Passing Phrase -

Roshem Rishoni

Literally and Idiomatically: First impression

This translation is pretty straightforward. "Roshem" means an impression or a sign. The latter understanding can be found in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 52b). But the former is traced back to Rashi (Shlomo Yitzchaki) in his commentary on Genesis (28:10), where it says, "when a righteous man leaves a place it makes an impression."

שיציאת צדיק מין המקום עושה רשם.

That phrase "Oseh roshem" is widely used the same way today – to make an impression. It can be summed up by a quote attributed both to Oscar Wilde or to Will Rogers, although neither of which has ever been substantiated:

אין הזדמנות שנייה ליצור רושם ראשוני.

"Ain hizdamnut sheniyah litzor roshem reshoni."

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

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