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Board Games With A Jewish Twist!

April 3, 2016 | by Stephanie D. Lewis

Parker Brothers has changed to Parker Stein. Wanna play?


This game is for Jewish grandmas.

Object: Become the family matriarch! Play “The Guilt Card!” (bottom of deck) Remind everyone you grew up pre-mobile phone with scars on your wrist from wearing a watch. Use your free, “Because I said so” pass when losing. Use “I told you so” coupons when your opponent’s face “freezes that way” because you predicted it would. You always win because “life’s not fair.” And the grandkids might as well learn this now.


Certain family members we gently label “quirky.” Actually these relatives put many a shrink’s children through college. In this maddeningly slow game, wearily drag your little pewter Prozac token around the board, taking a ride on the Megillah Railroad. If you land on Mishagoss Minyan, do not pass out (just have a simple nervous breakdown) and do not collect a 200 mg Valium prescription.


Opponents act assertive, but are actually rude and nervy, ie: ordering appetizers, filet mignon, dessert, then offer to split the check. Oh, and the ladder part is totally irrelevant. Ever see a Jew on a ladder?!


Older Jewish men hate this version of Candyland. Wives cheer. Play commences with a “Honey-Do” list that females impatiently hand their mates. A timer is set. Maybe for a week. Various foreign objects appear: hammers, screws, picture-hanging kits, toilet plungers, a simple, Do-It-Yourself bookshelf from Ikea. Game ends once Jewish males (with advanced degrees) throw tools on floor, using profanity. Champions are declared when someone smugly googles, “Christopher, The Gentile House Doctor.” Note: A wife can and should win this game.


Definitely not the violent game you remember with suspects and murder, but rest assured you can still be Miss Scarlet or Professor Plum(berg). And you’ll still advance to rooms in a ritzy mansion, but in this version you’ll mainly gravitate toward the kitchen. That’s where you’ll accuse other family members of the crime of the century -- eating the last slice of chocolate Babka. Oh and the clue? Dark crumbs on Mr. Green’s collar. Guilty as charged! For shame.


Forget Pictionary! Be the first to draw what hurts you. Your partner won’t guess your ailment; instead she’ll out-sketch and out-kvetch you. Draw a pair of aching feet, and she’ll say, “You think that’s bad? Here! Lemme doodle bunions, hammertoes and my fallen arches. You believe I’m this artistic on an empty stomach? That’s right, I haven’t eaten since lunch!” An earlier, discontinued red plastic square version of this game called, “Etch-a-Kvetch” annoyed Jews because they couldn’t make curved lines to depict their stones. Every Jewish person has stones; gall and kidney.


Players use the 7 tile letters on their wooden racks to spell out ingredient words they can add to their scrambled eggs on or around the 5th day of Passover when they’re feeling desperate because Matzo brei is beginning to remind them of the cardboard box that Scrabble comes packaged in.


Yiddish Yahtzee! Noisily rattle dice in a jar until the opponent with the least haimish expression on their punim tells you to knock off that racket. That’s your cue to yell, “Putz-ee!,” actually a bad word for a male body part, but an easy way to insult someone by pretending you forgot the name of this game. Menopausal Jewish women who ask, “Is it hot in here, or is it just me?” get to holler “Shvitz-ee!” instead.


Competitive little pastime where you sabotage the grand opening of your opponent’s bagel shop by sending Bubbie to the front window with an array of fresh baked Bialys. The game is won when 5 customer’s minds are boggled by her asking, “You do know the difference between a bagel and a bialy, right? Of course right!” (Answer: Bagels are plainly boiled while bialys are baked to golden perfection.)


The Magic 8 Ball (just as you remember) with prophetic answers to earth-shattering calamities. You can ask, “Will my son marry that shiksa he’s dating?” and some Yenta will interrupt you with, “Doesn’t anybody ask a Yenta for matchmaking advice anymore?” No they don’t, Yenta. They ask the Tragic 8 Ball now.

Now, I’d race you to ‘Toys ‘R Us’ and back home (uphill both ways) except I’ve got a backache, a migraine, and I’m dehydrated. See that? I always win at Afflictionary!

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