Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Secrets from the world of hadrachah

Kids staying out late every night? Check.

Homework being ignored? Check.

Paint-spattered clothing? Check.

{nods} Yup. Tis the season.

As bemused, exasperated, but ultimately resigned parents across the country are well aware, Chodesh Irgun has arrived. (Which means that the ooltra is surely on its way...)

With most (but not all*) of the Shiputzim children being dedicated and active youth group members, we’ve seen this movie many times before.

But this year, there’s a significant difference.

You see, a few weeks ago, ACIT (a certain Israeli teenager) became the first member of the Shiputzim family to “go into hadrachah” (to use the Heblish term) – i.e. to become a madrich/madrichah (a youth group counselor).

Which means that I’ve been privileged to get a glimpse at some of hadrachah’s more esoteric aspects.

For instance, I now know that while chevrayah bet (i.e. the older division) is referred to by the acronym חב”ב (pronounced chaBAB), one never, ever says חב”א (i.e. chaBA) when discussing chevrayah aleph (the younger kids).

Also, I recently discovered that the Hebrew word for co-counselor is madash/madashit – מד”ש/מד”שית. (Madash is masculine, and madashit is feminine.)

Apparently, madash/madashit is an acronym for madrich/madrichah she’iti -  מדריך\מדריכה שאיתי – literally, “counselor who is with me”.

Here’s how one would use madash/madashit in a sentence:

.המד”שית שלי נוסעת לשבת – Hamadashit sheli nosa’at l’Shabbat. - My madashit is going away for Shabbat.

And if we expand the acronym in the above example, we get the following:

.המדריכה שאיתי שלי נוסעת לשבת – Hamadrichah she’iti sheli nosa’at l’Shabbat. – My counselor who is with me is going away for Shabbat.

As to be expected, ACIT didn’t see why this amuses me. (“What? Madash is now a regular word…”)

But I suspect that some of you might appreciate the humor.

And as an extra side benefit, now that you’ve learned about madashim, perhaps you’ll be able to decode a bit more of your Israeli teenagers’ Facebook statuses



*As I noted in this post: The other Shiputzim children are adherents of what is euphemistically known as “Iyov” (איוב – an acronym for אשרי יושבי ביתך – Ashrei yoshvei veitecha - “Praiseworthy are those who dwell in Your House”) – i.e. they prefer to stay home…


  1. How exciting for you to have entered the inside loop of hadracha! Thanks for filling us in - I've *definitely* never heard of a madash/it before...

  2. Oh, my, there seems to be new slang.

  3. Toby - I wonder if madash is a new term, and if so, what did people call their co-madrichim in the "olden" days?

    Batya - There always is... :-)

  4. ...and I bet your madrich/a needs to attend a ישב"ץ--a yashvatz every night.

  5. Baila - Ah, yes, the nightly yashvatz!

    Tonight's staff "meeting" ended at 11:00 PM and involved a treasure hunt in a mall and pizza. How come staff meetings at work are never like that?!

    With your permission, I think I'll blog about the yashvatz (and a few more hadrachah secrets) in an upcoming post...

  6. I love your blog very much.
    I can't wait to hear what you write about Shabbat and the Hashba'a!

    (Why do they have to stay out all night?)
    and Thursday night will be a "white night" I tried to understand why they have to stay awake all night and then sleep all Friday?

    Will be happy to see some answers

  7. Keren - Thanks for your kind words.

    Why do they have to stay out all night? - This is truly one of life's great, unfathomable mysteries...


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