Lazy Sunday: Shtisel

By Kay Gardiner
July 12, 2020

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27 Comments
  • Agree! Good news, they’re filming another season.

  • I was recommended Shtisel last night as a tip to help me learn modern Hebrew. Theres a 3rd series coming. Another recommendation was Fauda from a comment posted on the item about Shtisel

    • Fauda! Loved it, great acting and action, didn’t want it to end either.

  • I really enjoyed Shtisel. Beautiful locations in Israel.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed it, the acting is superb that I felt that I could understand the Yiddish

    • Same. Loved it and understood a lot of the Yiddish.

    • I understand a lot of Hebrew and Yiddish, and that is definitely a bit of a plus when watching this series—not essential, but it’s interesting to note which characters speak to each other in Hebrew and when they use Yiddish. For those who can’t discern which language is being used: The oldest generation (ie immigrants from Europe) are most comfortable in Yiddish, so their “children” (eg Shulem) address them in Yiddish, but their grandchildren (eg Kiva) speak with them in Hebrew. Fun fact (and not a spoiler)—I believe it’s in season 2 that the grandma has a bit of a sweetie and there’s a lovely scene where they are chatting, but each in his/her native tongue! Grandma is speaking Yiddish, while the “frenk” is speaking an Arabic dialect. Neither understands what the other is saying, but no matter. They have someone to talk to.

      • I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It is a great suggestion.

      • I can generally distinguish Yiddish versus Hebrew, but I totally missed that wonderful detail about grandma and the frenk. The series has so much nuance.

  • Just watched it for a third time. Love it so much and Kay, check out Srugim on Amazon. Plus it has three seasons lots of quarantine watching.

  • My husband and I loved Shtisel. The only downside was that I could not knit and read the subtitles at the same time!

  • I felt the very same way about watching Shtisel! Then I committed to watching one episode – and immediately fell head over heels for the young man playing Shtisel. I do hope it returns for another season.

  • Yes – try Srugim!
    I understand a fair bit of both languages (thanks grandparents) … and they’ve both been on my lists …but I’m a reader and can’t knit with subtitles!

    When in graduate school, on my 3rd attempt to pass the German reading exam, and I asked my father if Yiddish declined … he asked me what I meant. You know, the der die das die. It does. Sigh.

    As to the way the younger generation speaks – my father sometimes spoke English to his mother, who answered him in Yiddish. He was fluent.

    • I agree! Srugim was so good! I’m a little depressed I finished it. I feel like I’m missing my real friends.

  • Can one knit whilst watching or will they need to their eyes in the screen to keep up with the subtitles ?

    • I’m able to knit (simple log cabin/garter stitch) while watching with no problems. It helps that they speak slowly, as in real life, and the actors are so excellent that you get at least half of the meaning from their voices and expressions, and the subtitles are short. Somehow I’m able to remember a lot of words once I’ve gotten the translation through the subtitles a couple of times, and that speeds it up when the word or phrase pops up after that. Nobody is giving long speeches in this show!

      They use certain words and phrases in nearly every interchange so you pick those up right away. Baruch hashem (the answer to “how are you,” which I think literally means “praise the Lord”), l’traot (see you soon), kol tuv (take care, also used as goodbye), the names for mother, father, sister, brother, baby etc. I can see it being great as a teaching tool if you are trying to learn Hebrew.

      • Interesting! And yes, I did devour all the Chaim Potok novels in my youth! I have noticed that it’s possible to learn a few basic (often-repeated) words or phrases in any subtitled film, even if you are completely unfamiliar with the language. I come away with at the very least a knowledge of “yes,” “no,” and “thank you, and, as you noted, the equivalents of “hello” and good-bye.” The last series I watched was Mrs America, so Unorthodox and Shtisel both sound good.

        • That’s where I got my barely working knowledge of Hindi – from a serious Bollywood addiction….

  • I LOVED Unorthodox – So well done. I will check it out, Lady Kay thank you

  • Perfect timing — we just binged on Unorthodox last night! So much morning-after discussion, I was tempted to look for an online discussion group. Thanks for Shtisel — what I know will be some of tonight’s knitting time. Oh wait, the subtitles…..hmm…….well, if it’s only stockinette…..

  • I loved this, and the others recommended. Please watch Fill the Void, a heartbreakingly lovely story of grief and finding new love. I worked in the Brooklyn Satmar Hasidic schools for three years. This is the largest Yidding-speaking area in the world, with over 275,000 speakers. So the language is being preserved!

    • Back in the 70’s, I worked at Maimonedes and became familiar with the neighborhood which has changed a lot since. Very fond memories except for the treatment of some of the women. It was rough to be 19 and have 3 kids:) Lots of work-ups for headaches. Despite the lack of airconditioing, that was the most fun job I’ve had because of our sense of community. I wonder if there is still a rebbe who wanders the floors to make sure no staff member bought a non-Kosher pizza to the floor!

  • Loved Shtizel! My husband and I definitely binged it. The characters are so well developed. We were so sad when we came to the end. Glad to hear there will be a season 3.
    I see River on your recommendations. Loved it as well. So poignant.

  • I loved this series so much! It was not made for American audiences. I was surprised at what happened at many turns. I didn’t feel like it was curated to my viewpoint like so many series on Netflix. This is a good thing. 🙂

  • Awesome film. Can’t wait for the next one.

  • I too have had it recommended to me for a long time, but have yet to try it. I’d been purposely slow watching Gilmore Girls for the first time(!), which was perfect tv during the most stressful pandemic times in The Big Apple, but now I wish I’d moved through more quickly. Not sure I care about them anymore (Rory just accepted Yale).

    Oh, question I should probably post in the Lounge. Seems that those who watched it originally like Lorelai and not Emily (her mom), whereas newcomers seem to feel the opposite. Would love to know what MDKers think.

  • I was wondering if thirtysomething is streaming anywhere. I loved it and was living it with 2 little ones, miscarriages and no money living in a stupid house that needed more work than we had time or money for!!!!