Israeli Proverbs

Enjoy dozens of witty and insightful Israeli proverbs and idioms that have been passed down from one generation to the next for hundreds of years!

  • Mere words do not feed the friars.
  • Quiet people are well able to look after themselves.
  • The work praises the man.
  • You didn’t turn up when sense was being distributed.
  • Don’t let your tongue cut your throat.
  • Patience cures many an old complaint.
  • Nature will come through the claws, and the hound will follow the hare.
  • To the fighting man, peace is sure.
  • Age is honorable, and youth is noble.
  • The day will come when the cow will have use for her tail.
  • You never miss the water until the well has run dry.
  • Lack of resource has hanged many a person.
  • It is easy to halve the potato where there’s love.
  • A hound’s food is in its legs.
  • Don’t say everything you want to say, lest you hear something you would not like to hear.
  • To every cow, its calf; to every book, its copy.
  • If you want to know me, come and live with me.
  • An old broom knows the dirty corners best.
  • He knows how many grains to a bushel of wheat.
  • If you want to be criticized, marry.
  • All sins cast long shadows.
  • It takes time to build castles.
  • Marry a mountain girl, and you marry the whole mountain.
  • Two shorten the road.
  • One beetle recognizes another.
  • Better be quarrelling than lonesome.
  • A wild goose never reared a tame gosling.
  • May you have a bright future, as the chimney sweep said to his son.
  • There is no strength without unity.
  • A silent mouth is melodious.
  • What will come from the briar but the berry?
  • Patience and forbearance make a bishop of his reverence.
  • The well fed does not understand the lean.
  • It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for.
  • There is no luck except where there is discipline.
  • When the sky falls, we’ll catch larks.
  • Better own a trifle than want a great deal.
  • It is no secret that is known to three.
  • What butter and whiskey will not cure there’s no cure for.
  • Life is like a cup of tea: it’s all in how you make it.
  • When you are right, no one remembers; when you are wrong, no one forgets.
  • The best way to keep loyalty in a man’s heart is to keep money in his purse.
  • As the old cock crows, the young cock learns.
  • It is a bad hen that does not scratch herself.
  • When the fruit is scarcest, its taste is sweetest.
  • Possession satisfies.
  • Don’t bless the fish until it gets to the land.
  • Three diseases without shame: love, itch, and thirst.
  • Instinct is stronger than upbringing.
  • It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.

For thousands more proverbs and words of wisdom, collected from over 40 countries, check out Proverbs from Around the World!

One thought on “Israeli Proverbs

  1. Lena says:

    I’ve just come back from Tel Aviv and seeing the Old City. So many feelings. Israel still has so many problems, but the whole place has so much history.

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