Rabbi David Geffen is a native Atlantan and Conservative rabbi who lives in Jerusalem.
Even cut into a “2” to represent the movie sequel, Paddington’s marmalade sandwich on bread risks rubbing Passover-observant Jews the wrong way.
“Paddington 2” hit the big screen in Israel on Thursday, March 22, which proved to be unfortunate timing for the English bear with the hankering for marmalade sandwiches.
With Passover starting little more than a week after the film’s Israeli premiere, the power of Passover halacha has come into play. Paddington’s sandwich has disappeared from posters and billboards across the country. In the sandwich’s place is a matzah snack.
As it happens, Paddington has seen his special foods censored in advertising campaigns in various parts of the world. But the situation is even stranger in Israel.
First, movie promoters tried slapping two pieces of matzah together with orange marmalade. But that was not sufficient for the bear’s fans. Instead, the new Passover-kosher snack had to be neatly shaped into a “2,” just like the bread in the sandwich on the non-Passover posters.
Israel has ample examples of cleansing ads of women so they can be placed in Bnei Brak and other religious neighborhoods.
Israeli children will see “Paddington 2” with dubbed in Hebrew during Pesach.
Movie food experts are waiting to see what snacks are on offer at the theaters. Will there be anything for those strict about keeping kosher for Passover?
We will look for chocolate-covered matzah and other holiday delights.
Meanwhile, “Paddington 2” keeps playing at some Atlanta-area theaters more than two months after its U.S. opening.