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Where did the Cheap Jews stereotype come from?

The following video was made in homage to the post I wrote sometime back about how picking up fallen change may make Jews look cheap. Are Jews cheap? I think the stereotype probably started because we were barred from owning land so we went into banking, or the fact we did well at whatever business we went into – but still lived in the same ghetto neighborhoods, don’t be fooled, a house in Boro Park or Monsey costs a fortune.

Now if we could mix and match stereotypes that would be fun. What about a Jewish person picking up a penny while having sex through a hole in the shit, polishing his horns and admiring his hook nose all at the same time.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Sara February 10, 2010, 8:54 PM

    you’re on crack, man. 🙂

  • Tova February 10, 2010, 9:04 PM

    A hole in the SHIT?

    Um…OK, Heshy. I plugged your blog, by the way.

    • Heshy Fried February 10, 2010, 9:31 PM

      I’m leaving that typo up because it’s hilarious – literally LOL

      • Micah T April 30, 2013, 4:35 PM

        That’s exactly how my French wife pronounces “sheets.” For example, she says: “Cheri, it’s time to change our shits.”

  • G*3 February 10, 2010, 11:27 PM

    > the stereotype probably started because we were barred from owning land so we went into banking

    Jews were banned from the trade guilds in Europe, and had very few career choices. One of the few was money lending. This was open to Jews because the Catholic Church forbade Christians from lending to other Christians with interest. Sound familiar? But since lending with ribis to a goy is not a problem, it was a natural niche for Jews to fill. Unfortunately, this led to Jews gaining a reputation as usurers and cheapskates – as in, “That cheap Jew wants me to pay him back.” It wasn’t unheard of for princelings and kings to expel the Jews in their fiefdoms and kingdoms when they owed the Jews too much to pay back easily.

    Jews being cheap in the sense that they don’t like to spend money is probably a combination of most Jews having been very poor and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • Yochanan February 11, 2010, 11:35 AM

      Is there a limit of how much a Jew can charge interest? Are we allowed to drive Goyim into poverty with credit card style interest rates?

      • G*3 February 11, 2010, 6:33 PM

        Not sure how you mean that. If you mean halachicly, I don’t know. If you mean ethically, no, of course not. If you mean it rhetorically, implying that Jews regularly gouged their customers, I would have to say that would be an unjustified generalization. Undoubtedly there were some who did, but in general bankrupting your customers is bad for business.

        > into poverty with credit card style interest rates?

        Anyone who buys something they can’t afford on a credit card is an idiot. The only exception might be food, but I don’t think many people run up huge credit bills buying basic groceries.

  • Meir February 11, 2010, 12:31 AM

    Actually, it might date back even before that to the whole “tax collector” thing where the Tannaim shunned the Roman tax collectors (at least as popularized by Christianity, apparently Jesus was a fan of tax collectors or something whereas the rest of the Jews were too cheap to pay them or something like that …)

  • JewishGadfly February 11, 2010, 2:16 AM

    I do this all the time. So true–I never pick up change.

    Actually, it’s a good example of a studied psychological phenomenon called “stereotype threat,” in which fear of confirming a negative stereotype makes people act differently. It has mostly been studied in terms of things like negatively affecting test scores of stereotyped groups, but its roots apply very broadly whenever people act differently in any way–consciously or unconsciously–out of fear of confirming a negative stereotype about one of their social identities.

    Anyone interested in it should check out a forthcoming book by one of the primary researchers on this.

  • I call 'em the way I see 'em February 11, 2010, 10:53 AM

    That stereotype may have originated from cheap hotel lounge dates or working for Jewish business tycoons who offer low salary wages to their employees. They would rather much spend the money on pampering their jappy wives and spoiling their bratty children. No wonder giving charity is one of the most hated mizvot among us lol

    • Heshy Fried February 11, 2010, 2:50 PM

      I love giving charity, speak for yourself. I especially enjoy giving to those folks who hang out on highway off ramps, mostly because no one else seems to give their time. You would be surprised how much some nice words can help.

      • I call 'em the way I see 'em February 11, 2010, 11:37 PM

        Have you ever heard of sarcasm? Hence the name of your website.

  • Yochanan February 11, 2010, 11:37 AM

    Instead of taking your kipa off, why don’t you carry some sort of other hat in your pocket and place that over your head?

  • FrumGer February 11, 2010, 5:45 PM

    not really a yarmulke my man, its more of a hippy type beanie.. a goy would not think that that is a yarmulke… but why if you are concerned with what goyim think don’t you just wear a hat over your yarmulke, a baseball cap or something or just wear that big beanie, because trust me most goyim would not think of “yarmulke” or “jew” with that one on.

    ohh and by the way heshy fried not playing into “jewish stereotypes” is a huge freaking laugh!!!…. that is your shtick man- your satire is totally laden with jewish stereotypical references…bt’s being overly boisterous, OTDers, yeshiva guys ,lubavs as messianists, cheredim being masogynist bigots, etc… stereotypes is pretty much all you do…

  • SF2K1 February 11, 2010, 6:49 PM

    Jews are “Cheap” because Jews are smart enough to not throw away their money on ridiculous things that sheeple are fooled into buying (how many poor people don’t have homes but somehow have these blinged up cars?)

    As one of my fav. quotes go:

    With all the billions of people in this world, less than one half of one percent are Jews. Yet of all the Nobel prizes won, approximately 20% went to Jews. Does that mean Jews are smarter than anyone else? Hell no! It just means Jews are less stupid than anyone else.

  • Joel Katz February 14, 2010, 2:43 AM

    See the recent article Jews and the Burden of Money, a book review of “Capitalism and the Jews”.

    Religion and State in Israel

    • Jew Face April 30, 2013, 9:37 AM

      Speaking of hooked noses….

  • Burn the non-Virgin Cohen April 30, 2013, 8:21 AM

    We are cheap with enjoyable things but then rip off our fellow Jews on our crappy products in kosher and Judiaca items. This helps us stay rich and buy our way out of being a part of the Human race.

  • dorot April 30, 2013, 9:12 AM

    i always thought that jews became cheap as an assimilation tactic when they started to live among the germans and dutch in the 13th century.

    that and the nasty taxes they had to pay there.

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