I was done. To be honest, I think this is the first time in my life I ever wrote the word squeegee. I had to look it up in the dictionary…I had no idea how many E’s are in the word.

I haven’t counted, but I think I have 19 different sized squeegees in my apartment. I have a mini-squeegee in my kitchen for squeeging all the water down my sink drain. I have a normal-sized squeegee for my car. I have another normal-sized squeegee for my windows. I have another mini-squeegee for my bathroom. My vacuum cleaner has a squeegee attachment (don’t ask me why). I have a teenee squeegee for my computer screen. And I have this giant humungaloid monster-sized squeegee for my floors.

Don’t get me started on Sponja

Am I the only Anglo terrified to “do sponja?” Where the hell did the word Sponja come from? The whole idea of spilling a lake of dirty water on the floor and squeegeeing it into a Jook infested hole in my bathroom, rubs me the wrong way. I have these nightmares of me drowning in a puddle of Sponja backwash. I think sponja deserves a full post on its own.

I have pee

February 21, 2007

RestRoomsAmericans know there are different times for saying “I gotta pee,” “I’m going to use the restroom,” “I need to wee wee,” or “May I be excused?”

I know that I can tell my friends, “I gotta pee, I’ll be right back,” but I wouldn’t tell a first date “I’m gonna drain my lizard.”

Israelis have funny ways for saying “I gotta pee.” The first time I heard this, I was on a date. We were having a great time hanging out, and this gorgeous Israeli girl tells me …

יש לי פיפי –

Huh?!? You got what? I didn’t know how to respond to that. Apperently that’s how you say “I gotta pee” in Hebrew… “I have pee.” Today I know nothing else is approprate to say in Hebrew. If you say אני הולך לשרותים … “I’m going to the restroom,” you sound like a 4 year old to Israelis. The only appropriate way to say it in Hebrew is “Yesh Li Peepee.”

So all you Americakim out there, next time you need to pee, bite down hard on your tongue to keep from cracking up … and tell your Israeli friend … יש לי פיפי

A quick tip for IMers

February 14, 2007

You’re a Dork!

Before you click enter, check what language your keyboard is set to. I accidentally typed “sure” on my keyboard, to which my friend responded … “You’re a dork!”

Typing in Hebrew, the letters “s-u-r-e” spell

(d-o-r-k) דורק

*Click on thumbnail for full-size image.

He’s a Pooh!

February 13, 2007

This one, I just have to blame on the Anglos. Winnie the Pooh is a bear … and his name is Winnie … and he is a Pooh. I can see how the Israelis got it confused. What the frick is a Pooh anyway? Well, whoever got the rights for Winnie the Pooh in Israel made his name Pooh … Pooh the Bear – פו הדב. What happened to the Winnie who is a bear … and a Pooh?


3rd Annual JerusaLAME Winter Ball! Some (all) Tickets Still Available!

February 7, 2007

Not much into balls (‘cept m’own!).

Tomorrow’s 3rd Annual Jerusalem Winter Ball (yes that’s 4 adjectives modifying the word BALL) is kind of an ode to the staunchly non-integrated Anglo living (and whining, like more so than us) in Israel — these are people I and my fellow Zabajnikim here often turn our noses up at as they tend to be the ones who never learn Hebrew, never hang out with or date Israelis, and remain watered down transplanted Anglos for most of their lives. Call them “Americakim” if you want. Find them in Jerusalem. Lame. Jerusalame.


…And so that’s why I’m less than thrilled to oblige when solicited to join up this “Night of Dinner, Dancing, Drinks, and So Much More!” (more what, kosher?) This all from the site they’ve devoted to the occasion (There’s a blog, people. Read all about the emergency meeting back in 2005 [“We were terrified”]).

My friends and I have been getting the hard sell lately from these people as the date approaches. Apparently it’s for charity, and apparently it’s the right thing to do, and apparently if they don’t sell enough tickets they’ll actually lose money. In that case, I assume, the children’s hospital or whatever they’re raising money for will just have to pony up the difference (kids: it’s called a part-time job).

So, sorry, but unless it’s to spike the parve non-dairy creamer with…dairy, I’m not gonna make it.