girsa d'yankuta

Alternative Spellings

girse d'yankuse, girsah d'yankuta, girsa d'yankusa, girsa de yankuta, girsah d'yankusa


  • That which was learned as a young child.

Example Sentences

  • I'm not sure where I learned it, it's just my girsa d'yankuta.
  • My girsa d’yankuta: “Trick or Treat!” My child’s girsa d’yankuta: “Baruch Atoh, Omain!” (
  • "As an apikoros (in Yiddish, a "heretic"), Buber knew Judaism from within, having acquired it in his youth - as the Talmudic Aramaic has it, girsa d'yankuta, "imbibed it with his mother's milk" (Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent, by Paul Mendes-Flohr, 2019, p. 147)

Languages of Origin



גִירְסָא דְיַנְקוּתָא girsa d'yankuta, lit. 'that learned in childhood' (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 21b)

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)
Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there


North America


The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).


Girsa means "learning," and yankuta means "childhood" (from the root y-n-k "to nurse"). Based on Rashi's commentary on Shabbat 21B, this phrase carries the assumption that one is more likely to remember what one learns as a child than what one learns as an adult.

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