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Things that are cool in Israel #7: Ads around the Jewish holidays


Spotted this trio of IKEA ads while shlepping into Haifa the other day. 

I was so charmed that I found myself wishing immediately that they were more of them. 

When was the last time you wished to be inundated with MORE advertising messages?  In Israel, it happens.

Here’s the first one (translation beneath):


Hebrew text:  סירים מעוצבים דיינו / sirim me’utzvim dayeinu
Translation:  “Designer pots, Dayeinu!”  (from the Haggadah song, Dayeinu)

This one is #2 (Like my kids, I don’t know which one of these I love more…)


Hebrew text:  ספל מעוצב כהלכתו / sefel me’utzav kehilchato
Translation:  “Proper designer cups,” but the word “proper” is kehilchato, which also means “according to its laws,” another veiled-but-obvious Haggadah reference.


Hebrew text:  עושים סדר במגירת הסכו”ם / osim seder be’megirat hasakoom
Translation:  “Making order in your silverware drawer,” but as everyone learned in Hebrew school, the word “order” is Seder, making the phrase also mean “making a Seder in your cutlery drawer.”

Like I said, I wish there were more than three of these.  It’s not that they are so brilliant that I can’t get enough of them… it’s that they speak to me.

Of course, many companies in Israel do this, to some extent.  It’s fun seeing the ads blasting New Year’s specials at Rosh Hashanah time with Jewish images… and then ads from the same companies blasting New Year’s specials around December 31st. 

As they say in Hebrew, סיבה למסיבה / siba lemesiba, which roughly translates to “any excuse for a party.”  It rhymes in Hebrew, so it’s way cooler.

Ads like this one from El Al don’t appeal to me as much.


Hebrew text:  בימינו, ככה חוצים את הים / beyameinu, kacha chotzim et hayam…
Translation:  These days, here’s how we cross the sea…

It’s cute, but not sneaky like the IKEA ones.  So I guess this year I’ve lucked out and found a series of ads I really love.

Figuring this can’t have been the first time for such a campaign, I searched for similar IKEA ads online and found this site, which includes a serious of similar IKEA ads (written by the post author), which are still appealing, though slightly less pun-based.


Hebrew text:  כיסא לאליהו? / kisei le’Eliyahu?
Translation:  Chair for Eliyahu?


Hebrew text:  עבדים היינו? / avadim hayinu?
Translation:  We were slaves?


Hebrew text:  מחבוא לאפיקומן? / machbo le’Afikoman?
Translation:  Hiding the Afikoman?

These Pesach ads still speak to me, if not to my love of sly sneaky puntentionality.

Interestingly, the writer there says that her goal as an advertising copywriter (the word for a female copywriter is apparently “copy-rite-reet”) was to come up with something more original than “Making order” (osim seder), which she refers to as “one of the usual advertising clichés.” 

So maybe I’ll become inured to it after many years and it won’t seem so cute to me either anymore. 

In fact, the “jading” process may already have begun. 

How do I know?

This is one of the original pictures I took of the IKEA ads.   See that sign board in the upper foreground of the picture?  The one that tells you how long it will be until the #3, #1, and #2 Metronit arrive? 


When we first arrived in Israel, I couldn't stop staring at the scrolling digital message boards because they're ALL IN HEBREW.  I mean, that is totally its own kind of amazing, right?

Actually, though I don’t stare at them as much anymore, it totally is amazing.

And I really, really can't wait for the buses to start displaying their usual Chag Sameach messaging on their digital message boards up front.


Hebrew text:  חג פסח כשר ושמח , הנהלת אגד / chag Pesach kasher v’sameach, hanhalat Egged
Translation:  Happy kosher Pesach, from Egged (bus company) management

(photo credit Stef Jadd Susnow courtesy of her aliyah blog)

Scratch that; never mind.  I hope I’m never too jaded to realize that when it’s yom tov, life is just better here.   Everything’s cooler in Israel when it’s Pesach time.

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה

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