Krechtz: Pronounced “khrehkhtz” to rhyme with “brechts.” German: krachzen, “to croak,” “to caw.”
As a Verb
- To grunt, groan, croak, moan or wheeze in minor pain or discomfort.
- To fuss or complain—with audible sound effects.
- To make cranky, gasping ambiguous noises.
As a Noun
- A sound of complaint, discontent or minor sadness.
From the New Joys of Yiddish, page 194:
It was a nice simcha, don’t you think? The kallah looked so beautiful, and the choson? Such a nice kid! I’ve known him since he was a little boy in knickers. OK, so he didn’t actually wear knickers. Let’s just say I’ve known him since he was a little pisher, then. Such nachas. They do get married young these days, but then that’s just the way things are. Baruch Hashem, her family can support them. I think her father is a big-shot lawyer on Wall Street.
I thought the food at the shmorg was terrific. Yes, the roast beef at the carving station was a little fatty, and the corned beef was a bit overcooked, but what’s not to like? I thought the Hawaiian chicken was just so, though the chef may have gone a little crazy with the pepper. Still, it was such a nice spread.
Let’s just talk about the chuppah for a second. Kinnehora, he’s from a big family, but did they all have to walk down the aisle? I thought I was going to die of old age before the last sibling and his lovely wife strolled down with their kids in tow. Don’t get me wrong; if I had that many beautiful grandchildren, I would want to show them off too, but maybe they should have thought about their guests a little bit.
And the rabbi who spoke. Where is he from, Elizabeth? Such a talmid chacham! But he talks like there’s marbles in his mouth. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, though everyone tells me his speech was beautiful. We should have more like him in klal Yisroel, but maybe he should go for speech therapy before he interviews for a shteller. He should have a nice parnasa.
I never heard that band before. What’s the name? Baroque? Oh, Barock! I get it! Well, they certainly play well, and with such hislahavus, but they were so loud! I think I’m going to get high-frequency hearing loss, if I haven’t already. And they were so jazzy. What ever happened to a good-old-fashioned yeshivishe band? I’m just saying.
But what I really wanted to tell you about was the hotel we stayed in last night. We drove here all the way from Englewood, so we decided to stay in Asbury overnight instead of driving all day. What’s it called? The Breakers Hotel of Asbury Park? Let me tell you, I’ve been to the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. No, I’ve never actually stayed there. Who can afford a hotel like that? Just let me talk. I’ve seen the Breakers in Palm Beach, and this was not the Breakers. Not by a long shot.
Now, I don’t like to say lashon hara, not about a person or even a business establishment, chas veshalom, so let me tell you about this hotel through a dvar Torah. When Yosef Hatzadik, the very righteous Joseph, was seized by his brothers, they debated whether to kill him or not. Reuven didn’t want anything bad to happen to his little brother, so he had them cast him into a bor, a pit. He planned to come back for Joseph later and save his life.
The Torah writes vehabor rek, ein bo mayim. The pit was empty, there was no water in it. Rashi finds the double language a bit curious. If the pit was empty, of course there was no water in it. So Rashi explains: water there wasn’t, but scorpions and snakes there were.
That’s how I feel about my hotel room at the Breakers Asbury Park. The decor was understated, you might even say Spartan. It was pretty much empty. There was no water. In fact, there was no hot water. But what was there? Dust bunnies. Ants. Stained carpeting. An air shaft with a noisy air conditioning unit. Paper-thin walls. And a neighbor who sounded like he was taking tap-dancing lessons.
But on the bright side, contrary to what Rashi stated, I saw no scorpions or snakes. They would be rather unlikely on the Jersey Shore, wouldn’t you say?
Other than that, baruch Hashem, my stay was fine.
So, nu, what did you think of the simcha?
By Larry Stiefel