Dec 6, 2012

Mixed Dancing Events in Downtown Jerusalem

It is a tough call - guard the holiness of Jerusalem through religious coercion and imposing my lifestyle on other people who live differently, or live and let live allowing people to do what they want, especially when it does not affect me directly, but in effect degrading the holiness of Jerusalem.

Mixed dancing in public is different than using images of women in advertising. There is nothing wrong with the face of a woman on a billboard, but mixed dancing is a problem. As a matter of fact, as the jokes go, it might be the biggest of all the problems (i.e. x is prohibited because it might lead to mixed dancing).

Haredi representatives in Jerusalem City Hall are upset about plans that have been formulated for more cultural events that will include evening dances in Kikar Safra, the plaza outside of City Hall. The dances are planned to be mixed with men and women together. The haredi reps say they will not allow these dances to be approved. The only way they will allow it, they say, if the Iryah insists, is by designating either separate hours or separate days for men and women. The Iryah said they are moving ahead with the plans and the events will be passed and dancing will be with no separation.
(source: Mynet)

 In the evening hours, and on Saturday nights, Kikar Safra is quiet and fairly empty. During the day it is busy with people coming and going taking care of their business, but at night it is quiet. Having these dances at night will not usually disturb any haredim directly. It is not right next to a haredi neighborhood, haredim do not need to pass through there (unless they want to), and it is nighttime events so there isnt even city business to take care of. Yet, holding such dances is still against the general haredi worldview regarding the holiness of Jerusalem. So, even though it does not affect them directly, it still bothers them.

I personally lean to prefer less religious coercion, considering the world we live in. Religious coercion never achieves anything, and in the end only causes more problems creating a negative approach to religion. If it does not affect me directly, and if I can avoid it, better to let them live their lives how they want.

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  1. "haredim do not need to pass through there (unless they want to)"

    Did you forget that the Light Rail passes through there? The light rail is considered THE official method of transportation in Jerusalem. Anyone who needs to get from place A to place B may need to take the train at some point.

    Of course, religious coercion is only acceptable if your religion is materialism.

  2. "Downtown Jerusalem". And you wonder why the secular/general public resents the Haredim.


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