The IDF is making preparations to celebrate the holiday of Passover, which commemorates the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. Although Jewish people worldwide will be celebrating Passover with friends and family, many IDF soldiers will not able to do so because IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has ordered all IDF units to cancel their usual Passover vacation.
All IDF units are expected to remain on full alert due to unspecified security threats, possibly from Gaza. Israel has previously come under attack during Jewish holidays, including the 1973 Yom Kippur war and the terrorist attack during Passover in 2002.
Soldiers who are on base, will enjoy Seder, the ritualized Passover dinner, at the main dining hall. Soldiers who are in the field will receive “a box” approved by the military containing six “symbolic Passover items: grape juice, maror (bitter herbs), charoset (apple and date honey mix), hard-boiled egg, lamb bone, karpas (parsley) and chazeret (lettuce).”
The IDF makes preparations for Passover, more than a month prior to the holiday “to ensure that all of the army kitchens meet the highest kosher-for-Passover standards.” Approximately, 2,500 soldiers cleaned the IDF’s kitchens on Wednesday.
Soldiers are prohibited from bringing in any leavened bread during the eight day holiday. They are also required to clean their rooms prior to an inspection because the IDF will be observing the “Ashkenazi codes of Passover” which ban all grains and legumes.