It’s Pe­sach. . . so make sure you kosher your wa­ter

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY AN­SHEL PF­EF­FER

JERUSALEMITES WILL spend next week drink­ing, wash­ing and flush­ing their toi­lets with Kosher le’Pe­sach wa­ter.

Why? Be­cause a week be­fore the hol­i­day, the Is­raeli na­tional wa­ter com­pany, Meko­rot, dis­con­nected Jerusalem from the na­tional pipe­line that pumps wa­ter all the way from the Kin­neret lake down to the Negev.

Through­out the Pe­sach week, house­holds will have to rely on wa­ter drawn by the mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter com­pany, Hag­i­hon, from lo­cal reser­voirs and wells.

This an­nual tra­di­tion stems from the con­cerns of strictly Ortho­dox Jews that the bread thrown in to the lake by fish­er­men on the Kin­neret and the re­mains of shore-side pic­nics might cause traces of chametz to reach their drink­ing wa­ter.

No se­nior rabbi has ever de­creed that a Jew may not use tap-wa­ter over Pe­sach, prob­a­bly be­cause the wa­ter is re­peat­edly fil­tered on its way through the sys­tem.

But the crumbs in the Kin­neret are enough for Charedim who take their chametz se­ri­ously to stock­pile gal­lons of wa­ter drawn from wells and wa­ter­holes for the du­ra­tion of the week. Oth­ers sim­ply make do with drink­ing bot­tled wa­ter. Since Jerusalem has an al­ter­na­tive wa­ter source — and, of course, a pow­er­ful Charedi pres­ence in City Hall — ev­ery year for the past two decades the wa­ter from the Na­tional Wa­ter Car­rier is shut off a week in ad­vance.

This al­lows the Kosher le’Pe­sach wa­ter to wash away any re­main­ing traces of chametz in the pipe­line and to in­dulge the strictly Ortho­dox com­mu­nity’s most strin­gent de­mands.

Some Charedim from other parts of the coun­try, such as Bnei Brak, where such an ar­range­ment is im­pos­si­ble, spend their Pe­sach in Jerusalem solely for this rea­son.

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