Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Preparing for Pesach in Mitzpe Ramon

Preparing for Pesach in Mitzpe Ramon reminds me of being in California. The whole outdoors is like an extension of your house, so you can take yourself and your chametz outside as you finish preparations for the holiday. On Sunday I took a glutton-load of chametz to the CafeNeto where it could be safely eaten while Pam cleaned the house of all chametz. As we know, chametz is like Plutonium, only a needle head's worth can kill. So off I went to the 'neto's friendly outdoor tables to satisfy my final cravings for bread.

Enough chametz for all the Jews in Israel, but all mine at the 'neto.

Bedikas chametz was a snap in our apartment, because after 3 months, we still haven't been able to use the kitchen. Until recently, there just has been no place to unpack our kitchen boxes, so we've been eating out or with Chavie and Donny.

On Monday morning, Donny and I took our chametz to the park near the Bio-Ramon zoo, just below the visitor center and burned it in the BBQ pits.

Burning chametz below the visitor center... a lizard looks on.

There is industrial scale preparation for Pesach in Israel, as most restaurants and food stores are open during Chol HaMoed. In Israel there is actually a law forbidding the sale of chametz during Pesach in public, however the Israeli Supreme Court has watered it down to include only the sale of chametz outdoors, not within the confines of a restaurant. Despite this piece of legal legerdemain, almost all kosher restaurants and food stores convert from chametz to kosher for Pesach status. At the Supersol in Mitzpe Ramon, this included blocking off aisles that were mostly chametz foods, and papering over other aisles and labeling them "chametz", with kosher for Pesach foods stacked in front on temporary shelves.

The fast-food shops in Mitzpe Ramon have some of their busiest days during Chol HaMoed, so they all convert their wares to kosher for Pesach status with the supervision of a mashgiach and heavy duty gas bruners heating giant pots of water for kashering utensils.

Masgiach (left) works with helper to kasher tables while the big pot of water boils on the right to the roar of a gigantic gas burner.

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