Kvell/Kvelling (pronounced just like it’s spelled!) Kvell essentially means to gush with pride--parents (and especially grandparents) often “kvell” about the achievements of their kiddies. In “Failure to Communicate” (2x10), House kvells when Cameron exhibits an uncharacteristically cynical attitude. He explains to the team, “Our little girl is growing up!” House exclaims, feigning tears of joy—just like a proud parent (OK, a sarcastically proud parent). House also uses “kvelling” in “The Jerk” (3x22)
Bashert (pronounced “bah-shehrt”). Bashert means “destiny.” Often it refers to one’s romantic destiny—the one you’ve been awaiting your entire life. In “The Right Stuff” (4x02), House asks Wilson if Cameron has followed her “bashert” (meaning Chase) to Arizona.
Shabbes/Shabbat (pronounced “shahbbiss” and “shahbaht,” respectively). The first is Yiddish (or Ashkenazic Hebrew) and the second, modern Hebrew. Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest—Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. House uses both in “Don’t Ever Change” (4x12) along with “verklepmt” (also pronounced “ferklempt” and means “clenched”). House’s Chassidic patient has “verklempt” wiring in her kidney region, causing her bizarre symptoms. House also gets to trot out his Hebrew skills as well when he translates the Shabbat prayer traditionally chanted by a husband for his wife: Eishet Chayil. The prayer originates in the Bible’s Book of Proverbs, and House seems to know it quite well—even as Taub, House’s (very secular) Jewish fellow has no clue (and can’t pronounce even the title!).
L’chayim (pronounced as it’s spelled). “To life, to life, l’chayim…” goes the showstopper from Fiddler on the Roof. The words are to Yiddish what “cheers” is in English: a toast. In “Help Me,” the season six finale, House says it to his patient Hanna after hooking her up to a saline drip IV.
Although they don’t technically involve Yiddishism, there are two additional episodes of note in which House reveals at least a passing knowledge of Jewish culture. In “Who’s Your Daddy” (2x23), House makes two distinct Jewish references. The first is when Cuddy (who is considering artificial inseminatin to have a baby) says she’s leaning toward donor #613. House chides that she “would go with a Jewish number.” The number refers to the number of commandments stated in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible by which Jews live their lives. It’s a fairly obscure reference, but then he tops that obscure reference later in the episode when the team is trying to identify the source of the patient’s fungal infection. Leaning toward a recording studio as the place where she picked up, House asks “Why is this building different than all other buildings?” It’s an obvious (but also very obscure) play on a pivotal question asked during the Passover Seder: “Why is this night different than all other nights?”