Many Kiddush aficionados will tell you that the best kind of Kiddush is the two-forker Kiddush- which signals the presence of fish dishes along with the regular affair. This essay is to debunk this popular belief which I think is false and will only lead to poor Kiddush experience results.
Fish is great and by all means it is nice to have some smoked salmon staring at me calling for help as I pluck him mercilessly with my little flexible plastic fork as tens of others do the same, often ending up in a twister like capacity when all the meat left on the bones is the squishy white stuff that isn’t skin but isn’t meat. Its great having some fine tasting salmon and dill sauce, the classic frummy salmon dish at a Kiddush, but in all honesty, these fail in comparison to that of the crunchy end piece of greasy potato kugel and everyone’s favorite raw sewage resembling dish known as cholent. Simply put, these two Kiddush delicacies are king and will remain that way until a rather progressive Kiddush sponsor decides that ribs and chicken wings are way better then cholent and kugel.
I firmly believe that the two-forker Kiddush leads to such complexities that most Kiddush addicts are way better off with one fork- merely concentrating on the prize the whole time, rather then being led astray by foods that can be had anytime- like soggy gefilte fish and smoked fish. This is not a bris after all, we are talking about the marketing resource that orthodox have to try and retain their fledgling membership numbers and fend off intermarriage. Conservative and Reform can compete in so many other ways- but the Kiddush aint one of them. Granted their lack of mechitza’s and valet parking tends to draw away some- but the true orthodox fresser types will always stay with the orthodox crowd as long as good kiddushes are being provided at least every shabbos mevarchim.
Imagine trying to balance two plates and ward off the cholent rioters as you try and maneuver through the crowd to reach the holy grail. Wouldn’t one plate be so much more efficient? And allow for the utmost concentration for the task at hand. Have you ever noticed that old ladies in shull trying to get to the cholent pot suddenly have enough strength to throw fully grown men out of their way as they scamper to get the spoon? Its kind of like those women that can lift a car that has trapped their child underneath.
Most people agree that starting at the herring and salad table makes the most sense. Those are the same people that can be seen walking with hunched shoulders, looks of grimace on their faces and tears streaming from their eyes as they walk away empty handed having missed their opportunity at the fresh piping hot pot of cholent- only to be fully content from their soggy broccoli salad and frozen gefilte fish to discover that all that remained of the cholent was a brown residue devoid of potatoes or meat- having been snatched up when the dinner bell rang or shall I say when the Rabbi says Kiddush. I of course take before the Kiddush is made just because I have come to realize in my years of Kiddush attendance that all manners and civility are out the window when free food is at stake.
The two-forker simply leads to too much confusion for the casual Kiddush attendee, for experts of course who have years of Kiddush bombardments under their streimels- these folks can obviously use their expertise to be the first at the cholent pot while handling a plate full of fish and salads in their other hand. If you have kids the whole process is made easier- but for those of us who lack the kids- it is survival of the fittest.
One fork kiddushim allow the Kiddush consumer much more leeway with regards to what they may do. They can obviously just load up the whole plate- of course the oils of the salads and chocolate of the cake mixing in with the cholnet and kugel may not be your thing. Of course this is all matter of fact stuff- there is no halachic prohibition of eating salad and kugel on the same plate- though some of your peers may question your sexual orientation if you hang out at the salad table too much- there really isn’t the same worry as with fish and meat.
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