- Category: Personal Statement
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One of the main ideas behind this app and the content presented on this website is the attempt to re-signify the existing term Shikse, which is often used in a derogatory manner while defining the identity of all Shiksas and Sheygets, so that they may feel good in this role rather than being offended by the term. Language is a powerful tool that we use to give or change meanings and to define the things around us. If we believe that everything starts within a language, then we should use language to re-define terms no longer suited to the time in which we live. Here the term Shikse stands for women or men who are proudly in relationships of any kind with Jewish people, and provides them with an additional tool for improving their “shikseness” – an app for becoming “proper” Shikses and Sheygets as it suits modern times.
If you find this funny, then you got the point. We consider a humorous approach appropriate when trying to change derogatory terms as they are used in any context.
We spell SHIKSE instead of SHIKSA (as it is commonly found in English) because we took the term from its Yiddish root, relating to the statement that everything starts in language. As such, Shikse becomes a newborn identity.
Shiksa (Yiddish: שיקסע shikse) is a word of Yiddish origin that has moved into English usage (as well as Polish), mostly in North American Jewish culture, as a term for a non-Jewish woman, initially and sometimes still pejorative but now often used satirically. Shiksa refers to any non-Jewish (gentile) woman or girl who might be a temptation to Jewish men or boys, e.g., for dating, intermarriage, etc.
A Gentile girl or woman, especially one who has attracted a Jewish man. The term derives from the Hebrew word "sheketz", meaning the flesh of an animal deemed taboo by the Torah. Since a Jewish man marrying a non-Jewish woman is taboo also, this word applies to her.
Shiksa is a Yiddish word that refers to a non-Jewish woman who is either romantically interested in a Jewish man or who is a Jewish man's object of affection. Although pop-culture has coined terms like "shiksa goddess," shiksa is not a term of endearment or empowerment. Because Jewish lineage is traditionally passed from mother to child, the possibility of a non-Jewish woman marrying into a Jewish family has long been seen as a threat. Any children she bore would not be considered Jewish, so that family's line would effectively end with her. However, in modern times the rising rate of intermarriage has caused some of the Jewish denominations to reconsider the ways in which lineage is determined. The Reform movement, for example, does allow a child's Jewish heritage to be passed down from the father.