A meal passed overA meal passed over

Seder kashrut snafu leaves troops hungry

Soldiers complain about their seder menu — matzot and sausages — after kashrut supervisor throws out prepared food

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Matzah, eat with care. (photo credit: Sophie Gordon / Flash 90)
Matzah, eat with care. (photo credit: Sophie Gordon / Flash 90)

Infantry troops looking forward to a festive Passover meal had to make do with cold food because of a disagreement between their cook and a religious supervisor in charge of enforcing Jewish dietary laws, in an incident that drew complaints from soldiers and attention from local media.

Soldiers from the Haruv battalion returned from a military operation on the eve of the Passover festival Friday to discover that instead of the anticipated hot meal they were served only sausages and matzot, Israel Radio reported Monday.

A quick investigation revealed that a cook had heated the planned meal after the festival had already begun at sundown. Heating food on a religious festival is a transgression of religious law and against IDF regulations. As a result, a religious kitchen supervisor from the Military Rabbinate ordered that the food be discarded and cold sausages be served instead.

The IDF observes Jewish dietary laws in all of its kitchens.

The Passover seder is celebrated by nearly all Israeli Jews, and the incident came to light after the unhappy soldiers reported on their dismal holiday dinner to their families. Local media, typically sensitive to the service conditions of the country’s conscript army, devoted attention to the story Monday.

An IDF spokesman said that the cook will face a court martial for breaking army rules and operating an electric appliance during the festival.

The first night of Passover is celebrated with a seder, an extended meal that includes reading traditional texts relating the story of the Exodus.


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