WEL­COME BACK VANESSA

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - Vanessa Feltz

IUSED to con­sider my­self a vet­eran and ac­com­plished schap­per of naches. Af­ter all I have two ex­quis­ite daugh­ters — one a lawyer, one a teacher — and have been suf­fused hourly in essence of nachus for the past 28 years. Kvel­ling is, lit­er­ally, my mid­dle name — Vanessa Jane Rochel Min­del Kvel­ling Feltz.

have wal­lowed in oo­dles of yiches at two bat itz­vahs,awel­terof prize-giv­ings,grad­u­a­tions,strollsin Ken­wood, snacks at Reubens and even, fre­quently, on the sofa in my own liv­ing room.

Let me clar­ify for any naches novices among you. It is tech­ni­cally pos­si­ble to schep — not to be con­fused, of course, with “sch­lep” — naches from non­fam­ily mem­bers.

One might, for ex­am­ple, de­rive dol­lops of vi­car­i­ous naches from the achieve­ments of one’s favourite foot­ball team, or even from the stick-re­triev­ing skills of one’s dog.

Naches in its dis­tilled and purest form, how­ever, em­anates solely from the an­tics and ac­tiv­i­ties of the flesh of one’s flesh. Other people’s chil­dren may in­spire a smile or pat on the head. Only our own prog­eny gen­er­ate a surge of ju­bi­la­tion min­gled with a vol­canic ex­plo­sion in the heart, mixed with pride, grat­i­tude and a crescendo of love so cat­a­clysmic that breath­ing is barely pos­si­ble, that con­sti­tutes the quin­tes­sence of naches.

So I thought I had this naches thing down pat un­til a lunchtime visit a few weeks ago to Fenwick’s in Brent Cross.

The cognoscenti will be fa­mil­iar with the fete cham­pe­tre tak­ing place at that em­po­rium’s Car­luc­cio’s restau­rant be­tween 12 and 2pm on a Thurs­day.

Hun­gry Jews gather for the con­vivial con­sump­tion of a fill­ing Ital­ianate feast. The deci­bels are high, the at­tire lightly se­quinned, the mood up­roar­i­ous.

Asked to con­vene there for a meet­ing, I en­tered this havenof ge­nial­rev­el­ry­with my daugh­ter and grand­baby Ezekiel Jack, a plump and price­less princeling just 22 weeks old.

We ate. We met. We sealed a deal. Good­byes were said. We rose to leave and my daugh­ter ex­tracted baby Zeke from his buggy and handed him to me. Bear­ing him aloft like a small hu­man World Cup, I be­gan the Walk of Naches.

It was, for­give my delu­sions of grandeur, a lit­tle like a royal walk­a­bout. Lunch­ers on ev­ery ta­ble greeted me with smiles and Zekey with pats and pinches and a cho­rus of ap­proval.

“Vanessa, this is your grand­son? What a beau­ti­ful baby!” “We’ve heard all about him on the ra­dio”. “He’s gor­geous”. “Such a child!” “In­cred­i­ble blue eyes”. “A lovely na­ture”. “A beau­ti­ful boy­chik”. “What a plea­sure for you.” “A leben on his pupik!” Slowly we wended our merry way through the hostelry, wad­ing through oceans of kind wishes and relishing each charm­ing ex­pos­tu­la­tion.

Talk about mu­sic to a Booba’s ears.

Dear Reader, my cup run­neth over. The naches quo­tient was seis­mic, off the scale, my uni­verse was se­quin-sprin­kled,the­world glowed a glo­ri­ous shade of rose.

Stand­ing amid the grizzini and stuffed mush­rooms, my grand­son in my arms, I fi­nally learned the mean­ing of theul­ti­mate­naches.

It en­gulfs you from your blonde frosted high­lights to the tip of your Con­verse, turns your heart to lok­shen pud­din­gand­provescon­clu­sively that grand-chil­dren are the heav­enly em­bod­i­mentof earth­ly­par­adise.

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