gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

From Hamas To Hametz - Poem by gershon hepner

From Hamas to hametz
in Israel they worry,
and food on the plates
of my wife, who’s from Surrey,
must also be kosher
for Passover––leaven
would make her gatecrasher
when going to heaven.

She thinks just a trace
of hametz would damn us;
that’s surely the case
if you’re talking of Hamas.
There’s no room for error
on Pesah with leaven:
jihad it with terror
to go straight to heaven.

Ethan Bronner writes in the NY Times about the baking of matsohs in Israel (“On Eve of Passover, Bread Stirs Deep Thoughts in Israel, ” April 18,2008) :
Israel’s public debate shifted this week from Hamas to hametz. But it remained no less heated. Hametz is bread and other leavened products that many Jews do not eat for the eight days of Passover, which starts Saturday night. The Bible says that when God freed the Jews from enslavement in Egypt, they left in such a hurry that there was no time for their bread to rise, and to mark that circumstance, consuming leavened bread during the holiday is forbidden. The focus of the debate here is a ruling by a Jerusalem municipal judge overturning the convictions of four shops and restaurants for having sold pizzas and rolls during the holiday last year despite a law that many thought prohibited businesses from doing so. The judge said the law barred only the public display of hametz, not its sale inside shops. While most debates about the painstakingly negotiated public role of religion in Israel line up along predictable lines of observant versus secular, this discussion has been different. And it speaks to a palpable anxiety over the need to define and defend the Jewish nature of the state, even as Israel’s 60th anniversary approaches next month.


4/19/08


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 18, 2008



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