Monday, April 23, 2012

Soaking it all in

Warning: The following post may exceed the statute of limitations on post-Pesach wrap ups. Proceed at your own risk.

I have a question which I suspect no one has ever asked the Rav before,” YZG began.

The Rav was skeptical. There isn’t much he hasn’t seen or heard.

We’ll see,” he replied noncommittally but with a definite twinkle in his eye.

And so YZG explained.

For 14 years – i.e. since the last time Shvii Shel Pesach (the 7th day of Pesach) came out on a Friday {insert: requisite Torah Tidbits stats, which note that there won’t be such a long break for another 200 years or so} – we’d been planning that this year, we’d spend the last day of Pesach and Shabbat Parshat Shmini (aka Isru Chag) at our gebrochts-eating relatives.

You see, the Shiputzim daughters are all determined NOT to be one of those women who grow up not eating gebrochts and then refuse to serve it to their families - even if their husbands DO indulge in knaidlach, matzah brie, matzah farfel kugel, and so on.

But in order to avoid falling into this surprisingly common trap, the Shiputzim daughters need to taste the aforementioned soaked delicacies.

And so, for the sake of the Shiputzim daughters and their future husbands and kids (BA”H), we decided to go to our relatives for that Shabbat.

After all, when it comes to gebrochts, they’re the experts. In contrast, we’re mere amateurs, at best.

But a couple of weeks before Pesach, we suddenly realized that there might be a problem.

Because assuming that such a thing is possible, said relatives are even more fanatic about early Shabbat than we are.

Which meant that it would not yet be Tzait HaKochavim (loosely, nightfall) when we were going to be accepting Shabbat.

Was there any way, YZG asked, for us to have gebrochts at that Friday night meal?

The Rav smiled.

No, he certainly had NOT been asked that question before… :-)

However, be that as it may, he continued, we should wait until after Tzait to eat the gebrochts (although for this purpose, we could abide by a lenient opinion of Tzait).

Translation: We wouldn’t be able to have knaidlach with our soup, but if we stalled and sang a few extra zemirot, we could easily partake of the matzah farfel kugel that was set to appear during the main course.

For the record, our gracious hostess offered to switch the courses and serve the soup course AFTER the main course - thus allowing us to have the knaidlach, albeit at the price of the matzah farfel kugel.

And so, as we are wont to do, the Shiputzim family took a vote.

We all agreed that the picky eaters among us (read: those who wouldn’t commit to eat both the knaidlach AND the kugel) had no say in the matter. In addition, the voting commissioner (that would be me) ruled that YZG couldn’t vote, because it’s his fault that we don’t eat gebrochts… :-)

With only a handful of eligible voters remaining, the decision was unanimous. Everyone opted for the kugel. (Their reasoning was that they’d all had knaidlach before – although admittedly not up to our hostess’s standards – but no one makes matzah farfel kugel when it isn’t Pesach. No, not even during Gebrochts Week)

And, so, to make a long, boring story even longer and more boring, we had gebrochts, and all was right with the world.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we wasted our time on gebrochts when we could’ve been eating kitniyot </reason #2119 for making aliyah>, wonder no more.

Because on that Shabbat afternoon, we had some Doritos, and all would’ve been even more right with the world. Except that surprisingly, unlike dishes containing soaked matzah, salty corn-based snacks just don’t seem to lend themselves to long-winded, drawn-out posts…


Did you eat gebrochts and/or kitniyot on Shabbat Parshat Shmini/Isru Chag?


P.S. Speaking of Pesach, check out the latest Kosher Cooking Carnival here. Special thanks to Jennifer in MamaLand for including my non-gebrochts choco-nut bars.


  1. I eat gebrokts all Pesach long-YUM but we don't eat kitniyiot on Pesach ever!!

  2. I was waiting for you to mention kitniyot. My husband's friend got himself (and family I presume) invited to Sephardim for Shabbat so they could enjoy rice and beans. Corn chips just doesn't seem too enticing.

    Best gebrokhts, in my humble opinion, are 1) sponge cake and 2) matza brie. Not necessarily in that order. As a child, I lived on matza brie for that week.

  3. Leora-Mrs S is probably too embarrassed to admit this so I will "out" her-they aren't REAL non-gebrochts eaters-ie they will eat matza with liquids other than water or milk. So I assume if they mix the matza with just eggs they can eat matza brei. But I will wait to hear from the expert herself.

  4. we had humous with sauteed chopped meat (my kids are really into that now) on plastic plates for our first course shabbat lunch. not the same without pitot, but still. and garanim (among other things) for dessert. you could hear their enjoyment in every crunch. but the real reason i am writing is bc i *so* thought of you when reading the insert of olam katan this past wk. you must have kvelled.

  5. Batya in NJ - Just think: The next time Shvii Shel Pesach comes out on a Friday is in 3 years IY"H. If you make aliyah by then, you too can enjoy kitniyot on Isru Chag... ;-)

    Leora - My husband's friend got himself (and family I presume) invited to Sephardim for Shabbat
    Good planning on his part! :-)

    Malke - You're right that in theory, we *could* eat matzah brei. But (and I speak from experience here) some things - like matzah brei, matzah lasagna, etc. - really don't work when you can't soak the matzah first...

    Faith - Haha! When we were talking about it, one of the Shiputzim kids said, "It's like the kind of thing that *you* write, Imma..." :-)


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