My wife and I had just moved into our first house in a new town. We had moved from my hometown of East Brunswick to Howell, New Jersey. So we were driving around trying to get the lay of the land, crossed over into Lakewood and stumbled upon Freedman’s Bakery.
We both loved challah, which for those who might not know is a delicious Jewish bread made with egg. It can be braided, round, or shaped like a loaf. Challah is traditionally eaten on a Friday night to welcome the sabbath, makes excellent french toast, and is absolutely great any time. There are a lot of Orthodox Jews in Lakewood, and with a name like Freedman’s we figured let’s stop in and get some challah! I could hardly wait!
So we walk in, go up to the counter and ask for a loaf of challah. The lady replied, “Oh, I’m sorry sir, we’re all sold out. Why don’t you try coming back next Friday?” “OK, thank you,” I replied as we walked out. That makes sense I thought, they probably have a whole bunch of them for Friday night.
So next Friday comes, I go back to the bakery, walk in and say “Hello, I’d like a challah please.” “We’re all sold out,” the lady says. “What? I came in last week, and you told me to come back on Friday,” I replied. “Well, I’m sorry sir, were you on the list?” she asks. “The list? I didn’t know you had to be on a list,” I said trying to control myself. “Please put me on the list,” I added.
No challah this week.
The following weekend we went away somewhere, and didn’t get the opportunity to try our luck.
The next Friday comes, and you can bet I was there bright and early. “Hello, I’d like a challah please, the name is Soffer - I’m on the list” I chirp brightly. The lady looks for the bread, then checks the list, comes back to me with no bread and says, “Were you here last week?” “No,” I replied. She says, “Well I’m sorry sir, you weren’t here, so we took you off the list.”
Soooo, we put our name back on the list. The following weekend my wife went to the bakery and at long last we got our challah. Hallelujah!!! I’m sure you’re wondering - it was…OK, not the greatest bread I’ve ever tasted, but we got our challah!
Everyone loves a happy ending and you would think that’s the end of the story, but here’s a postscript - I kid you not. The very next week, my wife went back to the bakery for the you know what. As she walks in towards the counter, the lady at the counter puts her hand to her mouth and says, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry. A girl who looks just like you came in a few minutes ago, and I sold her your challah!”