Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Arab takes control of Israeli bread industry

The Independent:
The deal will make him the owner for one week of all bread, pasta and beer in Israel – well a huge amount of it anyway. The contract, signed for the past 12 years by the Muslim hotel food manager, is part of the traditional celebrations ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Jews are forbidden by biblical injunction to possess leavened bread, or chametz, during Passover and ironically an Arab is needed to properly observe the holiday. The agreement with Mr Hussein offers a way of complying with religious edicts without having to wastefully destroy massive quantities of food.

Through legal acrobatics, the forbidden goods belonging to the Israeli state are simply sold to Mr Hussein for the duration of Passover and then revert back to the state once the holiday is over. Like the government's adherence to the Sabbath and to dietary laws, the ceremony sets Israel apart as a Jewish state that upholds religious traditions.
I'm not sure that's what Yahweh had in mind. When my students take a legalistic view, I tell them that what matters is that they obey the intent, not the letter.

Thanks to Marginal Revolution for the pointer. Marginal Revolution is the originator of "markets in everything."



Blogger Acad Ronin said...

My sense (i.e., I am too lazy to try and prove this) is that some adherents of each of the religions of the Book have an uncanny ability to follow either the intent or the letter, whichever is more bizarre. Thus in some cases they follow the letter (such as in the above case), and in other cases an inferred intent taken to an extreme.

5:26 PM  

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