Things you’ll understand if you’re Jewish
Brum’s a Jewniversity
You might see us, you might know us, you might be mates with us. You might spot us in the Jew corner of players doing a very awkward attempt at what the real twerkers and grinders are doing next to us. Nevertheless, here’s a few things you may not know about us…
We already know each other
Chances are most of the Jews have come across each other at some point. There’s only 291000 of us in England and quite a few of them were at my Bat-Mitzvah. I probably have 290000 of them on Facebook and have been introduced to their mothers at synagogue. I’ll wave at them from across costa and you’ll say is that your friend, and I’ll say no, not really, just my… fellow Jew.
You’ll also wonder why I already have 30 close friends on the second day of uni and the truth is, we’ve all been to nursery, school, and gap year and now we live together. In kosher flats. Most of us are doing economics, business, medicine and law just like our brother, sisters and parents. Some of us might branch out to History and English – we’re the wild ones. We all date each other and WhatsApp each other’s mums on a regular basis and set each other’s siblings up with friends of friends of friends. We have each other’s backs.
We’re somewhat bi-lingual
You probably won’t understand most of our lingo. We’ll use words like ‘nebby’ ‘challishing’ or ‘chutzpah’ and you’ll nod and smile and we’ll both know you have no idea what we’re saying but that’s ok. You didn’t grow up with Yiddish catchphrases. We’ll ask each other whether we’re going to Fishel or Chabad for Shabbos lunch and you’ll look at us like were crazy, but that’s ok too. We probably are.
We go home an awful lot
The Facebook group ‘yid lifts’ is our number one source of transport. You can always count on Phil Cohen for a Brum to London lift on a Thursday afternoon. Home just in time for a fresh batch of chicken soup and kneidlach. We’ll be away for most of the first semester. We’ll turn up for the first lecture and you won’t see us till late October. It was the high holy days. We won’t be there on Friday afternoons in the winter but we will in the summer and you’ll question the logic behind that. And so will we.
Food > alcohol
You’ll know it’s a kosher flat pre-drinks when we’re jumping in a huddle circle to ‘Hava Nagila’ and there’s more alcohol left over than food. ‘Booze for Jews’ you might think is self-explanatory but really it’s just a bunch of Jews simcha dancing whilst stuffing our faces with hot dogs. Friday night is also a rave. Though it’s not at propaganda, it’s called Friday night dinner where Rabbi Fishel serves us shots before we eat burnt chicken and soggy roast potatoes. And we love it.
Our mum’s food > everything else
Our mothers come up to Brum on a Monday afternoon solely for the reason to bring kettle chips and 100 different homemade birthday cakes to ensure no one goes hungry at stuesdays pre-drinks. Put it this way – when the fire alarm rings and we’re in the middle of eating our mums roast lamb and we’re faced with the decision between life and lamb, we choose the lamb. We were the ones on the motorway on the first day of uni with a car bursting with bags and the poor Mason reps did 700 trips up the lift to transport all of them. Most of them were filled with food.
We’re in a major bubble
We’ll nod along to your wild stoned travelling stories and your Christmas celebrations and how good your ham and cheese sandwich is. The truth is, we’ve never done any of those things. Our mums baby us and we’ve had the same friends our entire lives and will probably marry one of them and our kids will all be friends and probably end up at Birmingham in 20 years from now sitting in their mason halls kosher flat reading this article thinking about how nothing much has changed whilst they receive an invite to rabbi Fishel’s sex talk about the holiness of sex. As Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof put so accurately, the Jew Crew is all about ‘Tradition.’ And we’re proud.