A gentile man taught a Jerusalem haredi community an important lesson when he
acted on his right to take their leavened products bestowed upon him ahead of
Pessah in what was obviously more than just a symbolic act.
of selling one’s hametz to a non-Jew is what allows observant Jews to keep in
their possession various products which are not kosher for Pessah. Normally,
after the holiday, the non-Jew will sell the goods back.
Gallery: Haredim in Jerusalem burn hametz
Their last supper: A traumatic Pessah in Jerusalem, 1948
As reported by
haredi media outlets, members of the Mishkenot Yaakov community in the capital’s
Ramat Shlomo neighborhood were encouraged by their Rabbi Simcha Rabinowitz to
take the tradition one step further, and rather than selling the hametz,
actually give it to the non-Jew, who would presumably return it after the
Many people chose to put their products – including expensive
alcoholic beverages – in the room destined for the hametz, believing that such
an act would be a higher degree of observing the holiday’s prohibition of not
owning leavened products.
After the transaction took place and shortly
before the holiday began, however, the gentile arrived with his vehicle and
proceeded to take the goods, which were legally his. Objecting to his actions
was not an option, since that would prove that the deal was not sincere, which
would mean that the hametz would have belonged to the Jews.