Israeli Minister Admits to Eating Bread on Passover, Disappoints ultra-Orthodox

Steinitz's concession that he doesn’t keep the Jewish law that forbids eating bread during the holiday wasn’t well received by some of his coalition partners.

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Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Yuval Steinitz.
National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz.Credit: Reuters

A top Israeli politician caused a bit of a stir in ultra-Orthodox media over the weekend after he admitted to eating bread on Passover.

Speaking on Saturday, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz conceded that "I'm not religious, I like tradition but I don’t avoid eating bread on Passover," according to a report in the ultra-Orthodox Behadrei Haredim news site.

While Jewish law prohibits eating leavened bread and other foods during the Jewish holidays, it is not unusual for secular Israelis to forgo tradition.

Steinitz's deviation from Jewish law, however, wasn’t well received by some of his coalition partners.

A senior official from the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party said that "it's known to all that the honorable minister Mr. Steinitz finds it very difficult to keeps things to himself, we know it from government meetings and from hours-long speeches at the Knesset.

"But it would be best that the honorable minister keep his comments and actions to himself in an issue that is so important and sensitive to more than 80 percent of the Israeli public," Behadrei Haredim reported.

Adding a sectarian note to the criticism, Shas MK Yigal Guetta told the news site that "in the past, a public figure who eats chametz wouldn’t have published it, and would have probably also been a bit ashamed of it. It would have definitely not have happened among members of Middle Eastern communities."

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