Esor Ben-Sorek

A Simple Box of Matza

The Arabs like to point out that Jerusalem is a Muslim city whose holy places have been defiled since Jewish population growth after 1948. The facts testify otherwise.

In the 1878 demographic Ottoman Turkish census, the largest population in Jerusalem was Jewish, followed by Muslims and Christians.

Jews have constituted the majority of Jerusalem’s population since the 19th century. Today’s Turks may hide the truth but the Ottoman census reveals the truth.

In the 1878 census the total population of Turkish Palestine was 462,465 consisting of 403,795 Muslims, 43,659 Christians and 25,011 Jews.

When the British established their mandate in Palestine in 1918, the population had grown to 660,000, largely due to the Zionist development of the land. The Christian population numbered approximately 15-20% of the population, the Muslims 74%, and the Jewish population had increased to 60,000, 8.1% of the country’s population.

In 1887, the first matza baking company was opened in Palestine, first in the Neve Tzedek district of what later became Tel-Aviv and then moved to its present location in B’nai Brak.

The box of Aviv matzot proudly bears the inscription “baked and packed in B’nai Brak since 1887”.

With the flow of Jewish immigration to pre-state Israel, the Aviv matza factory was working overtime to produce kosher for Passover matzot for local Jewish consumption and for deliveries to Jewish communities around the world.

A simple box of matza defies Arab claims of an in-active Jewish community in Palestine.

And the Ottoman Turkish census reveals the Jewish majority in Jerusalem which continues to the present day.

I suggest that the Aviv matza factory in B’nai Brak should send a gift box of their fine unleavened bread to each delegation represented in the United Nations.

It can serve two purposes. The first, to make each delegate aware of the Jewish presence and development in Palestine in the 19th century, and the second, to afflict them with the bread of affliction and the tummy problems which Jews have experienced down through the ages.

Recognizing Jewish “suffering”, the hearts of the UN delegates may be turned more sympathetically against false Arab propaganda and more favorably to the State of Israel.

A simple box of matza could result in a diplomatic victory for Israel.

As for the UN delegates, a package of TUMS for the Tummy would relief their “suffering”.

They would then fully understand the meaning of an old Yiddish saying: “Schwer zu zein a Yid”…

It is hard to be a Jew.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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