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Netanyahu Bakes Passover Matzah For First Time

PM takes break from diplomacy to visit Chabad factory and bake traditional unleavened bread. Hareidi MK slams 'PR stunt.'
By Hezki Ezra, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 4/1/2014, 6:20 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday for the first time made matzah, the traditional unleavened bread eaten on the upcoming Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover).

The matzah-making experienced occurred during a visit to Kfar Chabad's matzah factory located in central Israel, to the south east of Tel Aviv. There, Netanyahu received a thorough tour of the process to make matzah by the Chabad rabbis.

"At home, I have eaten this Chabad matza for years. Today, for the first time, I am also preparing it myself. I am very excited. I wish the entire Jewish People a happy Passover," said Netanyahu at the factory.

Video in Hebrew from the visit can be seen here:

Netanyahu referenced several lines from the Passover hagaddah text, noting "in every generation enemies rise up to destroy us but G-d saves us from them.

"The haggadah mentions four sons – wise, wicked, simple and the one who does not know how to ask – but each one has a Jewish spark and you watch over this Jewish spark," he told those gathered.

Chabad is well-known for its outreach programs, holding Passover seder meals at 250 Chabad houses throughout Israel, and at roughly 3,000 Chabad houses world-wide. While the Foreign Ministry strike threatened supplies for the Nepal seder, considered the largest in the world, Chabad rabbis declared it would be held as planned.

Chabad leaders spoke to Netanyahu, expressing their support in strengthening him to stand for the freedom of the State of Israel.

"A horrible PR stunt"

However, not everyone was supportive of Netanyahu's matzah factory visit.

Hareidi MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) attacked the prime minister, calling the visit an "awful public relations stunt, and a ridiculous embarassment."

"A man who starves thousands of Israeli children by cutting stipends and exploits their parents by raising the cost of living and the amount of taxes- how is he not embarrassed to bake ‘the poor man’s bread’ for those very children of Israel?" remarked Eichler.