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Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

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Randolph, New Jersey
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Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

I have been to Israel but never on a chag like Pesach. I am renting an apartment near Emek Refaim but am not arriving until the day the chag begins (erev). I have a place to go for seder but am not sure how I will be able to get food into our apartment. I understand that 'things sell out' in the grocery stores. What kind of things sell out and do they restock during the week? Do you know of any service that could do my shopping for me? Would the grocery stores be more full and stocked in Tel Aviv? Anything you can advise would be great.

Also,when the first day of holiday ends at sundown, will restaurants open?

Haifa, Israel
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1. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

In Passover food stores that are placed in major Jewish population area can not (by law) sell any not Passover Kusher items (rather food or cleaning products). Food is available (just Kosher food).

If you wish to buy non Passover Kusher food you will have to travel to non Jewish areas to buy in the stores over there.

restaurants and bars usually open as usual, some of the restaurants will be closed for the whole holiday as the manager sometimes deiced that it's not profitable to Kusherize his kitchen for this week.

Jerusalem
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2. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

You certainly won't have any shortage of restaurants... if I recall correctly, apart from a couple of pizza joints, all the restaurants along Emek Refaim are open on Pesach (though not on the actual chag days or on Shabbat, except possibly McDonalds and the cafe in Smadar cinema, which are currently the only non-kosher restaurants along the road).

Unless you arrive very late on erev chag, you should be able to get at least some basic supplies. It's not clear from your message whether you will be wanting to buy non-Pesach items. If you do, in the Old City you will find plenty of grocery stores selling all their usual items [including bread] without any limitations.

Edited: 15 February 2011, 00:47
Israel
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3. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

Please clarify what you are looking for, what types of food you are concerned about running out - very few things run out and you should have no problem getting supplied.

What time of day will you be arriving on Erev Pesach - the one thing you can be sure of is that all the stores will be over-crowded and lines will be very long.

If you have more specific questions you can PM me.

Randolph, New Jersey
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4. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

Sorry, we are strict about the kashrut of pesach and will be looking to stock our apartment with basics like milk, egg, cheese, matzah, junk food, and some meats. Do you think a store along Emek will be open at 1 in the afternoon?

Thanks!

Tel-Aviv
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5. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

The selection of "Kosher for Passover" food is much larger than in NJ and since all of the major stores and chains sell only K for P food during the week you can assume that the local food industry ensures that the supply is very reliable. Your only problem is getting to the stores before they close. Since Passover stars at 6:30 PM I would assume that the stores will still be open at 1 PM. However I think it would be a good idea if you can get someone to buy some basic products and leave them in the apartment - just in case.

Also note that although there is a wide selection of packaged foods of all types, much of it contains "Kitniyot", so if you observe this absurdity you may find that your selection is more limited.

Israel
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6. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

Thanks for clarifying.

Since you already have plans for the seder you are really only looking for a few basics to get you through chag which should not be a problem, even last minute.

And to mbgg - without getting into the whole issue - whether it is absurd or not, is not the issue - for someone who doesn't eat kitniyot on Pesach - they just don't and won't now.

To everyone who has no idea what we are talking about - this refers to varying different restrictions on what is or is not Kosher for Passover.

Israel
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7. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

Grocery stores are a zoo the day before any major holiday -- Pesach in particular.

Perhaps a makolet (small corner store) will be less of a "baligan". I'd advise bringing some cash (shekels) with you to make any last-minute transactions faster.

I know that major chain supermarkets (Shufersol, e.g.) offer on-line ordering and inexpensive delivery, but I do not know how far in advance you can arrange for this, and how exact the delivery timing is.

Israel
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8. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

IndigoGirl is right about the zoo atmosphere in any store a few hours before Passover.

I would not suggest using any of the on-line ordering services, even if they are working that day. If you have someone here who can get a few things for you and put them in your fridge that would be great - ask the person or company you are renting from. Otherwise there are a number of companies that offer "concierge" type services in Jerusalem that would be able to do this for you.

Israel
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9. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

Youa sked about restaurants reopening after the first day of Yom Tov:

Many places will not reopen until the following day, but some will.

Can you arrange to have the apartment owner stock the fridge with a few basic items ahead of time? Some milk, eggs, and a box of matzah?

Again, I'd bring some cash, and just buy a few things wherever you can to tide you over. Are you keeping 1 day of Yom Tov or 2?

Tel Aviv, Israel
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10. Re: Pesach in Israel.....food questions.

How strict are you? And do you read Hebrew well? There are many different hechsherim for Pesach, all in Hebrew, of course.

If you do not eat kitniyot, you will have to read many of the hechserim carefully, as much of the "kasher le-Pesach" food here (including much of the junk food, candies, dairy products) contains kitniyot.

Also many, if not most, of the kosher restaurants that are open during Pesach use kitniyot. This would also apply to much of the prepared foods for sale during Pesach.

There is a smallish supermarket on Emek Refaim near the corner of Rachel Imeynu. I would expect them to be open until at least 2 pm, maybe even 3 pm. You should be able to get the basics you listed there.