mazume

Alternative Spellings

mezuma, mazumah, mezumah, mezume, mazuma, mazumeh, mezumeh, mezuman, mazuman, mezumen, mazumen, mezumonim, mezumn

Definitions

  • "ready money, cash" (Steinmetz)
  • "A group of three or more adult males who join together to recite the after-meal blessings..." (Steinmetz).

Example Sentences

  • "In what historians would later call The Great Depression, a nickel was a lot of mazuma and its economic power could buy a brand new Spaldeen..." (https://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/i-was-a-shabbes-goy/).
  • "We have a mezumen, let's bentsh."
  • "Has he got mazuma!" (Rosten)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Hebrew מזמן 'mezuman,' prepared, ready to Yiddish מזמן 'mezumn.'

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)
Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)

Dictionaries

The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

Notes

With the after-meal blessings usage, it is often used in the phrase "to bentsh mezumen... The Hebrew-origin term for such a combination of three or more is a zimmun" (Steinmetz). In some non-Orthodox communities, the term can be used to refer to three or more Jewish adults, not just men. "The idea is that a group of three or more adults who have eaten together should not simply say Grace After Meals separately but as a group—group worship is more inspiring and bonds Jews together" (Glinert).

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