A few hours after Attorney General Menachem Mazuz backed the court ruling permitting the sale of leavened goods during Passover, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski urged businesses in Jerusalem to refrain from doing so.
In a letter to business owners, Lupolianski wrote: "I am no fan of coercion, but rather, of dialogue."
He added that "the city of Jerusalem's magic and uniqueness lies in the fact that different and diverse communities featuring a special character…live side by side in harmony, while respecting the others and taking them into consideration."
"I do the same when every single year, in the traditional reception held for non-Jewish sect leaders, I make a toast with a soft drink instead of wine, in order to show consideration to the Muslims taking part in the event," Lupolianski wrote. "In this spirit, restaurants that do not posses a kosher certificate nonetheless refrain from selling leavened foods, not because of the law or because of fears of inspectors, but rather, because of genuine consideration to the feelings of city residents."
According to the mayor, "all polls show us that eating matza and avoiding leavened food are mitzvahs that the majority of the Jewish people make sure to maintain, regardless of whether we are talking about an Orthodox, religious, traditional, or secular Jew, as the majority of the secular public also does not eat leavened food in Passover."
"As the mayor of Jerusalem, I turn to you and ask that this year too, during Passover, we shall continue the customary tradition in Jerusalem, which takes public sentiments into consideration," Lupolianski concluded.