Mar 6, 2018

bringing chametz into hospitals in Israel

A group called "The Secular Forum" along with a group called "The Secular Lobby" led by MKs Tamar Zandberg, Ksenia Svetlova, Mossi Raz and Michal Rozin, all MKs from Meretz except for Zandberg who is from the Zionist Union (Labor), have petitioned the Supreme Court against the rule prohibiting anyone from bringing chametz onto the grounds of hospitals during Pesach.

The court has given the government until March 25th, 2018 to respond to the petition and to explain why such a law is necessary or justified. The court gave this date, a week before pesach, so that a decision can be arrived at before pesach of this year.

The claim is that the security guards of hospitals are meant to be checking for issues of security, such as weapons and dangerous people, and their jobs are not to go through people's belongings and look for chametz, and it makes it seem as if Israel is a halachic state, which it is not. And, this is taking advantage of sick people who do not really choose to be there but go to the hospital because they have to, not because they want to.
source: Haredim10

In the past I seem to recall the complaint about chametz not being allowed in coming mostly from the Arab sector. Arab doctors and nurses, Arab patients and Arab visitors, who are not connected to the mitzva and obligation of avoiding chametz, still are forced to. Clearly some secular Jews are upset about this as well.

Personally the issue does not bother me - and not because I dont bring in chametz anyway during Pesach. I mean, it does not bother me if someone brings chametz into the hospital. As long as they do not bring their private food into the hospital kosher for pesach cafeteria, why should I care if someone, or a visitor, eats chametz in his or her own hospital room? The chametz wont get into my food and I don't own it, so I dont see the problem. It is more troubling when it is a Jew who is violating the rules of Pesach, but it is a free world and I cannot control them and stop them from eating chametz. And them bringing chametz into the hospital does not contaminate my food or affect my observance, so I really don't see the problem.

That being said, the State's response should be relatively simple. We live in a Jewish state and avoiding chametz on Pesach is a major issue and a symbol of Jewish life. After spending much effort and money to clean the hospital and kasher it for Pesach, along with the symbolism of removing chametz for Pesach, it makes sense to ban chametz, even at the expense of some people being made uncomfortable about it, in State institutions.

This seems to me to be similar to the argument about public transportation on Shabbos, and the allowance of stores to operate on Shabbos. The next step would be to fight against the law banning the sale of chametz during Pesach. If any of these laws fall, the rest might follow quickly, as they all seem to me to be similar, and one can be used as a precedent for the others.

I would agree to the complaint that it is not the job of security guards at the entrance to hospitals to check people's pockets and bags for chametz. The security guards should be dealing with security issues and only security issues. The hospitals or State should find other ways to enforce this law, if it will be left in place.

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1 comment:

  1. Those complaining about the prohibition of bringing in chametz on Pesach to the hospitals are 'leftists'; not all secular Jews (many just don't know anything) are apikorsim and haters of H' and Torah. The leftists worldwide have an agenda and that is to take G-D out of the equation, c'v. In Israel, they are even more notorious. If they feel such hatred, they should not be living in E.Y. They have the whole wide world where to live. E.Y. is holy to the Bnai Yisrael (the real Am Yisrael) and was given to the Jewish people by G-D Almighty and to adhere to His Torah and if these apikorsom don't like it, they can leave = halevai!


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