Chinese restaurant sign thanks Jews for eating there on Christmas

I am slowly digesting a rather large semi-traditional Christmas dinner, courtesy of my Welsh-English wife, but this glorious sign brings me vividly back to my childhood with my Jewish-atheist family.

Update: Looks like this is a tribute to a David Mamet cartoon.

What Us Jews Do for Christmas (


  1. Here is  the sign “Translator’d” into Hebrew. 

    תודה שלנו לעם היהודי. אנחנו לא jcompletely מבין תזותי שלכם המכס. אנו גאים, מודה אלהיכם מתעקשת אתם אוכלים המזון שלנו בחג המולד.

    Here it is translator’d back into english

    Our thanks to the Jewish people. We are not jcompletely understand your dietary customs. We are proud, thank your God insists you eat our food supply on Christmas.


    Not bad!!

    1. Too bad the thing starts to the right of the “jcompletely” moves back to the far right of the line, goes till the “jcompletely” then moves down to the 2nd line. It hurts my head

    1.  No, maybe rarely, but some places mince ingredients so finely you can’t tell what it is in the eggroll. For Jews this is sort of a “out-of-sight – out-of-mind” reality, a self-serving dispensation. In a way a sort of Jewish “Christmas wish” so maybe they peripherally celebrate Christmas anyway.

    2. There’s also a joke somewhere (we suspect it’s Calvin Trillin’s) about how the act of passage through the wok turns all things from treyf (unclean) to kosher – a la traditional Jewish Christmas shrimp with lobster sauce.

  2. I found that funny, but I’m not sure what to think of this. The writing does not look Chinese at all (Chinese handwriting is all in strokes, this one’s all wobbly), and same for the link Jay Levitt posted. The characters on that one are so obviously mock Chinese.

    Am I taking this all too seriously?

    1. The handwriting is just handwriting.  And it’s wobbly because it’s a somewhat degraded jpg.

      1. Nope, it’s the handwriting I was describing, not the quality of the jpeg. And you’re being a little dismissive…

        After rereading @openid-117273:disqus’s link more carefully, plus a quick search, turns out this was indeed a joke, originally by David Mamet. So I was taking this too seriously.

        1. It was obviously a joke (I doubt there is a “Chinese Restaurant Association of the United States”, and if there were such an association it would never risk offense by talking about some group’s god). The grammatical error caused me to hope it was a sincere joke, though, at a real restaurant – because otherwise it looks like someone trying to mimic imperfect English, which is always dangerous territory. You’ll note that the grammatical error is not present in the original at Jay Levitt’s link.

          1. The United Chinese Restaurant Association of America


            Read it and weep

            You may notice on the website it says, “Find Chinese restaurant near you.”

            NOT “Find ‘A’ chinese restaurant near you.”

            Find points on english grammatical usage, of which I am sure I fail at.

          2. @boingboing-c4320aef7922b7d8aea30d7237552a24:disqus Wow.

            (Also, it appears to be using “Lee” as a keyword on whatever their data source is – it picked up a couple of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken (FWIW, the famous recipe includes E. coli as a secret ingredient, or so it seems) locations, which very much are not Chinese food at all.)

    2. I know it’s already been revealed as a joke, but I find your handwriting analysis a little strange. Sure, when writing Chinese characters Chinese handwriting is in strokes, but when writing in English?

      I’ve known a few Asian people (actually from Asia, not born in the US to Asian parents) in my time and none of them had particularly stroke-y handwriting. In fact at least one has handwriting very similar to this.

      And as zarray said, if this is really on a Chinese restaurant window it’s likely that a young employee wrote it and not the elder owners.

      1. Well, I used “stroke” for lack of a better word. I know quite a few Chinese people (includes very close relatives…) and that’s my feeling about it, surely it’s not science nor absolute.

        That said, what I found most striking was that it sounded like a non-Chinese joke. Even if you haven’t invented it, takes a great deal of self-deprecating humour to write that. Which is great. I’d go to that restaurant just for that.

    3. Chinese has different scripts. It is true that children learn their characters in strokes – essential for understanding their composition and meaning. But there are also cursive scripts in which individual strokes are run together, exactly as in Latin script, for instance. You would pass onto these as you become more proficient.

  3. Conceptually related rant, on the lost tradition of Jews enjoying unnaturally empty movie theaters on Christmas day. I rather enjoyed (and certainly empathized with) the rant. Warning: some strong language, if the URL didn’t clue you in.

  4. Joke or no dim sum on Xmas is a tradition for those not hung up on dietary laws. In San Francisco there is Kosher Comedy on Xmas eve served up with a Chinese dinner.

    1. Oh, did you poll all chinese americans on this topic or do you just claim to know the minds of all chinese americans?

      1. no, that was him kvetching, complaining, and claiming the moral high ground in someone else’s name, followed by editorial advice.

        Not a troll at all.

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