Security guards at building entrances may be a common sight in Israel, but for one week every year, they search bags for something much less dangerous than weapons—sandwiches.
During the week of Passover, observant Jews do not consume chametz, or leavened food. Since the holiday commemorates the story of the Israelites’ hasty departure from ancient Egypt, the rule prohibits any food made of grain and water granted time to ferment and “rise.” (See The Crummy History of Matzoh.) Religious people do not eat bread, cereal, cake, cookies. Some also avoid legumes, like beans, peas, lentils, although American views on this have recently expanded.
But Israel has no separation between religion and state. A special Chametz Law exists for Passover, which states: “A business owner will not put a chametz product on public display.”
Continue reading on National Geographic The Plate, published April 29, 2016.