Yiddish — and Yenglish — lesson

Shalom Chaverim (Hello friends). Ah gitten yoor/ (a good year)!

Contrary to what speakers of Yenglish think: When members of my congregation enjoy the light buffet before the weekly Shabbos, we are not having a nosh. That is an appetizer course, a for-shp’eye’zeh, a spicy something before [the main meal]—like gefilteh fish or gehahkteh leben / chopped [chicken] livers that precedes the brisket and tzimmes / slow-cooked, and mildly, sweet stew or casserole mainly of carrots. 

Incidentally, it was not part of the Yiddish culture conveyed by my parents who grew up, pre-war, in towns northwest of Lodz, Poland to make ah groyseh tzimmes, meaning a big fuss (as is required for carrot stew), by pronouncing food as delicious or to-die-for! But if the for’shp’eye’zeh is tasty, it is b’tampte

As might become obvious if you attended Nusach Hari’s Yiddish Club which meets monthly on first Thursday evenings: In true Yiddish, a nosh is a sweet treat. As a verb, to nosh is to eat sweets—excessively. 

Shue’im / peace and ah’bei gezind / most important: health!

Elaine K. Alexander, Creve Coeur