Friday, March 17

Leiby is a real ‘t’zazchke


Leiby נ''י is a good bochur with a sharp mind, and in addition he has not lost his boyish exuberance for life. I mentioned this one day to another bochur who I was attempting to encourage to learn with Leiby as a chavrusah, the words I used were ‘Leiby is a real ‘t’zazchke’.
Later that day, I walked passed Leiby in the corridor and gave him my normal ‘Hello’. He seemed to ignore me, but I put it down to him being lost in thought. That evening I passed Leiby again and gave him a cheery ‘Hello’, but again it was ignored. Oh Oh , some things up with Leiby what’s happened? I decided to leave it overnight, sometimes guys have a bad day, let’s see in the morning. Well to my good fortune, Leiby was the first person I met when I came in for shachris, and he didn’t respond to my ‘Good morning’.
Ok, time for action. ‘ Leiby whatsup?’ I whispered to him.
‘You called me a ‘Katcz’ke’’, he replied angrily.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
‘A whaaat ?!’ I said. ‘Leiby, I didn’t. You know how much I appreciate you, and think you are great guy. I told someone how special you are, and that you are a t’zazchke not a Katcz’keLeiby do you know the difference between a Katcz’ke and a t’zazchke? ’.
I realised how carefully I must be, and that nuances can make such a difference, but I was confident that this never again!
A couple of years later, I was sitting in my car with another bochur , trying to help him through a sticky situation that he landed in with his friends. I was telling him that misunderstandings can happen very easily, and I shared the Katcz’ke story with him.
He didn’t find it so funny, so I asked him ‘Do you know what a Katcz’ke is?’
‘Sure, it is an avoidah zoroh’, he replied.
רבש''ע הָאבּ רחמנות, ‘No ! That’s a Getczke ‘. Let’s do a roll call. There is Katcz’ke – that’s a chicken, and there is something geshmake called T’zazchke , like a play thing like a toy.
There are Getczke’s an avoidah zoroh, and there are Gatczkes ! Goyim have their Getczke’s hanging round their neck, not their Gatczkes.’

אֲבָל כָל אֶחָד צָרִיךְ לְהִזָהֵר כְפִי מַה שֶיִרְאֶה, כִי הַקָדוֹשׁ בָרוּךְ הוּא יוֹדֵ ע כֹל פְסִיעוֹתָיו וְכֹל רְמִיזוֹתָיו,כִי הָאָדָם יִרְאֶה לַעֵינַיִם וְהוּא יִרְאֶה לַלֵבָב, לשון החינוך מצוה שלח

First published on 1 July 2014, on Jewish P.O.S.T. - the Jewish Voice for the People Of South Tottenham (now defunct).

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