Israeli alcoholic beverages 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
After causing great consternation to the haredi community in Jerusalem’s Ramat
Shlomo neighborhood, a seemingly penitent gentile has decided to return the
hametz he had taken before Pessah.
As reported in the haredi media and in
these pages, a non-Jewish resident of Shuafat had acted on his right to take the
food – much of which was liquor – that were set apart and legally bestowed upon
him, to enable the Jews to fulfill the commandment of not owning leavened
products over the holiday.
Gallery: Haredim in Jerusalem burn hametz
Their last supper: A traumatic Pessah in Jerusalem, 1948
Normally, observant Jewish communities sell
the leavened goods to a gentile, who is bound to sell them back after the
holiday. Members of the Ramat Shlomo community, at the encouragement of their
Rabbi Simcha Rabinowitz, decided to take the deed a step further, and “give,”
the gentile, rather than sell, their products that were not kosher for
The symbolic act, however, was consummated when the man decided
to simply show up on the eve of the Seder with his car and load it with the
goods, which included pricey bottles of whiskey.
But overnight Monday,
haredi website Hadrei Haredim reported that the man had telephoned Rabinowitz
that night, telling him he would be there on Tuesday to return the
According to a report on the competing Kikar Hashabat website, the
Muslim man told the rabbi that it was against his religion to drink alcohol, and
therefore he was bringing the merchandise back.
It remains to be seen if
the man’s services will be sought again next year.