Excessive Court docket: Hospitals haven’t any authority to bar leavened merchandise introduced in throughout Passover – Israel Information

Israeli hospitals haven’t any proper to ban unleavened meals that isn’t kosher for Passover from being introduced into the hospital throughout the vacation, or to have safety guards search the meals that guests deliver throughout that interval, the Excessive Court docket of Justice dominated on Thursday.

A sweeping ban on bringing “hametz” – unleavened meals – into the hospital “infringes on basic rights of the primary order, on the autonomy of the person and freedom from faith,” the courtroom acknowledged. The courtroom gave hospitals, the Well being Ministry and the Chief Rabbinate 10 months to discover a resolution in line with its choice, which in apply means earlier than subsequent Passover, which begins on March 27, 2021. “Hospital guards will chorus from taking any steps to implement the matter of kashrut throughout Passover, together with making feedback to guests to the hospitals as regards to meals and its kashrut,” the ruling acknowledged.


The apply of solely permitting in contemporary fruit and veggies and packaged meals which might be licensed as kosher for Passover was not primarily based on a proper Well being Ministry choice however was instituted at most hospitals in Israel on the request of the Chief Rabbinate, the courtroom famous.

The apply, the courtroom mentioned, infringes on the dignity of sufferers and their proper to resolve on their very own identities and preferences. “Given the circumstances that often result in hospitalization, and in gentle of the hospital setting, the place the affected person’s room is the one private dwelling area at his disposal, we discover that the scope of the violation of those rights is appreciable.”

“The hospital administrations didn’t point out any clear and express authority to ban bringing meals into the world of the hospital on spiritual grounds,” the courtroom acknowledged, and added that hospitals have an obligation to allow sufferers to look at Jewish dietary legal guidelines however want to take action in a means that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others who’re there.

Staff outside Hadassah Hospital during a strike in 2019.
Emil Salman

“Kashrut needs to be maintained within the hospital kitchen throughout Passover and of the meals that it offers to the eating rooms for sufferers needing it. On the identical time, we consider resolution needs to be sought that makes this attainable with out severely infringing on the sufferers’ autonomy to eat meals of their small space of non-public area.”

The case was filed in 2018 by the Secular Discussion board group along with the Adalah Authorized Heart for Minority Rights and different petitioners. The choice was written by Justice Uzi Vogelman with the concurrence of Justice Ofer Grosskopf and with Justice Neal Hendel dissenting. In his dissent, Justice Hendel wrote that the case concerned “a social battle that requires a social resolution.” It doesn’t contain “a conflict between rights that requires a call in favor of 1 social gathering, however a case during which all the events have rights in a democratic society and which is suitable to resolve by consensus past the confines of the courtroom and never by way of a judicial choice.”

In response to the choice, the Secular Discussion board mentioned: “The High Court of Justice accepted our arguments immediately. This can be a day for celebration for Israel democracy normally and the secular public in Israel particularly.”


Sawsan Zaher, a lawyer at Adalah, mentioned the courtroom’s choice brings to an finish a “humiliating apply that confirmed contempt for the sufferers, staff and guests on the hospitals. We welcome the choice which clearly guidelines that it isn’t attainable to drive spiritual legal guidelines on the general public. The necessity to allow these members of the general public who maintain custom to look at their religion can not take priority over the essential freedoms of the Arab public and of anybody else.”