Lake Kinneret
Lake KinneretIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Israelis may not realize it, but during Passover, their water comes not from the Kinneret, but from underground wells. “It has been like this for years, and will continue this year,” said MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism).

In a letter to Gafni, Alexander Kushnir, the chairman of the Israel Water Authority, said that this year, as in years past, the Authority would stop pumping water from the Kinneret into the National Water Carrier three days before Passover. Instead, the Authority will pump water from underground wells into the water system.

In a request to Kushnir for clarification on the matter, Gafni said that in the past, many Israelis did not drink water from the tap out of fear that it contained chametz, the leavened material that is forbidden for consumption by Jews on Passover. “The fear is that chametz could be present because the Kinneret is an open body of water.” Pumping water from the underground wells, where it was far less likely that bread of other chametz could reach, was acceptable to everyone, Gafni said.

The Kinneret will “rest” throughout the holiday. Pumping of water from the large fresh water lake, via the National Water Carrier, will begin after Passover has passed.