Sure, the crust of the bread is harder than the part that’s inside, but in English “hard” is just one adjective that can be used to describe the part of the sandwich to which little kids seem to have a hard-wired aversion.
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In Hebrew, though, a sandwich is all you need to turn the adjective kashe (ka-SHEH), meaning “hard,” into the noun “crust.” When little Yael wants her chocolate-spread sandwich to become an all-squish zone, she asks her dad to cut off the hard.
And when Yael grows up and joins the army, by which point it can only be hoped that she actually eats the crust, she may well find herself hearing a slogan meant to push soldiers to overcome any difficulties they might face, which is often shortened to the final crusty phrase: “Sand is tasty, thorns are neat; there’s no kashe except in bread, and even that we eat.”
To contact Shoshana Kordova with column suggestions or other word-related comments, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For previous Word of the Day columns, go to: www.haaretz.com/news/features/word-of-the-day.