Miss Lipschitz, follow up

My Hebrew school teacher Miss Lipschitz was a young Israeli woman who, in the warm weather, favored sleeveless shirts. She had a habit, when the class was noisy and popping out of our seats, of extending an arm straight in front of her, snapping her fingers and loudly calling “Shave mahair!” This move would reveal a tuft of hair under her arm, something uncommon in American-born women.

In Hebrew “shave” is the command form of “sit” and “mahair” means “quickly”. She was telling us to sit down and come to order. But to some of us, hopped up on smuggled in candy, resentful about being back in school at 4:00, after a full day of regular school, not knowing a word of Hebrew, the sight gag of “shave my hair” was too good to resist.

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