Passing Phrase - www.learnhebrew.org.il
Kasher Aval Masriach
Literally and idiomatically: Kosher but (it) stinks
The popular word "masriach" meaning to smell bad stems from the root samech-reish- chet ס'ר'ח' which can be found in the Talmud (Challa 4:7; Ethics 5:5.) The phrase itself is Yiddish (of course) in origin:
ס'איז טאַקע כּשר, אָבער עס שטינקט.
"Zes'is taka kosher ober es stinkt."
The old joke is that someone asked the rabbi if a soup that a rotten egg fell into is kosher and his reply was
המרק אמנם כשר, אבל מסריח
Hamarak omnam kasher aval masriach.
The soup is kosher - but it stinks
We like to use this phrase when talking about slippery politicians or tycoons who never seem to get caught at anything.