Hebrew Words You Need to Know for the Chagim

1 min read
Zoë Biehl
Zoë Biehl

Spending the holidays in Israel is a unique experience. Here’s some common Hebrew words and phrases that are essential for surviving the chagim!

1. חג שמח

Transliteration: chag sa’me’ach

Meaning: Happy holidays! You’ll hear this constantly throughout the month, for Rosh HaShana and Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. Don’t say it for Yom Kippur, though—that’s not a cheerful holiday.

2. סגור

Transliteration: sa-goor

Meaning: Closed. During the chagim, you’ll see this word written on all the stores and restaurants. Sometimes it feels like everything is closed this time of year!

3. פקקים

Transliteration: p’ka-kim

Meaning: Heavy traffic. With everyone traveling during the chagim to visit family, the roads can get very congested.

4. לחץ

Transliteration: la-chatz

Meaning: Stress. The chagim can be a stressful time—having to visit extended family, forgetting to stock up on groceries only to find everything is closed, no access to public transportation…just remember to take a deep breath. We will all get through this!

5. רעב/ה

Transliteration: ra-ev, ra-ev-ah

Meaning: Hungry. Perhaps you are fasting for Yom Kippur, or perhaps you just can’t find an open restaurant anywhere, this is a useful word for the chagim.

6. מלא/ה

Transliteration: ma-le (m) , me-le-ah (f)

Meaning: Full. If you’re having a big Rosh HaShanah feast or eating dinner in a suka for Sukkot, you’ll need to know this word, or else they won’t stop feeding you!

7. אופניים

Transliteration: of-an-aim

Meaning: Bicycle. On Yom Kippur, the empty streets become filled with bicycle riders, especially gangs of children.

8. אורחים

Transliteration: or-chim

Meaning: Guests. The chagim are a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate with one another. Chag sameach!

About The Author:

Zoë Biehl is a full-time freelance writer and editor with an insatiable passion for travel. Originally from New York, she now happily calls Tel Aviv home.

Get a FREE practice and find your Hebrew level!
Join us and get 10% off
your first Digital Course!
Sign up to stay in the loop with Hebrew tips, tricks, and awsome content!

You’ve got options

Learn Hebrew online from anywhere in the world with live classes taught by our local teachers!

Learn Hebrew Online

Join us IRL at our Tel Aviv campus with intimate class sizes and our amazing community of locals.

Learn Hebrew in Person
Skip to main content

Keep in touch!

Join our Newsletter and get your Hebrew going

Sign up to stay in the loop with tips, tricks, and more for learning Hebrew!