Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chicago's Matzah Crisis: One Person's Response

This is a story.

This is a story about the incredible sweetness of my friend.

Yesterday, my father sent me an email saying:


    Any chance you can bring hand made shmura matza with you on Thursday. Chicago is completely sold out of it, and we haven't yet bought. Seems the Chicago Matza Factory decided not to bake matza this year.

    - Daddy
So what's going on?

For some reason, at this point in time unknown, Chicago's Shmura Matza Factory decided not to bake matzah this year.

I mean, this is my matzah. This is the matzah. This is the matza that all of us Chicagoans eat.

What are we going to do without it?

I frantically send out an email to various and sundry friends:
    All right, folks, help me out here.

    Where in New York can I find handmade shmura matza? I just need to buy a box or so. And I need to buy this BEFORE I leave on Thursday, so basically today or tomorrow. Preferably today.


I receive lots of responses about locations and suggestions and maybe I should go into Brooklyn, but the fact is that I have class, I have no time, and there will be no shmura-matza hunting from my end.

That is, until my friend proposes a solution.

This is my incredible friend. This friend is responsible for lots of sources on lots of my blogposts; this is my friend who hunts down aggadot for me and somehow knows sources off the top of his head, my friend who is brilliant at Hebrew and dikduk, who is impassioned by music, basically, one of the smartest, brightest, kindest people I know. And acting in his kind, bright, concerned way, he decides that it is imperative that we have shmura matzah for the seder.

So he tells me his plan, which is basically this:

1. He, stationed in Washington Heights, will wander around Washington Heights/ Brooklyn/ someplace and find me some matzah

2. He will buy said matzah

3. He will take a forty-five minute shuttle (or subway) to Midtown

4. He will give me said matzah at a time that is convenient for me (that is, the one break I have during the day)

5. He will then return to Washington Heights

So of course I determined that this plan was ridiculous, though in the end, frantic, I acquiesced, somehow thinking that I wouldn't actually let him go through with it. I even called to tell him not to come as I realized how much effort this would involve.

But he came. He came, and he was just here, and he brought me matzah, so my problem is solved.

How incredibly sweet, wonderful and amazing is this person? Forty-five minutes each way for no other reason than to make sure my family can fulfill the mitzvah in the way we are accustomed to fulfilling it this Pesach.

Utterly, utterly amazing.

Oh! And I forgot! After he gives me the matzah, he warns me that I should check to make sure the matzos are whole, and if they're not I should tell him...implying that he'll go and get me another box with whole matzos.

How incredible!

(Incidentally, Jewel Osco in Skokie just got in a recent shipment of shmura matzah, and apparently Hungarian will be getting some, too. But there are loads of people in Chicago who still don't have any, so if you have connections/ any way to get them matzah, I'm sure that would be much appreciated.)


    Ezzie said...

    You should send this story to Kindness Happens.

    The Rashblog said...

    I know who it is!

    Erachet said...

    Wow, some people are really, really, really nice!

    Shmuel said...

    I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of quoting your post on Kindness Happens...

    Anonymous said...

    Aw. This type of story always puts a smile on my face. :-)