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May 20, 2009

de facto mehadrin

According to Ladaat.net, the famous #2 bus line in Jerusalem - I think it is the bus route with the longest route in Jerusalem, being a circuitous route from Har Nof to the Kotel with 50 stops between 17 "neighborhoods" (granted - it depends what you call a neighborhood), has now "officially become de facto a mehadrin line.

The decision is not an official one made by Egged or by the Ministry of Transportation. Rather, according to Ladaat.net, it is by "the decision of the passengers". The passengers have "decided" they will sit on the bus in a mehadrin fashion - men in front and women in back.

Because it is not an official decision to be designated by Egged as mehadrin, but through grassroots activism, the one flaw from their perspective is that women will not be able to alight in the back and get their tickets punched in the rear, but will have to get on in the front of the bus mingling with the men in order to pay.

I have no idea what it means "the passengers decided". Did they take a poll? Did someone collate votes during the ride, passing out questionnaires? Was it an "official decision of passengers" made by a dozen or so passengers and will now impose it on the rest?

Another thing - what is the relevance of this decision made by the passengers? If it is not officially sanctioned and designated, what happens if I get on the bus with my family and sit together with my wife? Will they say something to me? What right will they have to insist I or my wife move to the other side of the bus? If a guy wants to sit in front, and his wife wants to sit in the back, God bless them. Nobody ever forces passengers to sit next to people they don't want to. But without any official status, what is the relevance of this decision? How will they enforce it?

19 comments:

  1. I ride the 2 almost daily. In most instances it is separate. However if someone does sit in the "wrong" section, no one says anything.

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  2. מול העינם is correct; no-one is going to stop you sitting with your wife. Most couples tend to sit towards the middle. Also in Kiryat Sefer, Superbus has the same "unofficial" policy. I always sit with my wife when we travel together as do many other couples and no-one has ever said a thing, nor do I expect them to.

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  3. I wonder just how unofficial and laissez faire the 11 in Bet Shemesh will be... or the 418, or the 497...

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  4. so if the #2 has already been unofficially mehadrin for a while, I wonder what the impetus, or even the point, of the article is.

    unless perhaps now they are planning on stepping it up a notch and begin enforcing the arrangement somehow.

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  5. Mikeage-the 11 has an enforcer on board most of the time. Women get on in the back and I (a male) wasn't allowed to stand with my stroller in the middle of the bus.

    The 418 started lassez faire, but now separation is the norm, some drivers will enforce it, if not various passengers will make a ruckus. Ditto for the 497. Some drivers make a stop to collect from the women, while others insist that the women come up front, while some do not allow anyone to enter from the back.
    I don't know what the legal basis is for any of this, and I was tempted to take Superbus to a Din Torah regarding the stroller rule.

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  6. Interesting; the last time I was on an 11, I stood with the stroller, and my wife rode in the back (but she was carrying the baby, so maybe it was somewhat OK).

    I generally try to take the 417 instead of the 418, but when I do, I agree that the people tend to be slightly... less friendly... than your description of the 2.

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  7. The first time I took the 497 I did not know it was a mehadrin bus. We (my husband and I) got on at the first stop, and sat in a seat. The driver turned to us, and politely explained it was a mehadrin bus, and while it really made no difference to him, we might want to conform to the norm as there were "some not so friendly and very loud" people who might care more.

    We did move apart (unhappily) and saw another couple (substantially older) get SCREAMED at by a teenage boy.

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  8. I've had several female family members hassled on the 11, for the nerve of going to the front to pay.

    I recommend anyone wishing to sit together on the 11 bring along a baseball bat. And any woman wishing to actually pay, bring along some mace.

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  9. or even better - don't pay. ride for free, and let God hold them responsible for not letting you!

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  10. If people want to play dirty, when we can start "wondering" whether these enforcers have served in the army, and inform the לשכת הגיוס that they're not in Yeshiva

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  11. Wow - I'm glad I live in Kiryat Sefer and not RBS - I thought that we were the "frummers" until I started reading your blog. Now KS looks virtually normal.

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  12. shalom - it is not the frum litvaks that make this trouble. it is the yerushalmim and [certain] chassidim which you don't really have in large numbers in KS but we do in BS and they do in Jerusalem (this post is specifically about the #2 line in Jerusalem, and the local BS lines came up in the comments).

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  13. Rafi G. at 12:35
    You are right. But please note that there was a few months ago a kenes in Givat Shaul for the Mehadrin 15 bus. The two main speakers were R.Zaffrani and R. Yerachmiel Kram from Har-Nof, who are neither chassidish nor yerushalmi.
    Still, the fact that the kenes took place in Givat Shaul and not in Har Nof means something.

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  14. bohr - it gets started by the yerushalmim and chassidim. the litvaks get pushed to sign on afterwards. some do and some don't. But I dont think they were ever the ones to start these things.

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  15. when the rabbis taught me about chillul hashem they never diffrentiated between litvaks and yerushlmim. In fact, they went the opposite way and insisted that one must be careful because even most jews don't see a diffrence between a person who swings a chicken over his head with his right hand or one who swings the chicken with his left.

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  16. Rafi,
    Having a separate bus is CRAZY. It is NOT live and let live - I am a woman, and I've sat down on these busses and been asked/told to move. Teenage boys sitting on the front of a bus while old women stand int he back - Judaism teaches us to give up seats for the elderly (that includes WOMEN), and not to embarass others in public (that includes WOMEN), and to be honest and pay bus fare (that includes WOMEN too, whoever thinks it is a joke to say women should steal the bus fare)...separate busses are not needed, as men can find a seat not next to a woman on ANY bus, and then they can close their eyes or look into a holy book. The stories of chutzpah - teenage boys yelling at old women - and violence - all well-known - are not some flukes. I do NOT like sitting on the back of a bus. It makes me feel sick. And this is a free country - a bus, plane, store, etc. should be open to both men and women. It is a slippery slope from here to a place nobody wants to go - like separate hours to pick up a superbus card, or worse. Why are you okay with this, do you really think this should be allowed? A bus is not only for one so-called community. If I go to Jerusalem and ride the #2, why should I have to sit in the back? I think if you were a woman you would get this.

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  17. samantha - I disagree with it as well. The only time I would find it acceptable is if it was an internal line only taking passengers within their own community and nobody else was affected.

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  18. the 15A "mehadrin-ness" (yes i know thats not a word) in har nof is almost completely ignored. men and women sit all over the bus, women get on in the front, couples sit together. i was so nervous that har nof was getting even more charedi, but b"H the ppl here are still normal. i don't take it too often, but the dozens of times i've been on the bus, it has always been like this.

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  19. The proper word is mehadrinity

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