Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Darts, Laurels and the Chassidic Smugglers

Last night I went to pick up my favourite Israeli wine and discovered the price had increased. I knew I should have bought it last week but I was feeling tired and not in the mood to cart bottles home. Sure, I was probably lucky to be able to get it for any price given the recent run on Israeli wines but to those bloodsuckers who run the LCBO; I have high hopes no matter what holiday you celebrate it bring you to grief for raising the price before a major holiday. A big shout out of thanks to Metro groceries for stocking up on Matzah…and then lowering the price in massive sale. My son, who eats this dry stuff by the case, thanks you as well.

There are a great many things which come to mind when one thinks of Chabad and its worldwide network of outreach but ‘accomplished smugglers’ was not ever one I thought associated with the organization’s resume. Apparently I will have to adjust my thinking. Ynet News:
Members of the Chabad organization smuggled a huge quantity of matzot into Iran last week in order to enable local Jews in the Islamic Republic to celebrate the Passover according to tradition.

Some 20,000 Jews currently live in Iran. The authorities allow them freedom to practice their religion, but forbid the import of Israel-made products to the country, an act that could cost a person three years imprisonment or the revoking of his passport for five years. The import ban causes a problem for local Jews, who are unable to bake enough matzot to feed the entire community. As a result, Chabad launched a secretive operation and smuggled one ton of matzot into Iran.

The matzot were manufactured in Ukraine, and then delivered to a neighboring country of Iran. From there they were transported into the country through a border crossing where security is known to be relatively loose. Nevertheless, Chabad took no unnecessary risks and replaced the matzot's original packages, which bore Hebrew letters, with blank packages ahead of the delivery.
Kol hakavod!

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