One of our readers has got in touch to let us know how this pandemic is affecting him and his weekly Kiddish visits.
Murray here. I wanted to tell you how this lockdown is affecting me. And what a mishegas it is. I spend every Saturday going to shul. Sorry let me rectify that. Going to shuls. Since my childhood sweetheart died in a dodgems accident the week before my bar mitzvah I have found solace going. It has helped me process the loss and now 40 years later I am left with nowhere to go. The thing is I like kiddish. Needless to say I love a kiddish. This covid has taken this away from me.
I miss standing in front of a table serviette in one hand and bridge roll in the other, mini beigel in the other or a bit of pickled herring on a toothpick in the other. Straight in the mouth. The freedom of not using a plate, avoiding polite conversation by bunding in a fish ball and the anticipation of starting after the blessing gives me a rush. I would drive from shul to shul all around the north east london and west essex area sampling all the delights that the local caterers have to offer.
Now due to all these restrictions I am unable to do my weekly ritual. So I thought to myself, I know what to do: I will make my own kiddish. Why not? I have a long sofa, and put the rug on it to make a lovely table. But where to start? Norman Goldberg’s shut years ago, Golans is gone. Shaloms? The parking is murder. And La Boucherie? Do me a favour! I had a ruck in there about 5 years ago. They don’t stock enough new greens. And what with all the panic buying who’s to say they will have any left?
So I head to Tescos by Charlie Brown’s roundabout. There is a big queue. I think it’s ok Murray. Queue, do your bit for the queen and country. I queue and queue. Baby behind me crying, I say nice baby. The mum didn’t look at me. That’s ok…social distancing. Get in and busy, so busy. I head to the bread aisle. Not a bridge roll in sight. Can you believe it? I find a person in a blue shirt. Hello…hello…can you show me a bridge roll. A what? I said a bridge roll. Never heard of it. Ok…mini beigel…not here….Chopped herring…What are you talking about? I was upset. I walked out with some frozen Yorkshire puddings and a peppa pig cake. I panicked. I’ll eat them. But not for kiddish…I’ll have it for dinner.
On the way home, I thought, Murray. The country is on its knees. You need to be self sufficient. You can do it yourself. Make your own kiddish. But how to make it? I know! I will go get a cookbook. I go to the library. It’s shut. Try another shut shut shut. Call the council….no answer. How am I meant to get a book?
I go home and on my floor is a leaflet for mutual support. This looks nice. I call the number. They say if I am self isolating alone they will help me. I say I am. They say send a shopping list. I do….
15x sweet fish balls
5xnot sweet fish balls
½ lb schmaltz herring
¾ lb chopped herring
A chopped liver
¼ lb tuna mayo please
25x mini beigels
Ilb cream cheese
Side of smoked salmon
A bottle of scotch
Six egg and onions
Jar of pickled herring sweet
12 tubs of new greens
And a Mrs Elswood
Oh and if you can find it a danish…. for dessert but not essential….not the apple one.
Jewdas, please help.