11 Personality Traits the Average Israeli Has (But Probably Won’t Tell You)

2 min read
Yonatan Engler
Yonatan Engler

Whether based on culture and/or geography, every country has a set of personality traits the average local personifies. Here are some common traits for the everyday Israeli:

1. Israelis will bargain about everything, even if they don’t intend to buy.

Whether they’re buying or not, Israelis always see an opportunity to improve their bargaining skills.

Keywords: לְהִתְמַקֵחַ, לְהִתְכַּוֵן

Translation: to bargain/haggle, to mean/aim for

Transliteration: leh-heet-mah-kay-yach, leh-heet-cah-ven

2. Israelis are hard on the outside, soft on the inside.

Israelis are nicknamed “sabras” after the cactus fruit: spiky but sweet.

Keywords: צַבָּר (m), צַבָּרִית (f)

Translation: Sabra fruit/native Israeli

Transliteration: tzah-bar-eet (f), tzah-bar (m)

3. Israelis complain about everything in this country, but swear Israel is the best.

At the end of the day, they still love Israel more than any other place in the world.

Keywords: לְהִתְלוֹנֵן, תְלוּנָה

Translation: to complain, complaint

Transliteration: leh-heet-loh-nen, t’loo-nah

4. Israelis can’t understand why anyone would move here from abroad.

Israelis dream of moving abroad, and can’t fathom why anyone would want to live here (even though they really love it here).

Keywords: חוּ”ל, לֹא יְאוּמָן

Translation: abroad, unbelievable

Transliteration: chool, lo yeh-oo-mahn

5. Israelis can think of a solution to any problem.

They don’t call Israel “Start-Up Nation” for nothing.

Keywords: פִּתָרוֹן, לִפְתוֹר

Translation: solution, to solve

Transliteration: pee-tah-rone, leef-tor

6. Israelis put their family first.

They’ll never miss Friday night dinner with the family.

Keywords: מִשְׁפַּחְתִּית, מִשְׁפַּחְתִּי

Translation: family-oriented

Transliteration: meesh-pach-teet (f), meesh-pach-tee (m)

7. Israelis hate when you mess up Israeli food.

Keep it simple, but make it gourmet.

Hebrew: לִבַלגֵן, בָּלָגָן

Translation: to mess up, mess

Transliteration: leh-val-gen, bah-lah-gan

8. Israelis are the most open-hearted people.

If you’ve just met an Israeli and they invite you for dinner, they mean it.

Hebrew: הַדֶּלֶת תָּמִיד פְּתוּחָה

Translation: The door is always open.

Transliteration: hah-del-et tah-meed p’too-chah

9. Israelis aren’t rude – they’re straightforward.

Don’t be taken aback by how straightforward Israelis are; the honesty is really because they care about you.

Hebrew: יַשְׁרָנִית, יַשׁרָנִי

Translation: someone who is straightforward

Transliteration: yash-rah-neet (f), yash-rah-nee (m)

10. Israelis don’t know the term “personal space.”

We’re all family here.

Hebrew: מֶרְחָב אִישִׁי

Translation: personal space

Transliteration: mer-chav ee-shee

11. Israelis have exaggerated reactions.

One minute they can be yelling, the next they’re laughing.

Hebrew: לְהַגזִים, הַגזָמָה

Translation: to exaggerate, exaggeration

Transliteration: leh-hag-zeem, hag-zah-mah

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