I Remember Mama Saying

Gey nisht borves.  Don’t go barefoot.

Es nor koshere zakhn.  Eat only kosher things.

Hob khasene mit a raykhn meydl.  Marry a rich girl.

Ven s’iz kalt, trog a hut un hentshkes. 
When it’s cold, wear a hat and gloves.

Folg dayn tate un mame.  Obey your father and mother.

Tu on t’filn.  Put onphylacteries. 

Gey tsu shul shabes in der fri. 
Go to the synagogue Saturday morning.

Es nisht tsu shnel.  Don’t eat too fast.

Her zikh tsu tsu, vos dayne lerers zogn. 
Pay attention to what your teachers say.

Zhaleve nit far esn un a dokter.  Don’t be stingy for food or a doctor.

Zoln dayne kinder tuen far dir vos du tust far mir. 
Your kids should do for you what you do for me.

Di velt iz ful mit ganovim.  The world is full of thieves. 

Gedenk, du bist a pror.  Remember, you are the oldest son.

Dayn mame iz a bas k’henes. 
Your mother is the daughter of a Cohen.

Vash di hent.  Wash your hands.

Loz di blote in droysn.  Leave the mud outside.

Shling nisht dos esn.  Don’t gulp your food.

Khayes zenen oykhet gots kinder. 
Animals are also G-d’s children.

Freg nisht!  Don’t ask!

Dos iz gots veg.  That’s G-d’s way.

Ven er volt gevolt az du zolst es hobn volt er es dir gegebn. 
If He wanted you to have it, He would have given it to you.

Zorg nisht.  Don’t worry. 

Zoln mayne sonim dos hobn. 
My enemies should have it!

Zol er krenkn.  He should be sick!

Tshepe nisht di shikses.  Don’t touch the gentile girls.

Hob a sakh kinder.  Have many children.

Zol got geyn mit dir.  May G-d go with you. 

Mish nisht di milkhiks un fleyshiks.  Don’t mix dairy and meat.

Nem a bod.  Take a bath.

Trog di glezer.  Wear your glasses.

S’iz rikhtik—s’iz geshribn.  It’s right—it has been written.

Got hot dos ales gemakht.  G-d made everything.

A ku darf hobn a sakh vaser in zumer. 
A cow needs to have a lot of water in the summertime.
Er iz nor a hunt.  He is only a dog.

A kats iz gut nor far khapn moyz. 
A cat is good only for catching mice.

Shisn a biks iz nor far goyim. 
Shooting (hunting) a gun is only for gentiles.

Ober dayn tatns mishpokhe esn khazer. 
However, your father’s family eats pork.

Es nor frishe fish.  Eat only fish that’s fresh

Vash di negl.  Wash your fingernails.

Zog kadish nokh mayn toyt.  
Say kaddish (memorial prayer) for me after my death.

Du trogst dem nomen fun mayn feter fishl.
 You are named after my Uncle Fishl.   

Zog nisht proste verter.  Don’t use foul language. 

A grobe moyd iz a foyle moyd.  A fat girl is a lazy girl.

Gey nisht arum mit leydike hent. 
Don’t go around with empty hands.

Gey nisht aroys ven es dunert. 
Don’t go outside when there it’s thundering.

Breng arayn genug holts.  Bring in enough wood (for the stove).

Zhaleve nisht far dayne kinder.  Don’t be stingy for your kids.

Rozvelt iz a held.  Roosevelt is a hero.