The Frugal Catholic: “Shibboleths” by Martha Wild King–October 18, 2009


For those who don’t know, “shibboleth” is a catchword or slogan: a phrase frequently used or a belief strongly held by members of a group.  According to the Bible, the people of Gilead used the word “shibboleth” as a password because they knew their enemies, the Ephraimites, could not pronounce the “sh” properly.

Judges 12:5-6 says, “The Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan toward Ephraim.  When any of the fleeing Ephraimites said, ‘ Let me pass,’ the men of Gilead would say to him, ‘ Are you an Ephraimite?’  If he answered, ‘ No!’ they would ask him to say ‘Shibboleth.’  If he said ‘ Sibboleth,’ not being able to give the proper pronunciation, they would seize him and kill him at the fords of the Jordan. Thus forty-two thousand Ephraimites fell at that time.” NAB

Also, “SOS” is a maritime international distress signal which in years past was tapped out  Morse Code–dot,dot,dot,dash,dash,dash,dot,dot,dot. (That piece of information was added by my retired submarine Captain husband).  The letters SOS can also help us focus on  frugal shibboleth living.

  1. SOS: Set Our Spending (create a family budget)

  2. SOS: Safeguard Our Savings (learn how to shop)

  3. SOS: Stop Over Spending (figure out ways NOT to use the credit cards)

  4. SOS: Stay Out of Stores (hummmm, that sounds interesting)

  5. SOS: Salvage Old Stuff (seldom say die to anything you own)

  6. SOS: Spot Opportunities to Slash (cleverly cut your spending)

  7. SOS: Support Others Spiritually (tithe, bestow, volunteer)

  8. SOS: Strive Only to Simplify (keep life simple, Sweetie)

  9. SOS: Share Our Selves (give and it will be given unto you)

  10. SOS: Sup On the Spirit (get that soul food into your diet)

There are my top ten SOS’s.  They are economical in the amount of brain space they require, but rich in what they can do for your life.  Try them on, for an  SOS Shibboleth a day will keep the creditor away.