May 3, 2021

Mehadrin Tiyulim might be coming

Last year there was talk within the Nature and Parks Authority about creating a program to test the feasibility of operating different trails and springs around the country in a way appropriate for the religious public in some sort of "mehadrin" style, with separate times or days for swimming in the natural ponds and springs divided among male and female. 

They started a pilot program but then it was put on hold for legal reasons as instructed by Dina Zilber, Deputy Attorney General.

According to Israel Hayom, this issue is now back on the table. The Nature and Parks Authority legal counsel has decided that there is no legal problem with this plan, and it does not cause any damage to the sense of equality among genders.

The legal counsel has decided that the Authority does have the authority to perform this program and make this division of usage. Also, the law does allow separate frameworks of activities for mena nd for women, as long as the separation can be justified. 

In this case, by creating a track of separate swimming times in the natural springs, those who do not go now because of the mixed swimming will be able to enjoy the natural resources. Legal Counsel points out that the hours designated for this would be significantly smaller relative to the normal functioning of the sites, and those who do not want the separate swimming will have alternatives available right there - so the damage to those who do not want it is negligible. 

I want to see what plan they come up with and how this will work. Some springs are small, and probably cannot handle a separate and mixed swimming section, so maybe they will not be included in this. I am wondering how it will be worked out - if different days, then families out hiking together might not all be able to swim. We'll see what plan they put together. I have a hard time imaging how this will work. A swimming pool is easy - you make certain hours  per day, but trails and springs have people passing them and jumping in the water at any time...

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