There is a debate in Israel right now over whether or not it should be legal to sell a pizza during Passover. Seriously. The problem is that pizza dough is "leavened." Leavened means that it includes either baking soda, baking powder, yeast, or a combination of these. Leavening is what makes dough, once baked, into bread, rather than brick.
As the Times puts it:
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.Or, put another way:
"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner, or one that is born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread."That's from Exodus, which is much more enjoyable in song form (see link) than text. So, okay, there's a religious reason to abstain from eating bread during Passover. But most religious customs in Israel are not enforced by law. They're simply custom. Why make it illegal to sell pizza over Passover?
What's unusual about this debate, aside from the fact that it's anti-food legislation at a time when people are starving all around the world, and that it's prima facia just-plain-weird to criminalize a food synonymous with life itself, is that this is not a charge being led by the ultra-orthodox. This is a cause being championed by secular Israeli voices. Why?
“The further we allow ourselves to go from Jewish tradition, the easier it will be for those who reject our legitimacy as a Jewish state,” said Sharona Mazalian, who lives outside Tel Aviv, works for a secular, conservative legislator and wants hametz [leavened bread] banned during Passover. “We call ourselves a Jewish, democratic state. But the less Jewish we are the easier it will be for others to say, ‘Why not just be a democratic state for Jews and Arabs to live in together?’ ”Just to be clear: she's saying that that would be a bad thing. So here we have a weird case of religious people being happy enough to let the religion enforce itself, and the secular people trying to legislate a proscription of a religion that they themselves aren't that adherent to -- because eating pizza during Passover means you're an Arab. Note that she said "Arab" not "Muslim" -- in other words, "let's use a religious proscription to make a racial point"; or, "let's use a meme to show our distaste for others' genes."
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall be a hater...
On the sixth day at morn, ye shall posteth 10 songs at random:
1. La Segunda Mano - Ozomatli
2. Guess I'm Doing Fine - Beck
3. One Headlight - The Wallflowers
4. Brown Eyed Girl - Everclear
5. Fickle-hearted Man - Big Smith
6. All the Umbrellas in London - Magnetic Fields
7. Piss up a Rope - Ween
8. Joliet Bound - John Mellencamp
9. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes - Crosby Stills Nash and Young (Live at Woodstock)
10. A Remark You Made - Weather Report