JERUSALEM — Israel’s health minister this week called on the public to refrain from eating the traditional Chanukah treat sufganiyot.
“I call on the public to avoid eating sufganiyot, which are rich in fats,” Yaakov Litzman of the Haredi Orthodox United Torah Judaism party said Sunday during a conference to promote healthy eating, Ynet reported.
“You can find alternatives for everything nowadays and there is no need for us to fatten our children with sufaganiyot, which are not in line with the principles of health and proper nutrition.”
Sufganiyot — traditional jelly donuts — are deep fried and covered with powdered sugar, although variations include other fillings and toppings. They are ubiquitous in the weeks leading up to the holiday, with bakeries frying them on the street and selling them fresh to passersby.
“If I had to say this today, I’d say sufganiyot out,” Litzman said. ‘You can eat them, of course, because it is part of the holiday’s customs, but there are alternatives.”
On Monday, he pulled back slighting, stating, “I am not saying it should be prohibited … but one shouldn’t eat a mountain of them. Eat one on Chanukah and that’s it.”
YeshivaWorldNews said that when it was pointed out to him that eating jelly donuts is a mitzvah, he responded that there are far more important mitzvos to fulfil and that one should not be machmir regarding the donuts.