View Full Version : Passover story: Matzah

04-03-2010, 04:41 PM
From Ha-Aretz:

Many Jewish Israelis (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1160724.html)can't stand the stuff, so there's something mind-boggling about their Arab compatriots: Why in the world do they choose to eat matzah?

Despite decades of uneasiness in their coexistence with the Jewish majority, Israel's Arabs have developed a love affair with matzah, the dry, crunchy wafers that observant Jews eat as a substitute for leavened bread during the weeklong Passover holiday.

Weeks in advance, Arab-owned stores across Israel stock up on matzah, knowing their customers will clean it out.

The matzah craving among Israel's Arab citizens - about 20 percent of the
population - reflects their ambiguous place in the Jewish state. While they speak Hebrew, carry Israeli passports and wear Israeli brands, many say they suffer discrimination and identify themselves as Palestinians.

Still, they love matzah.

"We eat it from the start of the holiday to the end, and when we run out we buy more," said Umaima Igbaria, a 35-year-old Muslim woman who lugged a carton of matzah out of a supermarket in the Arab town of Umm el-Fahm in northern Israel.

She said she, her husband and their three sons all eat matzah, usually with tea and slathered with chocolate sauce. She said they didn't care if it was Jewish food....

Palestinians in the territories and east Jerusalem largely don't share the matzah craze, and shops there don't sell it.

"We don't like anything that comes from them," said Jerusalem taxi driver Firas Salem, 27, when asked if he ate matzah.

And besides, he said - expressing a sentiment shared by many Jews - bread
tastes better ...

04-03-2010, 08:08 PM
Fascinating, thanks.