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You can tell a lot about someone by who they say “Yimach Sh’mo” about

A friend of mine related that he heard someone say Yimach Sh’mo when talking about Matisyahu on yuntiff, seems pretty extreme to me, but it just so happens to be that frummies can be kind of extreme in certain situations. I can vividly recall Yimach Sh’mo, which means may their name be erased from memory, is commonly said of Hitler, Stalin and Haman, but seldom is it used on people who it can be debated about. I have heard it used with regards to Presidents Kennedy and Clinton, but I’m wondering if any of you folks have heard some extreme examples of Yimach Sh’mo being said when it made no sense, like in the case of Matisyahu.

Find more about yimach shmo on 4torah.com

{ 50 comments… add one }
  • E. Fink April 18, 2012, 9:15 AM

    This nutter still your friend?

    • Yochanan April 18, 2012, 11:38 AM

      This is the friend. I wasn’t saying Yimach Shmo. I was relating that someone else did.

  • A British Jew April 18, 2012, 9:34 AM

    I was once watching a football (soccer) match with a few people and David Beckham scored a great goal for Manchester United and we heard someone call out from the back in German/Yiddish accent “Duvid Beckham Yimach Sh’mo” in a very serious way, from then on me and my mates have always succeeded David Beckham’s name with a Yimach Sh’mo, even though all of us are big fans of his even though he has sold his soul to the MLS devil.

    • David April 18, 2012, 9:49 AM

      City all the way mate

      • A British Jew April 18, 2012, 9:52 AM

        Never said I was a United fan! actually a Liverpool fan so either way, you’ve got me!

        • Way out of town April 18, 2012, 4:28 PM

          I have been waiting a long time to profess my football allegiances on this board and was never sure how it would come about. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.

          I’m a Leeds United fan and I have heard Yimach Shmo in reference to former chairman Peter Ridsdale, former player Harry Kewell and the incumbent Ken Bates.

          • Bournemouth Bucher April 19, 2012, 12:07 AM

            Year in year out, rain or shine, I have always supported my local team: AFC Bournemouth.

            I do this for one reason and one reason only. I want to see what will happen first: Bournemouth winning the Cup or ??? ?????.

            • Emesdike Londoner Yid November 25, 2013, 12:33 PM

              My fellow Landsmnner,

              We all know Minhag Anglia is only concerned with one team, despite the best efforts from the yetzer hora “yid army”……….

              COME ON YOU ARSENAL

          • Anglo Jewry November 25, 2013, 12:36 PM

            Ken Bates yimach shemo amen selah.

            Kind regards,

            Anglo Jewry

  • David April 18, 2012, 10:05 AM

    Ohhh, a scouser then!

  • Dan April 18, 2012, 10:40 AM

    FrumSatire, yemach shmo.

    • Dan April 18, 2012, 10:40 AM

      I wanted to be the first to give you that honor.

  • DovbenArye April 18, 2012, 11:47 AM

    In my shul they say Obama y’mach sh’mo…

    • A. Nuran April 18, 2012, 7:41 PM

      Would love to see the members of your shul treated the same way members of a mosque would be if they raved about Obama as “The Great Satan”. I hear you can get kosher MREs at Gitmo.

      • Dan April 18, 2012, 8:00 PM

        Which world do you live in? Find us one story online about an american moslem being arrested in america for calling obama anything.

        • A. Nuran April 18, 2012, 9:13 PM

          The same one where American Muslims are arrested, have all terrorism charges dropped but are still sent to Supermax prisons for perfectly legal activities based on secret evidence. Just happened last week. Again.

          • A. Nuran April 18, 2012, 9:15 PM

            The same world where talking to someone or giving money to a charity which unbeknownst to you is on a secret government “sponsor of terrorism list” or is affiliated – legally undefined – with one at one or more removes gets you decades in prison.

            • Dan April 20, 2012, 9:05 AM

              We can talk about that, but it is a whole lot different from being arrested for calling obama satan.

      • Empathy man April 18, 2012, 9:30 PM

        Would that be the same Obama who spent 20 years enjoying the sermons and had all his family ceremonies in the “Shul” of Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, who preaches “America, Yemach Sh’mo” ?

        • A. Nuran April 18, 2012, 9:55 PM

          That would be the caricature straight from herp-a-derpistan.

          • Dan April 20, 2012, 9:07 AM

            What about that is a caricature? Maybe I don’t know what caricature means, but I’ve heard the audio, and so have you. And nobody denies he was an attending member at that church.

            • Empathy man April 22, 2012, 9:26 PM

              Obama backers are big on . . . denial of reality.

              Obama can lose Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria to radical extremist anti-US Muslim fundamentalist dictatorships, totally fail on Iran policy, buddy up with Shimon Peres slamming Erdogan of Turkey, lose all gains in Iraq and Afghanistan, lose the latest and greatest US spy drone over Iran, and lose the latest and greatest stealth helicopter in Pakistan, SCOLD Israel for building several apartment buildings in Har Shlomo in NorthWest Jerusalem, buddy up with the PAHamas “leaders”, alienate US allies around the world with diplomatic gaffes galore against England, while bowing down before the Saudi king, and these Obama backers will still be explaining how Obama is so so SO much better for the US and for Israel than, say George W. Bush was.
              Oh, and I am not impressed with Obama getting his buddies ruling Pakistan to lock Osama up in a nice easy to snatch package on the grounds of their military academy. Real brave move Obama, especially the part where you denied the Navy Seals (F18) fighter air cover, because you didn’t want to offend your Pakistani govt. buddies. (Wonder if they’ll put that part in the movie they are making, to spike the football).

      • Adam November 25, 2013, 3:54 PM

        You mean like how Muslims called Bush “The Great Satan”?

  • eyekanspel April 18, 2012, 1:58 PM

    Joe Shmo, Yemach Shmo

  • Anonymous April 18, 2012, 3:05 PM

    you don’t just throw that phrase around…

  • yungerman April 18, 2012, 4:45 PM

    It’s assur to say yemach shemo about any Jew. There is a famous story with R’ Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, the Rav of Yerushalayim, a big tzaddik, founder of the Eidah Chareidis, and one of the staunchest anti-Zionists ever: A certain person was complaining about the latest affronts to yiddishkeit by the secular zionist leader Ben Yehuda, and he referred to him using that moniker after his name. R’ Sonnenfeld, who was no fan of secular zionists, stopped the one speaking and asked if Ben Yehuda is married. He replied that he is married. The Rav proceeded, ” If he died and left his wife childless, would you allow her to remarry without performing a chalitza ceremony?” Of course the reply was no, she would require chalitza. “SO, continued the Rav, if the Torah requires chalitza in place of yibum, and the purpose of yibum is so that ‘his name should not be erased’ then the Torah is againt obliterating his name. Who are you to dare say may his name be erased?

    • Anonymous April 19, 2012, 4:35 AM

      wow that’s an amazing story, where did you hear it?

      • yugerman April 21, 2012, 10:39 PM

        the original source is the 4-volume hebrew biography Ha-Ish Al Ha- Chomah, translated in part to Artscroll’s “Guardian of Jerusalem”.

  • A. Nuran April 18, 2012, 5:12 PM

    If Matisyahu is worthy of the same curse as Stalin it really cheapens Stalin. Makes him … ordinary.

    • Yochanan April 18, 2012, 6:51 PM


      Some will say Yimach Shmo at the drop of a hat.

      • Dan April 18, 2012, 7:13 PM

        Yes, I will say it about anyone who stops wearing a hat.

        • Frozen Chosen April 18, 2012, 10:52 PM

          This made me laugh

      • A. Nuran April 18, 2012, 7:43 PM

        The same sort also call everyone they disagree with “worse than the Nazis”. You want worse than the Nazis? It can be arranged. It’s going to be a whole different level than suggesting maybe some of the able-bodied bochurim might want to, you know, learn a little math and civics and maybe get a job some day.

  • Alter Cocker April 18, 2012, 7:17 PM

    I can only remember hearing it about Hitler.

  • j April 19, 2012, 9:23 AM

    Given the way Matisyahu’s career has been going it seems like he has been doing a good job of erasing his own name.

  • Off the OJ April 19, 2012, 1:01 PM

    It’s kind of like how everyone is Hitler and there is a Holocaust around every corner.

  • T April 20, 2012, 12:53 AM

    Poor Matis. Gets a bad rap.

    On the other hand, I can think of a few pedophiles that prompt an under the breath, “Yimach Shmo”.

  • anon April 20, 2012, 1:07 PM

    My Rebbi in HS in Baltimore referred to Theodore Herzl followed by a big Y’S

    • Anonymous April 22, 2012, 10:39 PM

      oh my goodness! i can’t imagine saying it about another jew- i can’t relate to anyone saying it about matisyahu.. people must not realize how harsh they are being.

  • Alter Cocker April 20, 2012, 2:40 PM

    speaking of yimach sh’mo, today is hitler’s birthday

  • Velvel Belkin April 22, 2012, 7:36 PM

    Aharon Cutler .

  • Just me April 23, 2012, 8:25 AM

    My dad said that about my boss. But my boss wouldn’t allow me to use the restroom, denied me my breaks, and degrade me in front of my coworkers by calling me names and putting me down. Just like what hitler did to us before he stripped us naked and killed us. Extreme? Maybe. But I happen to agree.

  • Yirmi April 23, 2012, 8:28 AM

    Matisyahu is still frum! He just cut off his beard, that’s it. He still goes to the mivkah daily and apparently still studies chassidut (judging from his twitter feed). The person who said yismach shemo probably was under the incorrect impression that when he shaved off his beard he was renouncing Orthodox Judaism.

  • eli April 23, 2012, 10:27 AM

    And if he was renouncing judaism? Does that give someone the right to say yemach shemo abouut him?

    • kate November 25, 2013, 11:48 AM


  • Anonymous November 25, 2013, 12:11 PM

    Tom Brady

  • Jonathan Buttall April 25, 2015, 3:09 PM

    The term is used only by bigoted fanatics like extremist settlers on occupied land.

  • Jonathan Buttall April 25, 2015, 3:10 PM

    A traitors shul loyal to a foreign hostile power? Time to leave.

  • Shmalkandik December 26, 2016, 7:11 PM

    Myself I have always used the full phrase “Yimach Sh’mo v’zichrono” – may his name and memory be erased. Viscerally, it is much more satisfying. In the past eight years, I have used it only for one person, that of the head of the exiting US administration, whose perfidy well merits condemnation. But, I have found it more appropriate not to utter the names of such people at all. If we do not reference the name, then truly the name and memory of its bearer can be more quickly obliterated from the common recollection of mankind.

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