Soldiers recieve matza.
(photo credit: MEIR ALFASI)
Some 200,000 hand-baked “shmura,” or watched, matzot were donated to soldiers ahead of Seder night by the Friends of the IDF organization and the Or L’Hayal nonprofit group connected to the Chabad movement.
Shmura matzot are produced under stricter guidelines and supervision than regular matzot to ensure that the dough used to make them does not become leavened, and are recommended for use especially on the first night of Passover.
The matzot the FIDF and Or L’Hayal donated were baked in Kfar Chabad, near Lod, and were sent in packages of three to soldiers who would be on their base for Seder night, although the organizations noted that the IDF Rabbinate provides shmura matzot to any soldier who requests them.
This shmura matzot project has been going for a number of years, although more matzot were distributed this year than ever before.
“For all the Jewish festivals we are out on the ground with the soldiers in order to allow them to celebrate the holiday when the rest of the Jewish people are celebrating in their homes,” Or L’Hayal director Rabbi Menachem Ofen said.
“It’s important to us to bring the special enjoyment of the festivals to soldiers out in the field... as a way of cherishing, appreciating and gladdening every soldier in the army around the country.”
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