Monday, February 28, 2011

Nu? What Are You Waiting For? So Buy A Shirt Already!

Of all the Yiddish words that we know, none is more universal and unique in that it needs absolutely no translation. What is it? The word "nu."  Nu, so it's not really a word. It's more accurately an expression, a sentiment, a gesture. 

But how do you pronounce it? Definitely not as "new."  The only correct pronunciation is a drawn out "nuuuu?" accompanied by one, or even better, two upturned hands awaiting a response.

A new store bearing the name "NU" opened recently in Jerusalem.  It sells T-shirts and posters that inspire people worldwide to take action for important Israeli and global causes, such as aid for survivors of the Carmel forest fire, support for a major Israeli food bank, and aid to Haiti.  Other shirts and posters commemorate Israel's Declaration of Independence and five great leaders in Israel's short history.

Nu, so where does the store's name come from? According to the website,
NU is Hebrew slang for 'so' or 'C'mon' and begs a response when aimed at you! NU founder David Kramer was walking in a busy market in central Jerusalem when he noticed an old man fall to the ground. He was carrying bags full of food, which scattered everywhere and in all his frustration, he turned to onlookers and shouted an unforgettable 'Nuuuuuuuuu.' From then on, the name stuck and became the official brand name. It is the ultimate expression of the brand - to engage and inspire people worldwide to get involved and take action for important issues that effect our world!
If you're planning a trip to Israel, you'll find the store at 14 Shlomtzion HaMalka Street, Jerusalem (just up from Mamilla, just down from O'Connell's). You can also buy the shirts and posters online.

Are Israelis and tourists up to pronouncing this classic Yiddishism correctly? Watch this video and judge for yourself.  Enjoy!

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