Shanda (pronounced SHAWN-deh) is Yiddish for something scandalously shameful.

In Yiddish, the word shand is used as “shame” is used in English. So after a shanda takes place, the protagonists of the event may feel that they are being put tzu shand, “to shame.”

One may refer to cohorts in shameful activity as shander bander. This rhyme gave rise to another little rhyme: shander bander—einer a kaporah auf an anderer, “a disgraceful bunch—each one worse than the other.”

While doing shameful stuff is a shanda, shame itself is not bad. On the contrary, our sages tell us that the three hallmarks of Jewish people is that they are merciful, bashful, and doers of kindness. In our daily prayers we ask G‑d that we not sin so that we “not be shamed, nor disgraced, or stumble for all eternity.” Our inborn sensitivity to shame before G‑d is a motivating factor to live good, G‑dly lives.

Perhaps it is this innate bashfulness that leads us to the expression ah shanda far di goyim, “a disgrace before the nations.” Jews have long recognized that they are constantly scrutinized by those around them, often being held to a higher standard, as would be appropriate for the people chosen by G‑d to be a “light for the nations,” representing Him and His will in the world. Transgressing the Torah or acting shamefully is bad enough, but to do so in public is a double shanda.

An interesting (and shameful) fact is that some communities once had a shand klutz (also known as a kuna), a “pillory.”If you are reading this article, you know that shand means “shame.” And, as you can read here, klutz means “wooden block.” Hence the shand klutz, upon which wrongdoers could be humiliated.

Today, we may look back at those crude implements of punishment and shudder with shand. But who is to say that the current trend of online tarring and feathering on social media (often based on very little evidence) is truly any better?

So think about the shand klutz and how much worse and widespread internet shaming is before you share that juicy shanda-ridden piece of clickbait.