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As we sing in Friday night Zemiros:

להתענג בתענוגים ברבורים ושליו ודגים

To rejoice with rejoicers: Barbarians, Slavs, and Dags.

Why do we rejoice with these groups specifically?


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closed as off-topic by msh210 Mar 23 at 22:23

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Your definition of ברבורים is incorrect. It refers to barbers. They are important because one should have a nice haircut and shave / trim before Shabbat. You may be good at doing it yourself, but, a good barber will do a nice professional job so that you look nice and clean for Shabbat. So, we give thanks and sing about them during zemirot.

I can personally attest to Slavs. My father and his entire side of the family were born in pre-war Ungvar in the Carpathian mountains. That definitely makes them Slavic. These are brave people who survived the Holocaust and many of them, my father among them, helped save numerous other Jews by forging documents and sneaking them out. These people are my personal heros. In itself a huge cause for celebration.

Dags is a term I had not heard of until you mentioned it. I couldn't open your link, so I hope that what Wikipedia says is pretty much the same:

In Australia, it is often used as an affectionate insult[2] for someone who is, or is perceived to be, unfashionable, lacking self-consciousness about their appearance and/or with poor social skills yet affable and amusing. It is also used to describe an amusing, quirky and likeable person (as in, "He's a bit of a dag") and is non-pejorative.

Really, you have to ask why we sing about Dags? The week has the same boring routine, esp. at work. The same people doing the same old miserable things and everyone is frazzled and overworked and in a snippy mood. Ech!!! I think people could use a few Dags at their Shabbat table to make things different. So what if they have poor social skills and aren't dressed Shabbesdike? If they're Jewish, invite them all in and have them celebrate Shabbat with you. During the week, the world probably scorns them for the way they look and act. Hey, it's a tough world and their probably fighting their way to be accepted. On Shabbat, they deserve a rest from the rat race, and you deserve to have someone different and quirky at your table. So, give them and you a break and celebrate with all those Dags out there.

  • Dags wasn't a term I had heard of until I wrote it, either. I could make ברבורים and שליו work, so I did a quick Google search for Dags to see if I could make דגים work also. – DonielF Mar 19 at 22:32
  • @DonielF I got that. Don' t make fun of Slavs. Many of us perhaps wouldn't be born without them ;-) They also know how to make excellent kugel! – DanF Mar 19 at 22:41

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