“Shtisel”: You Don’t Have to Be Jewish… or Have Netflix!


No, It’s not “Fiddler on the Roof” without music & livestock – “Shtisel” is a whole lot more – so get Netflix already!

“Shtisel” is a Hit Israeli TV Drama Series on Netflix about a fictional ultra-Orthodox Jewish family living in Geula, Jeruselem that literally takes you there without having to ask for a Ham sandwich on El Al!

But don’t get turned off by the title “Shtisel” that’s so hard to pronounce…

Say it, class:  Shtitz-zel, Shtitz-zel.  Are we done?

Okay, it helps if you work up a little phlegm – Jews have a lot of it – what can I say!  Oh & you have to say it real fast!

Shtisel is the Family Name of the main characters.  You won’t ever have to say it again – just watch the darn series!

No, it’s not “Fiddler on the Roof” without Music & Livestock – but you’re gonna love it – if you forget how they wear their hair, those black hats & how much time they spend praying!

Don’t worry – I promise you can relate…they wear pajamas over their pajamas!

Oh & there are English subtitles because they alternate between Yiddish & Hebrew.  Come back here – it’s worth it!

Take away the religious underpinnings, this artistic gem is a soap opera with somethin’ somethin’ – I think it’s called ‘heart’!

Sure, you can find a few subtle chuckles thrown in – otherwise it’s dead serious – but I promise you – deliciously sweet.

Oh, I forgot – you won’t have time to laugh – you’ll be too busy reading the subtitles!  

I recommend watching this alone like I did or in a small group of the same religion.  No reason – it just hasn’t been tested yet!  ha ha

As for me, I married an Orthodox guy & I was raised by wolves!  Let’s just say, I dragged a Christmas tree home when I was 12 & said – ‘Here, let’s have a holiday’!  Therefore, I see the good & the bad in religions & have the broken nose to prove it!  ha ha

And now, that I’ve become long in the tooth & the boob, I’ve come to realize that ‘Religion’ is personal – and should never be judged.  You can pray or not pray:

In a House of Worship, in a bed or at my house…after a meal!  Or not at all.

Thankfully with this joyful series, I feel ‘the religion part’ is secondary, yet unmistakably present, as the actors portray love, loss & the doldrums of daily life – heavy on the ritual of ‘Matchmaking’ & all its mishuganah hits & misses!


Class dismissed!  Are you crazy?

The character-driven stories & 1st Class acting make it impossible to stop watching considering that in real life the actors are Secular, yet play the strict-rules Haredi Sect who normally don’t interact with each other.



And, no wonder it’s a Hit – it avoids Israeli Politics & has a passionate global fan base.   What’s even better – it avoids U.S. Politics too!

But there’s one little thing that’s confusing – no one kissed in the whole Series & yet the wives had 6 to 12 children each!

But, don’t let that stop you from watching – there’s plenty of lust  – especially when they fight over the Chopped Liver!

Actually, it would be Hummus or Cholent – but is that funny?

Jewish dish

CHOLENT: A slow-cooked Stew.  Cook for 16 hours on Low!

(Because cooking is prohibited on the Sabbath, you start early on Friday)

Oh, that old rumor that this branch of Judaism has Sex thru a hole in a sheet?   They say, it’s not true: 

The whole thing started one Halloween night when Jacob left Esther in a make-shift costume for a Candy High after a cold, cold bowl of Cholent!


As a recent viewer & now exuberant fan, I learned this Series began in Israel in 2013, didn’t become a monster hit until 2018 when it landed on Netflix & I just binge-watched all 3 Seasons in one night!

Well, two – I had to Pee sometime!

And now I pray for Season 4!  Don’t judge!

Marilyn Sands