Photo Credit: Jewish Press
Bari Mitzmann

What does gevalt mean to millennials today? If my grandparents, may they rest in peace, were still around, I would probably ask them what gevalt means. Since I can’t, I went to Rabbi Google. Apparently, gevalt is nothing I’ve ever heard before, being that it’s translated as “violence,” with “oy gevalt” being the old-school version of “OMG” or a cry for help.

As an influencer who speaks to many women on a daily basis, I find myself saying “oy” when someone shares an unfortunate situation with me. I guess it’s my version of “oy gevalt” without the gevalt. It’s an exclamation of pain, frustration, perhaps even helplessness, looking for some aid.


There are many situations out there today that warrant a hearty “Oy Gevalt!” I just hope we can muster up the strength to heed the call.

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Bari Mitzmann is a popular podcaster whose goal is to empower women, normalize mental illness, and discuss seemingly taboo topics in the Jewish community. She has a MA in education and has worked in outreach.