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Apr 30, 2020

chametz in hospitals on Pesach decided by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court decided to wait until after Pesach to decide on the case regarding visitors bringing chametz into hospitals. Maybe they figure that by next year the decision will be behind us and forgotten and they wont get attacked over it before the holiday.

The Supreme Court ruled that the hospitals in Israel do not have te authority to stop people form bringing chametz in during the Pesach holiday.

Justice Uzi Fogelman explained that this prevents patients form eating what they want in their own space and is damaging to their rights to personal honor, autonomy and freedom from religion. Especially in a hospital where people lose their independence and have to deal with pain and discomfort, they need to be dealt with with more compassion and protect their honor and individuality and their needs. The authority held by the hospital does not include preventing people form bringing in food for kashrut issues. Using the security guards to check for this is also a breach of the authority given to them for protection and security.

A compromise was suggested by Justice Grosskopf by which the kashrut of the hospital kitchen and dining areas would be protected just as people's individual rights and preferences would be protected in their personal spaces, but each hospital would have to decide on that individually and implement such a division.

As long as the hospital has the ability to keep its facilities kosher - don't allow personal food to be brought into the public areas for consumption, etc. - I still do not see why someone bringing chametz and eating it privately should bother me to the point that I have to disallow it. Sure, Jews eating chametz on Pesach bothers me, but that is their decision, and it is not my job to take away their free will. Also, plenty of non-Jews are in the hospitals (as patients, staff and visitors), and why should they be forced to only eat matza and other Pesach foods?

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  1. The Israeli supreme court - the ultimate Erev Rav!

  2. "As long as the hospital has the ability to keep its facilities kosher"

    Don't they bring food to patients' rooms for them to eat? When the do that, do they only use paper and plastic plates, or do they use their own dishes?

    Unless they use all disposable utensils, the if Patient A has the hospital's kosher meal, and Patient B in the same room has non-kosher food, then there is a real chance of mix-up.

    That is why kosher restaurants generally do not allow outside food -- too much chance for mix up. I assume the kosher hospital cafeteria can do the same thing, but what about the rooms?

    Perhaps they can make some kind of arrangment that if you bring in your own food, you have to keep it separate.


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