Bread of the afflictedBread of the afflicted

Wounded Syrians taste matza in Israel

One recuperating boy calls unleavened cracker-like Passover food a ‘delicacy’

A Syrian boy hospitalized in Israel has his first taste of matzah on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 (courtesy Ziv Hospital)
A Syrian boy hospitalized in Israel has his first taste of matzah on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 (courtesy Ziv Hospital)

At Safed’s Ziv Medical Center, the Passover festival brought an unexpected interfaith experience.

The hospital, like others in Israel’s north, has been treating Syrian civilians wounded in that country’s four-year civil war.

Hebrew-language media reported Tuesday on one Syrian boy who was severely injured in his legs and was told by Syrian doctors, after 17 operations, that he would never walk again.

His mother brought him to the Israeli border, where the IDF picked him up and transported him to Ziv Medical Center.

After a complicated operation, the boy now walks with the aid of a walker and doctors say he has a good chance of regaining full use of his legs.

But the boy’s visit to Israel included one more experience, shared by other Syrians currently recuperating in Israeli hospitals.

Since the hospital is observing Jewish dietary laws, it has replaced bread for the duration of the Passover holiday with unleavened bread.

After explaining to him the story behind the festival food, the hospital staff gave the Syrian boy his first sheet of matza.

In a sentiment that might surprise many Jews, he reportedly called the cracker-like matza a “delicacy.”

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