Posts Tagged ‘Goyishe’

“Jewish Things”

May 5, 2009

So this weekend we went to Monsey and I found out that I am doing something very important wrong. We are sitting in the house of a wonderful Spinka Chasidic family. It was our first Shabbos with a Chasidic family, and so far we were fitting in okay (if you ignore the fact that we wore color!!!0.

We took a break from a lively discussion about dating to play a card game with the two middle school girls, and I had a song (“Tov L’Hodos”)  stuck in my head. The husband of the family was upstairs napping, but I still didn’t want to sing. I preceded to whistle quietly  and was immediately stopped by the 13 year old girl. “My mother says not to whistle! It’s a GOYISHE thing!”

Personally, I’m very into whistling. I do it when I’m nervous and, as in this case, when I have a song stuck in my head but can’t sing. I don’t want to do anything “goyishe” but I don’t really know if whistling qualifies as this.

I don’t think whistling is intrinsically Jewish, but neither are turkeys or clocks or pillows. 

What is it that makes whistling goyishe? Is there a problem with doing something that isn’t Jewish by definition? If there is, then why do we shop in non-Jewish stores or buy non-Jewish products? 

Someone please explain…

 

-Tsivia