Recently I had occasion to be at Adass Yisrael Shule (the Charedi Shule in Melbourne) for Shabbos Davening, as we has some Simchos to attend. After Davening there is a nice Kiddush. Generally speaking, my taste buds have been infused with the cuisine from Poland, and proudly so. All I need is some Schmaltz Herring, Whisky, and crackers for Mezonos.
At Adass, I noticed for the second time, that there was no pure Mezonos except for the cakes (and no, I’ve never understood how cream cakes crept into our Kiddushim when there is Herring on offer 🙂
Nobody, not even a Hungarian born on the border with Czechoslovakia would eat herring with cake. Yuck She-Be-Yuck, you’d have to agree.
Looking for Mezonos, all I could find were baskets of this
Now, there is nothing wrong with the taste of Melba Toast, and it would taste good with the Herring, no doubt. As my Mazel would have it, I was also sitting over the produces of this toast, and he overheard my whinge that there was no plain Mezonos that one could use. I couldn’t see a cracker anywhere. He, and others, responded that’s it’s fine, it’s not really bread, it’s “Mezonos” bread and so on. True enough, it isn’t a fresh roll, made with juice and not water, and it’s hard to tell the difference between these and a standard roll or wrap, but at the end of the day, I argued that these were bread masquerading as bread. I was advised that the Badatz allow it, and my memory recollects that this is indeed the case. I retorted that the OU (specifically Mori V’Rabbi Rav Schachter (and Rav Belsky) had problems with this produce and believes one should make HaMotzi.) For those interested, you can see why it’s called Melba toast (an Aussie connection!) and how it’s made here. This is, if I’m not mistaken also the position of Rav Gedalya Dov Schwartz of the cRc. I asked then, why Adass had to enter into a Safek Brachos, and didn’t use a true and tried standard cracker. Okay, I didn’t insist on Eyer Kichel (they are outrageously expensive).
I have to give credit where credit is due. Soon enough, someone had Rachmonus on me and found a pack of crackers. This was magnanimous. My blood pressure lowered, and I enjoyed my interaction with the menagerie of different Chassidim and the non Chassidim.
PS. A pet peeve of mine is that people don’t wait for the Rabbi (Roov/Rov) to say Kiddush. This happens everywhere. I don’t understand why. So, you wait 5 minutes, at worst 10 minutes. This is Kavod HaTorah, especially for a clearly elderly Rov, who doesn’t exactly move in a sprightly fashion.
PPS. You will notice that Kosher Australia doesn’t take a stand on this (which I think is the right thing to do) on their airline meals and makes pareve statements in regards to this bread. Mind you, on a plane, I think one should be meikel because of Kavod Habriyos and not bother the fellow travellers.