Video has emerged of Iranian Jews preparing for the upcoming Passover festival by baking matzah, the unleavened bread that is the key traditional food eaten during the festival, the Times of Israel reports.The story feeds the official regime line that Jews in Iran are free to practise their religion. But they labour under sharia restrictions and inequalities, and are constantly watched by government secret police.
The video, published by the Kikar Hashabat website last week, shows several members of the Tehran community manning a small matzah-baking production line.
Strict religious rules govern the method and baking time for matzah to ensure that the bread doesn’t rise, producing instead flat, wafer-thin, brittle loaves.
Similar baking sessions are held in Jewish communities around the world in the runup to Passover, which begins this year on Friday night, April 22. The seven-day festival celebrates the exodus of the Jewish nation from slavery in Egypt over 3,000 years ago.
Iran had between 80,000 and 100,000 Jews before the 1979 Islamic revolution but most have since fled, mainly to the United States, Israel and Europe. There are now only about 8,500 people left, mostly in Tehran but also in Isfahan and Shiraz, major cities south of the capital.