The Shmooze

Bread Masquerading as Matzo

By Nathan Jeffay

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It looks like matzo, it tastes like matzo, but it’s really…. bread.

The Chief Rabbinate’s Fraud Division has put out a statement urging all Israeli shoppers to be on the lookout for certain brands of matzo thought to have been baked in contravention of Passover rules, meaning eating it on Passover is, religiously-speaking, the same as eating bread.

“In a raid that took place on March 22 involving police and Chief Rabbinate Kashrut Enforcement Unit officials, a relatively large quantity of hand shmura matzot were found in a facility in the Be’er Tuvia industrial zone,” wrote Yaakov Sabag and Rafi Yochani, two senior rabbinate officials, who went on to explain that the matzot were found in packaging that falsely claimed the supervision of various rabbis.

There are, claimed the rabbinate officials, “serious concerns” that the matzot are “outright chametz.”

Officials also fear that the flour used was not sifted to remove insects (as per requirements for a kashrut seal), and that the ceremony of separating a portion of the dough known as challah — a prerequisite for matzot to be kosher — did not take place.

“These matzot have already been distributed around the country, in some cases being sold too inexpensively (and this alone should be cause for suspicion),” wrote the rabbinate officials. “In other cases however, they are being sold to assist non-profit and Torah organizations (unaware of the reality of the matzot).

“It is incumbent upon people in communities to print and circulate this warning and to place it in shuls and elsewhere to warn the general public,” the statement read.


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