Monday, April 7, 2008

Matzah Matzah Man!!! I wanna be....

Last week my yeshiva rented out the matzoh bakery here in crown heights, to bake hundreds of pounds of matzah that the bochurim and hanholoh ordered.
I had never been there, so I was expecting a large, spacious, sterile-clean facility, maybe even with a second floor with glass walls overlooking the production, for tours, you know?
I was really wrong.
The place was tiny, hectic, and crowded. And it goes without saying that there was no viewing room from above.
We didn't actually do the baking of the matzah. There were professional Russian women rolling the dough, and guys there who kneaded it, and who dealt with the oven. What they need help with is sanding the rolling pins, washing the bowls, handing the rolling pins to the ladies and taking their finished matzahs.
It was so crazy in there! Everyone was yelling and cursing, and bumping into each other. The matzah has to be baked in a very short time, so everyone was rushing, and had high tempers.
My job was to take the sanded down rolling pins (after every matzah, they were sanded) and wipe off any extra sawdust and look to see that there were no cracks on the rolling pin, where dough could stick to. Unfortunately, I was right near the furnace, which literally burns at around 1000 degrees.
To make things crazier, they had tours of kindergarten classes walking in between everyone, when we were all trying to work, run, shout, and curse- in other words trying to get our job done the way it's supposed to.
It was totally a cool experience.