While Israelis are busy removing chametz (leavened food) from their homes ahead of Passover,
Japan is still dealing with one of the greatest disasters
in its history. A group of social activists has found a connection between the two.
In the coming days, volunteers of the My Israel
movement plan to visit homes across Israel, wait at the entrances to supermarkets and try to collect all the Israeli chametz and send it, with the Foreign Ministry's help, to tsunami-hit areas in Japan.
Every year, in accordance with the Jewish tradition, Israel
holds a ceremony in which it sells its leavened products to a non-Jew. According to Jewish Law, all food which is not kosher for Passover must be sold for holiday and bought back after the mid-holidays.
Tradition allows selling the leavened food to any person who is not Jewish, who can do with it as he pleases. Israel's chametz is usually sold to a resident of the Arab village of Abu Gosh, but this year the association's volunteers will try to send part of it to the Japanese.
Following the natural disaster and nuclear crisis in Japan, the country's residents are experiencing a shortage of products like flour and noodles, which are considered chametz in Israel.
"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."
The chametz shipment will be prepared by Foreign Ministry workers, who will load crates bearing flags of Israel and the caption "From Israel with Love" on one of the next planes leaving for Japan.