Ben Harrington churns the wheat while Joel Harrington and Sara Basya Mochkin look on. (photo from Chabad of East Vancouver)
On April 10, Chabad of East Vancouver hosted a packed Model Matzah Bakery at its Centre for Jewish Life on Fraser Street. Following a week of similar events at Chabad Lubavitch, children had an opportunity to make their own matzah from scratch. They began by winnowing the wheat kernels, then grinding and sifting them into fine flour. Water was then added to make dough. The kids rolled out the matzah, scoring it with dockers before handing it over to the grownups for baking.
The children managed to get the dough kneaded, shaped and into the oven in under 18 minutes to prevent the dough from rising. This would have made it chametz, a fermented grain, which is forbidden over Passover.
This process only began after a careful eye was cast over all of the ingredients and tools, from start to finish: whether keeping the grains and flour completely dry, to the meticulous cleaning of the tools used in the matzah production.
When 18 minutes were up, an egg timer went off, to cheers from the kids and applause from Rabbi Mendy Mochkin of Chabad North Shore.
The finished matzot were pulled from the oven by Rabbi Schneur Wineberg of Chabad East Van. After savoring the matzah with cries of “Mmm, delicious!” oranges were served, followed by knishes from Shuk restaurant.
Extra hands-on supervision was provided by Maggie Karpilovsky and the staff of North Shore Hebrew School.
Shula Klinger is an author, illustrator and journalist living in North Vancouver.