Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il

Kasher Aval Masriach

Literally and idiomatically: Kosher but (it) stinks

The popular word "masriach" meaning to smell bad stems from the root samech-reish- chet ס'ר'ח' which can be found in the Talmud (Challa 4:7; Ethics 5:5.) The phrase itself is Yiddish (of course) in origin:

ס'איז טאַקע כּשר, אָבער עס שטינקט.

"Zes'is taka kosher ober es stinkt."

The old joke is that someone asked the rabbi if a soup that a rotten egg fell into is kosher and his reply was

המרק אמנם כשר, אבל מסריח

Hamarak omnam kasher aval masriach.

The soup is kosher - but it stinks

We like to use this phrase when talking about slippery politicians or tycoons who never seem to get caught at anything.

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