Thursday, April 14, 2011
Ahead of Passover, Israelis Sending Bread to Aid Japan
For many Israelis and Jews all over the world, the days or even weeks leading up to Passover mean thoroughly cleaning one’s house of chametz, or foods not deemed kosher for the holiday. In addition to bread, this of course means any products which could be considered leavened or contain yeasts. Everything in the cabinet, from hamburger buns to breadcrumbs, and depending on one’s religious affiliation, even rice and corn must be removed from one’s home.
While all of this is of course optional and entirely dependent on one’s religious beliefs, according to tradition, the food is “sold” to non-Jews and then bought back. Essentially, non-Jews are asked by their neighbors to hold on to their food for the eight days in which it is not permitted by religious law to have them.
This year, a smart group of social activists are trying something a little different. In these times, no one should be throwing food away, which prompted one Israeli organization to think about what they can do to help the people of Japan, where 150,000 are currently homeless as a result of last month’s earthquake and tsunami. Everyday goods such as flour and noodles are in dire need in Northern Japan.
“We call on all readers to bring us the products they won’t be eating on Passover, because there are those who need them,” says My Israel Chairwoman Ayelet Shaked. “We want to implement the value of mutual commitment not just within our people, but with other nations as well.”
With help from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, volunteers will collect donations which will be packaged and shipped for Japan.