“There is no freedom from religion, and no privacy, but let’s call it The Holiday of Freedom.

The disgraceful policy led by the Rabbinate, according to which security guards at hospitals prohibit the entry of ‘chametz’ [1], enforced by probing and hurtful searches of peoples’ bags, is a violation of basic human rights. I don’t deny the importance of respecting kosher rules in public spaces, out of consideration of people for whom it is important. That said, a hospital isn’t a ‘purely’ public space, but a complex mixture of private and public. It’s a patient’s fundamental right that, lying in his room, he will be able to eat whatever he wants, and it is his relatives’ right to bring him food, without having their bags searched as if a bun is a bomb.
With a little effort, a solution can be found that will allow kosher rules to be observed in public spaces and does not necessitate a blatant violation of people’s privacy, and coercion of a lifestyle they haven’t chosen.
I’ve sent a letter to the CEOs of Hadassah and Sha’arei Tzedek hospitals today, demanding that they won’t cooperate with this aggravating policy, and I want to commend the CEOs of Ihilov, Rambam, Wolfson and Barzily hospitals, that have said that they will not instruct their guards to search for chametz.
The Holiday of Freedom should remind whoever views the freedom of a person to live his life as he chooses as a supreme value, religious and seculars alike, that this is not a matter of course in our society, and that we should struggle to see it realized.”

– Itai Gutler, City Council member

[Selected Comments:]
– “Full of disinformation. The guards are authorized to search for weapons etc. If they see ‘chametz’, the most they can do is point to the signs, and ask the person nicely not to bring the ‘chametz’ in.”
– “Well done, Itai Gutler, very true.”
– “There’s a Muslim hospital on the Mount of Olives. Has anyone brought a bacon sandwich into it [2]?”

0202 Editor’s Notes:
[1] Chametz are leavened foods that are forbidden on the Jewish holiday of Passover. During the holiday, Jews may not own, eat or benefit from chametz.
[2] Eating pork is forbidden by Islam.

#Chametz #hospital_rules #Jewish_state