“Every year, for decades, I have been getting shmurah matzahs from Chabad,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit today to the Chassidic village of Kfar Chabad in Israel, “but this is the first time that I actually got to make it myself.”

The premier—accompanied by head of the Kfar Chabad Council Binyamin Lifshitz, director of Chabad Youth Organization in Israel Rabbi Yosef Aharonov and Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi, chief rabbi of Kfar Chabad—tried his hand at many of the tasks that go into making the matzahs, from mixing flour and water to removing the finished products from the oven. After he successfully ran the redl (roller with sharp protrusions) over a raw matzah to make holes that allow air to escape, one of the workers jokingly told the prime minister, “You're hired!”

The Kfar Chabad matzah bakery, which produces many tons of hand-crafted round shmurah matzahs for communities all over the world, is viewed as an industry leader for its efficient design and streamlined system that allows for adherence to the highest standards of Passover kashrut, while remaining true to tradition.

Coming to Kfar Chabad to learn how to bake matzah has been a decades-old tradition for top government officials of every party.

After posing for a quick photo with one of his Chassidic guides, Netanyahu joked that he was taking part in his first “rabbinic selfie.”

On a more serious note, he quoted the Haggadah, saying: “In every generation, they stand up against us to destroy us, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, saves us from their hands … we celebrate the festival of freedom with faith in the Jewish nation and the G‑d of Israel.”

Sitting together at a festive table, Ashkenazi noted that the prime minister’s visit was on the first day of the month of Nissan—the season of freedom—and that sitting around a table with a diverse group of Jews expressed the unity of the Jewish people.

Praises the Rebbe and Chabad

After the matzah-baking, the prime minister viewed a video of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, speaking about the importance of the Land of Israel. The premier commented, “For me, the Rebbe was an exceptional personality who touched on the eternal fundamental basis of our people, our faith, our land, our birthright, our brethren everywhere, our desire to return to our land. All of these things were sacred for him, and they still ring within me. They were not just words.”

“Every meeting with the Rebbe was like drawing from a well of living waters, literally so,” said Netanyahu. “Not [just] to light the candle of truth, not just to be a light unto the nations, but to be strengthened on the inside. I am sure that your strength will be a source of inspiration for the future as well. I thank you.”

“I know that you will go and celebrate Passover all over the world. I’ve noticed that Chabad does not rest—working 24/7, 365 days a year. All the time. This also warms the heart. Wherever I go in the world, I meet Chabad chassidim, the representatives of the spirit, the love of Jewish people, the nicest side of Judaism. I want to thank you for that as well,” the prime minister concluded.