Who is Yahudi???

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by Laurie Reinders » Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:38 pm

Here's one that I've been taught since I was wee...

Yahudi is the magical man that lives in your home.

He steals one sock out of the clothes drier.

He turns on the light in the fridge when you open the door.

He pops up your toast.

Why he especially likes to creak the stairs when you are trying to fall asleep & creates spooky shadows on the walls.

And he's blamed for all sorts of things like when toys are scattered about (when you were sure you put them away).

Adults like to say things like "Have you done your homework yet? What? Do you think Yahudi is going to do it for you?"

Now this magical (mythical) man was brought to life for me (taught if you will) by my Russian grandmother.

In all of my searching I've found that the word Yahudi/yehudi/yehudin is Turkish/Arabic/Swahili/Hebrew for the word God. In all of my asking of others, I've only found one other person in my area (a gent of about 60) that was also taught of Yahudi & this man is of Polish decent.

Have any of you been raised with Yahudi?

Do you know anything more about his origins?

I'm wondering if he was created so that instead of fearing something Americans call the boogeyman he was instead intended to lesson fears by saying "God" did that & not some scary creature??? Just Wondering.

We plan to invite Yahudi into our son's life & I'd like to know as much as possible so one day he can pass this on to his decendants.

Thank you in advance!
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by minjeff » Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:49 pm

When I first read it reminded me of Yahweh, the Hebrew name for God. It could be derivative of Yahweh refering to a particular function which Yahweh completed.

I, however, have never actually heard of Yahudi; I was raised on pure truth and my own child's view suppositions. Meaning, the light in the refridgerator came on for the same reason other lights came on, some switch was flipped somewhere, and that the toast popped because the toaster was designed to make it pop at the proper time.

I really like the idea of a Yahudi; I sure wish I could have blamed my toys being out on Yahudi!!!
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by dalehileman » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:41 pm

Laurie thank you most kindly for that, did you compose it yourself

If so I shall give you full credit
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by russcable » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:12 pm

My first thought was the famous (Jewish) violinist/conductor Yehudi Menuhin.
According to Wikipedia, yahudi means Jews in Indonesian, Turkish and Swahili and yehudim is Jews in Hebrew, so you may want to check your sources that say it means God (not that wikipedia isn't also wrong sometimes).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_the_Jewish_people
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by jtab4994 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:47 pm

When I was growing up, my younger sister and I were "Yahudi" to my grandmother, when we were (supposedly) being mischievous. So in our household Yahudi didn't do anything specific, but now I see where my grandmother must have gotten the name. (I was surprised to find out years later there was a violinist named Yehudi!) My grandmother was a first-generation American, born in 1903 of Danish-German parentage. Hope this helps.
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:52 pm

Laurie, YAHUDI means Jew/Jews in Arabic-speaking or Muslim countries and also among some Jews. In the U.S. the slang form is often seen as YEHUDI. YEHUDI (think Jewish-American violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin, 1916-1999) is the modern Hebrew form of Judah and JUDAH came from the Hebrew name YEHUDAH which meant ‘praised.’ Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and the ancestor of the tribe of Judah in the Old Testament which led the Exodus from Egypt and eventually formed the kingdom of Judah in the south of Israel.

I think that it is very unlikely that it is completely coincidental that the name of your mythical character (the boogeyman on Valium) is exactly the same as the name for a Jew. I think that several examples you gave put YAHDUDI in a somewhat negative light (he is blamed for steeling socks, creaks chairs when you are trying to go to sleep, scattering toys) where he is the magical man doing annoying things – but it appears that he’s not all bad. And, in fact, if one thinks of him as a kind of playful, mischief-making, Jewish Leprechaun, this is perhaps one of the less offensive stereotypical representations of a Jew one could hope to find – so who can complain? (<:)

As far as the folklore character YAHUDI goes, I have not been able to locate him, but will keep checking around. My guess is that your Russian grandmother might not have been Jewish. My grandparents on my mother’s side were Russian Jews and I never heard the expression and somehow, although I can visualize Jews creating a ‘fiddler on the roof’ telling them to make the best of things, I don’t visualize them creating this Jewish, scapegoat-type, character – if they needed a scapegoat seems like they would probalby have chosen a goy (a non-Jew)- but one never knows.
<1823 “When I was trafficking in Irâk, I had dealings with a certain YAHUDI.”—‘Travels in Arabia Deserta’ by C. M. Doughty, II. page 382>
.”—‘Travels in Arabia Deserta’ by C. M. Doughty, II. page 382>

<1862 “Frij and all Seedees believe that the Jews, or YAHOODEE, living in Calcutta, seize people, and tie them up by the heels till blood falls from them into a dish.”—in ‘Walk Across Africa’ (1864), Journal’ by J. A. Grant, 14 August, xi. page 264>

<1900 “The flip YAHOODA, with the City Education and Thirty Centuries of Commercial Training . . ., saw that here was a Chance to work off some Old Stock.”—‘More Fables’ by G. Ade, page 117>

<1930 “Dot mensch certainly knew his bissness . . . and look at all the YEHUDIM here too!”—‘American Remnant’ by R. L. Strauss, page 117>

<1959 “As far as the YEHUDIS were concerned I knew the dirt that was being done.” Ibid. “We ate well, and drank a good YEHUDI wine.”—‘Thirteen Days,’ I. Jefferies, i. page 16, and vi. page 83>

<1977 “I see the hate in your eyes, you YAHUDI (Jewish) whore, and when we go to work on you, you'll be sorry.”—‘Washington Ppost,’ 17 June, pabe C-5/3>
(Oxford English Dictionary, Behind the Name – The Etymology and History of First Names)
_______________________

Ken G – January 25, 2006
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by Laurie Reinders » Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:06 pm

Wow! I'm amazed anyone would offer an opinion, let alone such great ideas for me to hunt around on the net with!

After reading these (especially after reading Ken's) I must add that my Russian grandmother was indeed not a Jew. In Russia our family practiced Russian Orthodox & here they're all Catholic.

I'm hoping I don't find that my 'nice' little man is in fact named to blame Jews for bad things that happen around the home...I'll start studying before I introduce him to my son.

Now I can understand why when I asked my German relatives if they ever heard of Yahudi, they had (but not as the little man in your home) known the word but none could come up with an explanation.

I'm curious to read what else all of you write...
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by Laurie Reinders » Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:10 pm

dalehileman wrote: Laurie thank you most kindly for that, did you compose it yourself

If so I shall give you full credit
Thank you, I did.

I find this to be the most interesting site I've ever happened upon & am amazed by the diversity of registrants.

It's great to get to know all of you through your posts!
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by aelnamer » Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:12 pm

As Ken mentioned, the word Yahudi(Yahoodee) is used in Arabic to mean a Jew. As to the word meaning God in Arabic I have not come across this. In Arabic God is referred to as Allah. Laurie, we were not raised with Yahudi, but our neighbours in Tripoli were Libyan Jews and close friends. As children, some of the adults would use the devil (EL Shaitaan) to scare us off.

Ahmed
10th of February,2006
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Who is Yahudi???

Post by Miia » Sat Feb 11, 2006 11:32 am

The story reminds me of Finnish elves, and a children's book made out of them:

http://www.maurikunnas.net/default.cfm? ... 51&cd=2003
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