The Missing Vegan Challahs

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!”


  1. robin meyerson

    I loved the story on vegan challah.
    I have the exact same Shabbos dietary fun challenges.
    I wonder – do you think that eating vegan affects one’s level of emunah in a deeper more profound way? just curious on your thoughts!

  2. Special man

  3. Wow – double tzaddik!

  4. I was in Montreal just a few weeks ago and was taken to Cheskie’s as a treat. They had a line – 5-6 people long on a regular weekday evening! Their stuff is yummy.

  5. No,eating vegan challah doesn’t affect your emunah in a more profound way- if it did, all the tzaddikim would be vegan. If a person feels that being vegan is better for their own health, great, and certainly eating healthy and being healthy and energetic enables a person to serve Hashem so that’s a good thing.
    Some people need more animal protein, others need to cut carbs, still others do well with a mostly-plant diet. But to assume- as it sounded you were, and please correct and forgive me if I misread your question- that being vegan is morally superior, is wrong and not in line with Torah teaching.

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