על ראש הגנב בוער הכובע

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Hebrew[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Based on a folk story that goes as follows: A number of people that were suspect of theft were brought in front of a judge. The judge trickily said: "It is simple to know who the thief is, since their hat is burning." The thief reached out to check their hat, and so was caught. The story was common in Arab states and among the Persian Jews. Compare with Yiddish אויף דעם גנבֿ ברענט דאָס היטל(oyf dem ganev brent dos hitl).

Proverb[edit]

עַל רֹאשׁ הַגַּנָּב בּוֹעֵר הַכּוֹבַע (al rosh ha-ganáv bo'ér ha-kóva)

  1. A person who does bad is aware of the wrongness in their actions, and therefore will show signs. (Literally "on the head of the thief the hat burns.")

References[edit]

  • Rosenthal, Ruvik, Dictionary of Hebrew Idioms and Phrases, Keter Books (2005), 2009, →ISBN.