Explaining the unique Israeli term “frayer”

Adi (m) writes promotional material against very aggressive deadlines; his boss Segal (f) always has more corrections and suggestions. Adi has learnt not to submit material to Segal too early in order not to be dragged over the coals too many times. “I am not Segal’s frayer”, she explained to me.

Corporate purchasing policy now requires all purchases over $500 to be extensively justified. Local Israeli CEO Alon has instructed “that it is better to buy two printers at $499 each than one good printer at $501. “I don’t want us to be corporate’s frayers”.

6 parking spots have been set aside “for visiting dignitaries”, These spots are constantly used by regular employees in the summer heat because employees “don’t agree to be anyone’s frayer”.

Some people have suggested that frayer is a sucker, patsy, dupe or a naive innocent. My belief is that the word “frayer” cannot be well  translated, because it relates to a unique Israeli characteristic, like rosh gadol, which I explained in a previous post.

Here are the basic components of the frayer.

  1. “Systems” screw people, so be wary and outsmart the system. If not, you are a frayer.
  2.  The early bird gets the worm; other birds (frayers) die of hunger. The loser (frayer) gets knocked out; he never loses on points. So knock out or get knocked out. Fight or die.
  3. Don’t t leave yourself open to exploitation; the world is a cruel place.

Have you understood this article? If not tough luck. I am not going to be your frayer. My explanation is clear enough!  🙂 🙂

And a note for non Israelis managing Israelis. Here are 3 tips that will lessen the chance that your native Israeli will think you are making him/her into a frayer.

  1. Lead by personal example.
  2. Rank and station give you no head start. Earn your stripes every day as you march along.
  3. Show respect: give information, explain, and don’t hide behind your boss.
  4. Be tough. After you have been fair, be brutal if needed.

 

 

Share

4 thoughts on “Explaining the unique Israeli term “frayer”

  1. Love this post, very informative. If ever we work together, Allon, I promise I won’t be your frayer, I doubt you will be one.
    Levis

  2. Doesn’t the number of (basically untranslatable) words Yiddish & Hebrew have for different types & characteristics of people & behavior say an awful lot about our culture? 😉

Leave a Reply to Levis Madore Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *