“Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner, or one that is born in the land.” Exodus 12:19 (The Israel Bible™)
Jews bade a delicious farewell to the gastronomic austerity of Passover by celebrating a North African traditional Mimouna feast. Politicians from all parties took the opportunity to indulge while posing for photographers.
For an entire week, Jews around the world refrained from eating chametz (leavened bread), so when Passover ended, the best way to celebrate is with bountiful yummies. Mimouna, a post-Passover feast originating in Morocco, is held on the day that tradition holds the wealth of the drowned Egyptians washed up on the shore of the Red Sea for the Israelis to carry away.
In Morocco, on the afternoon of the last day of Passover, Muslim neighbors would bring to the homes of their Jewish neighbors, gifts of flour, honey, milk, butter and green beans to be used to prepare post-Passover chametz dishes.
In Israel, the Mimouna has become a popular annual happening featuring outdoor parties, picnics, BBQs, and politics: A central celebration in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park draws about 100,000 people.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined a Mimouna celebration in the city of Hadera. He said that despite starting as a Moroccan tradition, Mimouna “has turned into a holiday for all the ethnic groups.” Politicians form all across the political spectrum used the colorful celebration as a backdrop for photo opportunities, but Miri Regev, the outspoken Culture and Sports Minister who is of Moroccan descent, took it one step further, dressing up in traditional Moroccan garb.