Text Me Something Jewish… and Hope I Can Read It!

In our super-connected, I-can’t-be-without-my-cell-phone world, we’ve all experienced technology woes. One day, it’s the battery in your phone. The next day, your laptop won’t boot up and all you get is the blue screen of death. A few months ago, I started collecting examples of a different kind of technology trouble: Jewish autocorrect.

As I do with so many other things in my life, I’m happy to share my collection of auto-corrects and spell-checker suggestions. Some are hilarious, others befuddling, and still others just plain nonsensical. I hope they’ll make you chuckle – and prompt you to share your own by adding them as comments at the bottom of this post.

Ready? Here we go!

  • When a friend was endlessly sick with a sinus infection and bronchitis, I texted her a refuah sh’leimah. What appeared on her phone? “Refuse shell.”
  • On a Friday afternoon, a friend texted me, “Shabby shalom!” That one was easy enough to figure out. But when a later text read “Taster loach,” I didn’t quite know what to make of it. I learned later that I’d done a good job with something and was (supposed to be) getting a yasher koach. Go figure.
  • Leading up to the High Holy Days, Temple Israel in Memphis posted a notice about Selichot services. Instead, the congregation wound up hosting “deli hot services.” Pastrami, anyone?
  • Once the High Holy Days were upon us, shana tova greetings morphed into “shaman toga,” the month of Tishrei became “Fishery,” and g’mar tov wishes turned into graduate school entrance exams, appearing as “GMAT tov.” Wishing folks an easy fast with a tzom kal resulted in their receiving messages that read “Toxic kal” or, in other instances, “Thin kal.”
  • During Sukkot, the etrog became “estrogen,” and the lulav became a “lilac.” Although the latter might suffice in a pinch, the former most certainly won’t do!
  • A few rabbis’ names fell victim to autocorrect, too. Poor Rabbi Danziger became Rabbi Danger (the latter is probably not the officiant you want at your wedding!), and one Rabbi Glickstein became Rabbi Flicks Twin. Hey, leave that twin alone!
  • We Jews are masters of zachor, memory. Each Shabbat we shamor v’ zachor, once each year we study Parashah Zachor, and each spring, we observe Yom HaZikaron, remembering Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. So, what happens when we text the word zachor? Ironically, we get a “savior” or a “cackle.”

Speaking of memory, don’t forget to share your own Jewish auto-corrects and spell-checker guesses. Just pop them into the comment box below so we can all have a good laugh. And next time you try to send a Jewish greeting from your cell phone, well, b’hate lace! Oh, shoot, I meant to type b’hatzlecha. Oh, forget it: Good luck!


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About JanetheWriter

JanetheWriter writes and edits for the Union for Reform Judaism. When she's not writing and editing, JanetheWriter enjoys many of the usual pastimes of New Yorkers including hanging with friends, poking around the city, people watching, going to the movies, visiting museums, browsing in bookstores, dining out, and perusing the Sunday paper. She’s a regular worshipper at the Shabbat minyan at Temple Shaaray Tefila, New York, NY, where she also serves on several committees. Additional writings can be seen on her blog, JanetheWriter Writes.

9 Responses to “Text Me Something Jewish… and Hope I Can Read It!”

  1. avatar

    Hi Jane! How funny that you should write about this today. A colleague just wrote me about a bar mitzvah he attended this past “shambles.”

  2. JanetheWriter

    Here’s another one: Imagine signing off to a grandchild “Love, Safta” and having it show up at the other end as “Love, Santa”

  3. avatar

    A friend wrote me to report on the day she watched her daughter graduate from High School. She wanted to say, “I was filled with such nachas.” Autocorrect changed it to “I was filled with such nachos.”

  4. JanetheWriter

    Yesterday, I texted a colleague something about a chavurah. My phone “corrected” it to Iran. No, thanks, I don’t really want to be a chavurah with Iran.

  5. avatar

    So funny! I was studying Hebrew with some friends a few months ago, one of whom had an audio-converter app on her iPad. We wanted to know the translation of a phrase, so we read the Hebrew into the microphone. What we got back was about a red convertible jumping over a creek! I don’t think that was in the prayer!

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