One of the only reasons I remain an orthodox Jew is because of Kiddush, its almost as if every time I am in a skeptical mood, silver chaffing dishes of free and piping hot kishka laden cholent drive me back to shul and back on the derech. I just cant get over the fact that all the other religions save for some of the Native American ones have nothing that can compare to Kiddush. So naturally as with all Jewish events Kiddush is not perfect and there are some dilemmas that arise when faced with any Kiddush.
When to start taking food:
This is number one on my list because I am sure it plagues everyone who has ever attended a Kiddush, unless you attend one of those shuls that start shachris on shabbos at 8:30 and end at 10am- you are undoubtedly faced with this dilemma. For those of us who are more shall we say ballsy, or rude, or uncaring or starving- it boils down to strategizing it that you are the second person with food on your plate. I myself always let someone else do the honors- but I do not care if this person happens to be taking rainbow cake from the opposite end of the room.
Even if I am at the mounds of broccoli salad and they are taking cake, I view this as the symbol that I can dive in- I always notice several people waiting for me as well. I feel like I send off smoke signals while running around and forming a Kiddush attack strategy in my head. After all, one must be careful to accost the foods most likely to run out first- such as the hot foods and good salads- if you so happen to be at a good Kiddush. Don’t even get me started on the “two forker Kiddush”
Other more rational people may decide to wait for the Rabbi to make Kiddush- which could be an eternity- I know I will get some flack for this, but waiting for the Rabbi to make Kiddush- which is usually not counted anyway because many Rabbis bust out the “pause in the middle and make sure everyone is in the room crap” which probably possels the Kiddush anyway. I mean what’s the point of putting grape juice and schnapps on the table if your supposed to wait.
You could also wait until half the room has food on their plates. The real obnoxious jerks like me, will strategically place themselves in cholent guard duty so as to be the one that violates the cholents virgin surface first.
Two Forker Kiddush:
The mother of all dilemmas especially if for some once in a lifetime sushi Kiddushim. The Two forker Kiddush is when meat and fish are served at the same Kiddush. You must accept that the Two Forker Kiddush is an extreme rarity, in fact I have never been at a Two Forker Kiddush where I would utilize two forks, they have all been lousy half dead gefilte fish with cholent kiddushes- but for all of you who live in some rich New Jersey or Long Island area and have to deal with Sushi kiddushim- take head for this is an unsolvable dilemma- at least for folks like me who cannot eat with two wooden sticks.
You know the meal afterwards is going to rock:
I ran into this dilemma a few weeks back. I was in Baltimore and I was faced with this huge spread of cholent, kugel, orzo and other Kiddush salads- but in the back of my mind I knew I had to save room for the meal I was supposed to attend later on. My mind went nuts- overload of food and dilemma.
My best advice for this is to pack yourself a doggie bag, or pekelach as the frummies say. If you do not take a doggie bag home with you from Kiddush (I have done this many a time) then you may be out of luck. I would say eat slowly and choose carefully, also prior to your pounding the food at Kiddush- you may want to find out what your host is serving to strategically prepare for battle.
Don’t know what to take first:
This is obvious to me, but to the semi professional or amateur Kiddush attendee this may be a big issue. To me, its obvious, go for the hot and heavy stuff and work your way down the food pyramid, which always brings me to the cakes and drinks last. I don’t drink alcohol on a regular basis- so I can also run around the room casually knocking unsuspecting ladies over in order to get the last of the mango strawberry salad.
Really the best way to go about what to take first is to ask yourself. What can I have anytime and what is a Kiddush specialty? To me this is obvious, although it does not always mean you have to take the hot foods. For instance, if they have cheesecake at the Kiddush- I would advise to eat as much of it as possible- this is also from economical standpoint- because there is nothing quite like pounding food at a Kiddush and knowing that you just ate $50 worth of food.
Girls or Food:
So you found a hot maidel at the Kiddush, that one you were looking over the mechitza at during anim zemiros and you want to chat. This can be heart wrenching and I don’t think I can give proper advice- for food is more important to some then hot women, UNLESS that hot women can cook- then its obvious where to go.