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I miss the Cholent Moshpit

cholent kiddushThere are certian things I miss about the east coast, shoving matches at kiddush is one of them. In my shul, everyone waits for the Rabbi or whoever sponsored kiddush to make kiddush, I hate that. People are way too nice and when they serve cholent, they actually line up like adults. It’s actually kind of sad and I always feel bad that none of these people have ever had the opportunity to go to a proper kiddush. One in which they serve cholent, herring, kugel, and liver. One in which everyone uses their own forks as cholent serving spoons. One in which everyone shoves each other and talks with their mouths full, and one in which the Rabbi shows up just in a nick of time to get half a bowl of cholent.

Last week, I was told to go Bais Tefila that was a breakaway from the major shul in Valley Village (The Valley of LA) I was told that the kiddush would be good and that the davening was shteeble style. Indeed it was like a shteeble and they had a good kiddush. Someone even grabbed me a talis and gave up their seat for me when I walked in and looked like a deer in headlights, I guess they assumed I knew what I was doing because in other shteebles when you walk in dressed like a hippie they show you the place and explain what is going on.

It’s not that the food was that good, but it was nostalgic good and the shoving involved in getting to the cholent was so much fun that I felt a need to dedicate this post to these people. The kiddish was separate, the women were locked away in a small side room, while the men mowed each other down to get food. The cholent was solid, they had potato and yerushalmi kugel, they had kishke, schnitzel, herring, liver, and some salads that went completely untouched because real frum men don’t eat salads (you can also spot the BT’s by the ones who wear wedding rings). There was no water or seltzer, just regular old name brand soda. I pounded a few plates of cholent and schnitzel while I drank mountain dew out of a big frat guy red plastic cup.

Seriously folks, everyone gathered around the table and people whipped out their plastic forks to serve themselves. The caterer helpers had to yell at people to move out the way. People took cholent before they had time to get out of the way. My wife even complained to me about the lack of food in the women’s room. Also, it was the first time I’ve been at a kiddush in years where not one person said hello or good shabbos (that’s not a bad thing, it means that people are too busy impaling each other with forks in a move to get that last piece of sugar kichel). It felt good to be in New York, even though I was in California.

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