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Arab Announces in the Market: Jews! Sell me Your Chametz!

A new video clip by Chavruta shows an “Arab” in the marketplace, humorously reminding passersby that he is willing to buy any and all chametz.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 4/14/2011, 12:14 PM / Last Update: 4/18/2011, 8:24 AM

A new video clip by the Chavruta Project shows an “Arab” in the marketplace, humorously reminding passersby that he is willing to buy any and all chametz. The immediate and long-term objectives, respectively, are to facilitate chametz-selling and to bring secular and religious Jews together.

The movie shows an Arab with a megaphone, offering to buy crackers, pretzels, pita with zatar and olives, and other leavened foodstuffs that Jews are forbidden to own on Passover. The Bible explains that in commemoration of the rushed, nation-birthing Exodus from Egypt, when the Jews had no time to even properly prepare bread to take with them, we must rid ourselves of all leavened foods every year during Passover, the festival of the Exodus.

“Our vision is to knock down all partitions and dividers between the various sectors,” says the indefatigable founder of the Ayelet HaShachar organization, Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan. “We try to find that which unites. The sale of chametz is something that almost everyone knows about, but many do not understand its true significance.”

“Selling chametz has a spiritual message,” Rabbi Ra'anan adds, “of inner cleanliness, from which stems the ability to accept others as they are and the return to the mutual responsibility that we experienced during the Exodus. Selling the chametz is another little point on which we can all come together, showing that which unites us is greater than that which divides us.”

The Chavruta (study-partner) project, one of many innovative outreach programs sponsored by Ayelet HaShachar, features close to 15,000 people who take part in weekly phone calls to discuss Torah topics. “Not-so-informed Jews are each assigned one of our thousands of volunteers,” Rabbi Ra'anan explains, “and they talk and learn over the phone. If they hit it off, as they generally do, they continue, week in and week out.”

Last year’s Chavruta video featured a breezy, humorous and informative lesson on how to make one’s kitchen kosher for Passover.