search

High Court says bread to be allowed into hospitals on Passover, drawing outrage

Medical personnel sit down for a Passover seder at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba on April 8, 2020. (Health Ministry)
Medical personnel sit down for a Passover seder at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba on April 8, 2020. (Health Ministry)

The High Court of Justice says it won’t hold another discussion on the decision to allow visitors to bring bread and other leavened food into hospitals during the Passover festival, drawing outrage from religious bodies and politicians and praise from liberal activists.

The country’s top court previously rejected the Chief Rabbinate’s petition demanding that hospitals refuse to let the public bring chametz into their premises to respect observant people’s faith.

Religious Jews are forbidden from consuming or owning leavened products during the seven-day festival. Secular groups say a ban on bringing such food into hospitals infringes on their personal rights.

Ultra-Orthodox politicians slam the court and echo calls from the right to limit its powers by passing a law enabling the Knesset to override its rulings with a special majority.

“The chametz ruling is another example of how the judges are disconnected and unwilling to listen, while forcing their decision on the traditional majority in the State of Israel in the name of liberalism,” says United Torah Judaism MK Yaakov Asher.

Shas party leader Aryeh Deri says: “It is impossible that in a Jewish state, hospitals will be obligated to let chametz into their premises on Passover.”

MK Moshe Gafni calls the judges “insolent,” while religious Likud MK Shlomo Karhi tweets that after the election, his party will “dismantle the ruling junta and deny them the option of behaving like a parliament that wasn’t elected by anyone.”

The Rabbinate says the court’s decision has delivered a “critical blow to most of the public” and will possibly cause observant Jews to avoid hospitals during Passover and endanger their health since “the Chief Rabbinate will find it difficult to ensure kosher food at hospitals.”

comments