The Missing Vegan Challahs
When my husband has a meal together with his parents and siblings, it’s a challenge to accomodate everyone’s dietary restrictions. One family member is a vegetarian, another doesn’t eat wheat, yet another can’t eat garlic. But the biggest challenge is accomodating Josh– who (b”H) keeps kosher, and his sister, Tsiporah, an avid animal rights activist, who is such an extreme vegan she will not even eat honey.
Which is why, on a recent Erev Shabbat, Josh and his mom were waiting in a 50-people line that stretched out the door and down the block from Montreal’s famous Cheskie’s Bakery–waiting to pick up his special order of vegan Challos for a rare Weisberg Shabbat meal at his brother’s home.
When Josh and his mom finally got into the bakery, it was completely packed. My MIL is claustrophobic, so she took the vegan Challos and stood outside waiting for Josh to pay. The bakery’s Chassidic owner, who knows Josh from his past trips to visit his brother and family, gave him a big smile when he saw him.
Josh, though, hadn’t realized that his mom had taken the challos, and asked Cheskie where they were. Josh and Cheskie looked all over the counter, and in all the bags of all the people waiting in the store.
Then Cheskie ran outside, running up and down the street stopping everyone he saw to see if anyone had accidentally taken the vegan challos.
When Cheskie came back into the bakery he apologized profusely. “Stop by on your way to shul, I will make you more vegan challos. Don’t worry! Your sister will have her vegan challos!”
As soon as Josh went outside, of course, he saw his mother holding the “missing” vegan challos.
Josh went back inside the bakery, and told Cheskie that he had solved the mystery. Josh also asked him why he hadn’t asked his mother, who was standing right outside the bakery with a bag full of challos, whether she had taken the vegan challos.
“It’s true,” Cheskie confessed, “I saw your mother with the bag full of challos. I thought maybe she had the vegan challah. But I didn’t want her to think I suspected her of stealing them on purpose. I was afraid it would embarrass her.”
And then Cheskie handed Josh and his mom a gift– a box of vegan rugelach which he had specially prepared for them and sent them off with a heartfelt “Gut Shabbos!”