Mazel & Mishagoss: The 5 Love Languages, Tweaked For Jews


We’ve all read Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, true? Of course true! These five methods (Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch) are how people give and receive love. Clearly he didn’t grow up in my quirky Jewish family and hasn’t figured out there are actually 50 ways of sharing and accepting love. Lucky for him, I’ve devised a separate quiz to determine which Jewish “Love” Language we favor. Ready?

You’re feeling down, so you’d like your loved ones to: a) Deliver you home cooked matzo ball soup. (Broth Method) b) Take you to local deli for a bowl of high-priced matzo ball soup. (Waitress Tactic) c) Slip a rolled-up message in a corked (Manischewitz wine) bottle that says “Cheer up!” and set it afloat inside a huge pot of matzo ball soup. (Love of Innovation)

You have doubts about being cherished so you send a group text that says: a) “I’m having doubts about being cherished. Show me the soup!” b) “Finding myself with lots of time on my hands and wondering what it means to be cherished. Why do I have so much time on my hands, you ask? Oy, sorry! The head surgeon just walked in – I better stop texting and pay attention to this big macher giving me pre-op instructions.” (‘Don’t Worry About Me, I’ll Be Fine!’ angle) c) “Nu? I’m listening to the radio on Mother’s Day and haven’t heard my children request a dedication asking the DJ to play for their mother the song Cherish, by The Association. Must be because the phone lines are out of order from so many of you trying to call in all at once.” (The“You’ll Give Me the Attention I Deserve” Matriarch Assumptive Close Musical Variation)

When hosting Passover, your preferred procedure to evaluate your guests is: a) Place pillows on each chair so guests fulfill their obligation to recline at the Seder – then observe if they lean to the left or right, making note of their political affiliation. (Presidential Predictive Presumptiveness) b) Hide the afikomen in an intimate place in your bedroom to test which parents teach their kids to respect elders’ privacy (Judgy Lovey Language) c)Pack up To-Go boxes of your main course and see who declines or “Passes Over” taking the leftovers home. Translation – They found your brisket to be dry. (Backhanded Insult Perception at a Holiday Dinner Slant)

On a first date, your ideal practice of discerning a good sense of humor is to: a) Quote Tevye verbatim (especially in scenes with Golde) to see if your date laughs. Particularly this line – “Quiet woman, before I get angry! Because when I get angry, even flies don’t dare to fly.” Haha! (Fiddler on the Roof “Do You Love Me?” System) b) Stash the check between pieces of matzo and hide it in the restaurant to see if they’ll make the amusing afikomen connection from #3 above and go on a hunt. (Immature But Still Creative Mode) c) If it’s a coffee date, invent words that sound like Yiddish (i.e. Starbucktchatchke, sugaranukkah and creamchutz) and speak them throughout your conversation. When questioned, look askance and say, “What? You don’t know Yiddish? It’s already a dying language without some people going around butchering it. Ahh Kenahora!” (Mishagoss Modality)

After sneezing at a family simcha, you look around anticipating: a) Five people will exclaim, “G-d bless you!” and three are gonna shout, “Gesundheit” (German Words of Affirmation) plus someone kvells that their son is spending his next four years in medical school. (Jewish Quality Time) b) You’ll get to wear a 100% wool sweater, a leather jacket, or a luxurious fur coat (Receiving Gifts of Shvitzing) when the older Jewish generation remarks how you’ll catch your death of cold if you don’t immediately put on one of their offerings. (I Know More Than an MD Love Language) c) A well-meaning bubbe pours hot tea with lemon/honey/raw egg down your throat very fast (Jewish Physical Touch)

Your Results: a’s, b’s or c’s? You’re definitely Jewish and your love language is Food, Guilt, Exaggeration, or Neurotic Behavior. Now that you know…go express yourself!

Stephanie D. Lewis writes for The Huffington Post and at


Shalom, Make Yourself at Home!

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