Thursday, October 21, 2010

Geffen = gezund, parnosso, nachas?

Once again, I have encountered the גפן = געזונד, פרנסה, נחת vertel.

Lipa Schmeltzer was singing it in a 'niggun simcha' in his le'eila ule'eila release playing on an internet radio station.

I had encountered it a number of years ago, in the dinner journal of a supposedly Litvishe Yeshiva. In a message from one of the roshei Yeshiva, he blessed the Yeshiva supporters, with 'birkas gefen', gezund, parnosso, nachas. It appeared stranger to me at the time. I was surprised that a Litvishe Rosh Yeshiva would say that. Something seemed wrong to me. But I couldn't fully articulate what about it bothered me. Now I think I can do a better job at it though, so here goes, בעזרת השם.

1) gezund (health) is a Yiddish word, while parnossoh and nachas are not. So it is sort of weird to have a roshei teivos with a Hebrew word allegedly standing for words in more than one language.

2) Why is a Litvishe Rosh Yeshiva using such a Chassidishe type vertel? Does he have not have any substantive Torah thought to share?

Does anyone know where the vertel comes from?


  1. גבורה, פרנסה, נחת

  2. I believe that it is not Hassidic in origin actually. I think I saw it from some other source after I originally wrote the post, but can't recall where. Nevertheless, one wonders why a gadol resorts to such vertlech rather than something more spiritually nutritional.