Monday, April 7, 2008

Pitot for Pessah!

Tonight, Israeli minister of infrastructures, Binyamin (Fuad) Ben Eliezer said that in the next war it will be much safer to live in (isolated)Naharia or Shlomi because he foresees hundreds of missiles raining on major population centres like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Oh, and he also mentioned that if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons, "Iran would no longer exist as a nation".

But why concern ourselves with mere trifles when a classic Israeli story is developing in these crucial days before Pessah. Last Thursday a Jerusalem court ruled that chametz (not 'kosher for pessach' goods - notably pitot, see below) could be sold during Pessah (in Jerusalem) as long as it was not 'in a public place'. It turns out that the definition of a not-public place, could be an aisle in a supermarket for instance. Naturally, the religious parties are on the warpath and are tring to urgently push through a law (even though the Knesset is in recess) that would explicitly rule out any such abomination everywhere in the entire country.

This would mean (heaven forfend!) that we Tel Avivians might lose access to our pitot, croissants and even plain old bread all of which are in plentiful supply in numerous reputable establishments throughout Pessah, here, in sin city.

In fact loss of 'Pitot for Pessah!' could be a new secular battlecry against religious coercion. MK Ofer Pines is already warning that he has his own bill which would propose allowing people to make up their own minds about what to eat and when to eat it.

Many, many Israelis will not be spending seder night gathered around family tables at home. No less than an estimated 930,000 will be abroad, far away from the pessah wars. That's a seventh of the country, and it makes you wonder.

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