Sunday, April 27, 2008

7

Today I, along with everyone in Israel (except for some foreign tourists and, I hear, Chabad of Eilat), Reform Jews around the world, Reconstructionist and Conservative Jews whose communities have exercised the 1-day-yom-tov option (though I'm not sure whether there are any such Conservative communities in reality), Israelis around the world who have retained their Israeli customs (albeit in private for some of them), and independent-minded Jews who think 1-day yom tov makes more sense, am eating bread.

Fresh lafa at Machaneh Yehudah last night:



I remember on this day in 2001 (two times ago that Pesach started on Saturday night and ended on Saturday or Sunday night) I was in college and having Sunday brunch in my house dining hall eating a waffle or a bagel or something else leavened, and someone at the next table was eating matzah. Someone else was walking across the upper level and saw her friend, the matzah-eater, down below, and struck up a conversation yelling back and forth between the two levels of the dining hall.

"HEY, HOW ARE YOU?"
"GOOD, HOW ARE YOU?"
"GOOD. DO YOU KNOW WHEN PASSOVER ENDS?"
"TONIGHT."
"ARE YOU SURE?"
"YEAH, BECAUSE THE SEDER WAS SATURDAY NIGHT, SO EIGHT DAYS WOULD BE TONIGHT."
"DIDN'T SOME PEOPLE END LAST NIGHT?"
"YEAH, THE REFORM PEOPLE ENDED LAST NIGHT."
"WHY?"
"BECAUSE REFORM KEEPS 7 DAYS."
"OH. WHY DO THEY KEEP 7 DAYS?"
"BECAUSE THEY DO 7 DAYS IN ISRAEL."
"OH. WHY DO THEY DO 7 DAYS IN ISRAEL?"
"BECAUSE ISRAELIS ARE LAZY."
"AH. YEAH, ISRAELIS ARE LAZY. OK, SEE YOU LATER!"

Anyway, the postscript to this story is that Israelis clearly aren't lazy; you should have seen how fast the purveyors of chameitz sprung into action last night.

13 comments:

  1. I have an (Israeli-born) aunt who thinks the reason she and her family kept one day was because they were lax in their observance. And, by extension, so are we.

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  2. Anonymous in TeaneckApril 27, 2008 10:06 AM

    Bagels for breakfast this morning in Teaneck - for those of us independent-minded Jews who keep seven days. And by the way, we eat kitniyot as well. One more minhag shtut out the window - many more to go.

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  3. So, the people in your dialogue - do they think the Israelis adopted the Reform practice?

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  4. I was actually wondering today how Eilat Jews can justify doing 7 days. Interesting to hear the Chabad may agree with me.

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  5. Desh, Eilat is not part of biblical Israel. Therefore Jews in Eilat are in galut and follow the customs of galut.

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  6. Right, so Desh's question was why Jews in Eilat do *7* days.

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  7. Oops, guess I misread that. The answer to 7 is probably that there are no "frum" Jews in Eilat besides chabad. So the secular Israelis observe Passover however they want to observe it. If they decide to refrain from eating bread they probably observe 7 days since that's what everyone in Israel does without considering that Eilat is different from the rest of the country. If someone knows of a non-chabad shul in Eilat please correct me.

    This all only applies to people living in Eilat. If an Israeli is visting Eilat he observes 7 days the same way an Israeli visting America observes 7 days.

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  8. The answer to 7 is probably that there are no "frum" Jews in Eilat besides chabad.

    Even if this is true, Jewish holidays are also civil holidays in Israel, and I presume that government offices, schools, public transportation, etc. in Eilat are open on the "8th day" of Pesach.

    If someone knows of a non-chabad shul in Eilat please correct me.

    Here is a list of synagogues in Eilat. (There are also two Reform kibbutzim in the southern Negev, but that's neither here nor there, since the Reform movement observes 7 days everywhere in the world.)

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  9. A Google search came up with several answers to Desh's question (some of which are discussed in the comment thread to this post):

    1) Eilat was conquered by King Solomon, which makes it sufficiently Eretz Yisrael for these purposes, even if it wasn't part of Israel later (and therefore the agricultural laws don't apply).

    2) Whether or not Eilat is part of Eretz Yisrael, it's close enough to Jerusalem that the messengers could have gotten there in time to announce the new month.

    3) There was no Jewish community in Eilat before the 20th century, so there's no minhag hamakom, and when the Jewish community was established there, it was established by Jews from Israel who brought their minhag with them.

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  10. I was sort of flabbergasted by the question if there were any shuls in Eilat besides chabad. What are you, nuts? Its a city in Israel!

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  11. Also, Avi, your reasoning about "galut" makes no sense. Akko isn't part of biblical ISrael either, and neither is beit shean and Caesarea, and Zemach.

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  12. How do you figure re Beit Shean? Even if the city of Beit Shean itself wasn't Jewish, it's surrounded by areas that were (e.g. harei Gilboa), no?

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