Hebraic ProverbsRating Mail
There is no smoke without fire.
Meaning - A side-effect has a cause.
Note : English equivalent: "No smoke without fire", or "Where there's smoke, there's fire".
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A stone was removed off my heart.
Meaning - I was relieved from a mental burden.
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A human is a wolf to a human
Meaning - People treat each other cruelly.
Note : English equivalent: It's a dog-eat-dog world.
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The same madame with another coat.
Meaning - The same thing with a small difference.
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After death, say holy.
Meaning - Say only good things about people after they die.
Note : Origin: The Hebrew names of the Leviticus "portions" 16-18,19-20,21-24 are "After death", "Holy" and "Say" respectively, so the table of contents spells the Hebrew phrase (which is grammatical in Hebrew).
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How the mighty have fallen.
Meaning - How the competent (or otherwise those that were heavily anticipated to succeed) have failed.
Note : Origin: the Bible - 2 Samuel 1 19
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There isn't a free meal.
Meaning - Someone has to pay for a man to support himself.
Note : English Equivalent: there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
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The baker shouldn't comment on his dough.
Meaning - A person who makes something should not speak its praises.
Note : English equivalent: He that tooteth his own horn, the same shall not be tooted. Hezekiah 4:44 (not a real Scripture, only an inference that this saying is true and ancient/respectable)
English equivalent: Don't blow your own horn.
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There's no such animal.
Meaning - It [= the topic of the conversation] does not exist or is impossible.
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Don't talk during the meal lest the trachea will precede the esophagus
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A fat tail (of the sheep) with a thorn in it.
Meaning - A mixed blessing.
Note : English equivalent: there's a fly in the ointment.
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He who buckles [his armor] should not boast as the one who opens it.
Meaning - He who goes into battle should not boast as much as the one who has won it.
Note : Origin: The Bible - Kings 20, 11
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Don't look at the jar, but at what's inside it.
Meaning - Don't be fooled by external appearances - find the real value.
Note : English equivalent: Don't judge a book by its cover.
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Don't buy a cat in the sack.
Meaning - Don't buy an uncertain good.
Note : English equivalent: Don't buy a pig in a poke.
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Don't let the cat guard the cream
Meaning - Don't give something to someone who is likely to take it for himself.
Note : English equivalent: Don't let the fox guard the hen-house.
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"If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am [only] for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?"
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"If a flame has caught the cedars, what will the moss on the wall say?"
Meaning - If the leadership has become corrupt, what can one expect of lesser folks?
Note : Origin: from the Babylonian Talmud.
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"If the mountain won't come to Muhammad, Muhammad will go to the mountain."
Meaning - If reality does not adapt itself to one's personal whims, one must adapt himself to reality.
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(he) said the last word
Meaning - He had the last laugh, his was the final word.
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In the 90th minute.
Meaning - In the last moment; in the nick of time.
Note : Origin: from Soccer games which last 90 minutes, and there can be a goal in the 90th minute.
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Don't throw a stone into a well you drank from.
Meaning - A person must show his gratitude to all, even to an animal or an object.
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Between the hammer and the anvil
Meaning - Between two evils
Note : English Equivalent: Between a rock and a hard place
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In all 248 of his bones.
Meaning - (said of a person) fully, completely.
Note : Origin: from the Halakha, after the 248 "Do commands" in the Bible, which Hazal believed to be the number of bones in the human body.
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How did the wise men help with their ruling?
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In Rome act like a Roman
Meaning - One has to adapt oneself to his environment
Note : English equivalent: When in Rome, do as Romans do.
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By Rachel your younger daughter
Meaning - Spell out every detail
Note : Origin: from the Bible (Genesis 29, 18).
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Cannon fodder
Meaning - A live wall.
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Greater is he who is obligated to do it, than he who volunteers to do it.
Meaning - Its harder for a person to do his job, than a volunteer. Moreover the volunteer can walk away at any time, whereas the obligated one, cannot.
Note : Origin: Talmud in the name of Chananiah ben Teradyon
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Similar like two drops of water.
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His blood is in his head.
Meaning - His problems are his own fault.
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They who seed with tears - will reap with song.
Meaning - Those who worked hard, will reap the fruits of their labour.
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Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?
Meaning - Certain things cannot be changed, because it is against their nature.
Note : English Equivalent: A leopard can't change his spots.
Origin: Jeremiah 13/23 from the Hebrew Bible
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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A difference of Sky and Earth.
Meaning - A very significant difference.
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The one who disqualifies, disqualifies based on his own fault.
Meaning - Pot calling the kettle black.
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The cause makes the means holy. (i.e: in place).
Meaning - The ends justify the means.
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Placed his money on the gazzele's horns
Meaning - Risked his money
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The cobbler walks barefoot.
Meaning - A professional does not apply his profession upon himself.
Note : English equivalent: the shoe-maker has no shoes.
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The sky's the limit.
Meaning - Said on something that if performed, there will be very vast possibilities.
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The apple does not fall far from the tree.
Meaning - Children resemble their parents.
Note : English Equivalent: Chip off the old block.
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And a savior came for Zion.
Meaning - And the salvation/solution for a problem will come (and everyone will be happy).
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Life and death in the hands of the tongue
Meaning - What you say can have a large effect on your future.
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Looked for the female donkeys and found the kingship.
Meaning - Looked for something minor and found something much greater.
Note : Origin: from the Bible, in regards to the story about Saul that was anointed as a king after looking for his father's donkeys.
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Better be a tail for the lions than the head of the foxes
Meaning - It is better to be a minor member of a good group, than a prominent leader of a bad group.
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"One bird in the hand is better than two on the tree".
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A Tallit which is entirely azure.
Meaning - Someone who is a purely benevolent person. Usually said negatively: "he isn't a Tallit which is entirely azure".
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Went to the government's treasury
Meaning - To get lost; to go down the drain.
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There's a limit to every act of mischief
Meaning - Enough is enough.
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He cuts the branch that he is sitting on.
Meaning - He is hurting something that he depends on.
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Because with tricks you should do a war
Note : Origin: The Bible - Pslams 24, 6
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