derech eretz

Pronunciations

derech eretz (DEH-rehkh EH-rets) listen

Definitions

  • n. "Good conduct; normal, polite behavior in a social setting." (JPS). Manners, respect.

  • adj. Participating in modern society.

Example Sentences

  • "It's important to treat everyone, be he a doctor or a garbageman, with derech eretz."

  • "Hirsch's Torah im Derech Eretz ("Torah with the way of the Land") is a philosophy of Orthodox Judaism which formalizes a relationship between halakhically observant Judaism and the modern world." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish

Etymology

  • Heb דרך ארץ dérekh érets 'lit. way of the land; respect', Yiddish דרך־ארץ derkhérets 'respect'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)

      Regions

      • North America

      Dictionaries

      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      derekh erets

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