Feb 9, 2009

11 year old rule

My friends wife and 17 year old daughter went to a dentist in the Kiryah Haredi neighborhood in Bet Shemesh the other day. They finished and caught a #11 to return to RBS-A. The Superbus #11 route is a "mehadrin" line (As far as I know it is unofficial, because it is illegal, but it is recommended behavior for that community that benefits most from the 11, because they wish it to be so). So it is a "mehadrin" bus by custom.

As they entered through the front door and tried to pay the driver (and they were not the only women doing so), an 11 year old boy stood up and started screaming at them to get to the back of the bus.

This continued every few stops as females got on the bus. Finally after a while the bus driver told him to shut up, which didn't help.

So here is the result of being makpid on mehadrin buses - separate seating on buses. A chumra whose validity is questionable at best:
We have 11 year old boys telling 40 year old women what to do, just because they are male.

However, there is a revenge from the women against Superbus. Both my friends wife and daughter said that of the women who entered through the rear, most did not pay. Some who had an older male child with them did, as they sent their child with the money or card to the driver. Whether due to worries of, G-d forbid, entering the "men's" section, just the hassle of going up front, or an intentional response to being in the back, my friend's wife and daughter said that over 50% didn't pay. Add in the children with them and the numbers are much higher.

So not only do we have an unofficial mehadrin line where 11 year olds rule over the women, but the bus company gets to absorb the cost of 40% of their passengers riding for free.

Egged has a similar situation, but they deal with it differently - they were not going to allow 40%-50% of passengers not pay.... On the 418 line, another mehadrin line by custom, after the bus has left the charedi neighborhoods the driver sometimes pulls off to the side of the road, parks the bus, then goes to the back of the bus with his puncher and change machine and processed payment for all the women and their children in the back. On other occasions one of the men in the front volunteer to do the same, then take the driver's punch and change and go do so (why is he allowed to do this on a mehadrin bus??). Clearly this wouldn't work on a local bus - perhaps Superbus should simply run a mens-only and womens-only #11 buses for communities that want mehadrin, but in a mixed community I cannot see that working.

Regarding the 11 year old, if any of us finds ourselves on a bus with such a situation, we are obligated to stand up to it and stop it. Otherwise this is only going to get worse.

Some people are just pious idiots who would teach children to not respect elders - an aveira in the Torah - a d'oraisa- in the name of a chumra on top of a chumra.


  1. Is there no chofshi chodshi on superbus?

    If I remember correctly :) not paying for the bus, is a Torah prohibition.

    Have you heard anything new from Eli Balilius about the office hours?

    "However, there is a revenge from the women against Superbus."
    If these are women from the community that wants mehadrin, how can you call it revenge? It is more like paying back good with bad.
    If it is women who object to mehadrin, then you could call it revenge.

    In Egged we had the issue of people who weren't eligible using cartis zakai.

  2. the revenge is really unintentional. Not a planned revenge. In a conceptual sense it is revenge...

    I am sure there is chofshi chodshis, but people only buy them if they take the bus enough to make it worthwhile. If you take the bus less, you buy kartisiyas. if you dont go to the front to get your kartisiya punched (or in this case swiped), you are riding "gratis".

    The women I am talking about, in the case I know about, are women who dont care about it being mehadrin or not. They just want to ride the bus (and yes, they are haredi). The 11 bus line, goes through a lot of areas, most of which care nothing about mehadrin. It goes through the kirya, where they want it mehadrin. So it is unoffically (as far as I know).

    I did not hear back from Balilius. I was thinking about writing/calling him to find out if they made a decision. Maybe I will later...

  3. It is appalling that women can be treated so disrespectfully. That boy will probably grow up to treat his own wife and daughters dreadfully.

  4. B"H

    I still think that the level of isolation a community expects plays a part. Now after a generation, this 11 yo thinks that what he's doing is OK outside of his isolated area {and inside}. He didn't just wake up and decide to do this. He got it from somewhere.

    I have yet to see something even remotely like this in Jerusalem, even on buses from Ramat Shlomo, a relatively isolated area.

    Often on the 56 and 40 there would be women or girls stuck in the front of the bus for whatever, and no one had a cow about it.

    Whether they like it or not, Yerushalmim have been dealing with diverse groups of people, and are more chilled out.

    The 16 bus {All frum, or mostly frum neighborhoods, Ramot, Sanhedria, Qiriyath Tzanz, G. Shaul, Bayit veGan} is not "mehadrin." It doesn't have to be. People sit separately because they want to. No front and back separation. Like I said, chilled out, or some mishmerah hasn't caught up with this line yet.

    Even Bnei Braq is right next to Ramat Gan, and has the "diverse" Pardes Ka"tz neighborhood. At least some in Immanuel are "exposed" to the outside world when traveling to Jerusalem or Bnei Braq for school.

    The 11 yo boy is the son of parents who [probably] specifically moved to a community more insulated than Jerusalem.

    My question is this, does Qiriyath Sefer have the same issues? It's a different kind of community. I think we already know a bit about Beitar.

    Is RSB Beth really the worst?

  5. ...and the mehadrin buses I've seen in Jerusalem have a hole puncher chained near the back exit for kartisiyot, and women often hold up their passes to the driver's mirror. I don't recall any change boxes, though.

  6. ben-yehuda - the truth is that this comes out of the Kirya haredi and not Bet(h). The Kirya Haredi is the source and the father of these thigns, the Bet(h) is taking over as being more radical.

    Most haredi communities dont do this kind of stuff, because it is not mandated anywhere. The only places this exists are in places, communities, with groups of kannoim, and with groups of gerrer hassidim (though mostly kannoim - the gerrer groups mostly do it but for themselves and not imposing it on others).

    That is why in Kiryat Sefer that is overall more haredi than Bet Shemesh it does not exist. because they do not have communities of gerrer hassidim and of kannoim.
    In Bet Shemesh there are strong communities of these groups, so we suffer from it.

    That is my theory.

    Then you add on anglo haredim who dont want to look less frum by rejecting somethign that has a frum appearance, and you get acceptance of it, something you dont have in any normal haredi community.

    you can see the comments on the other superbus post at http://lifeinisrael.blogspot.com/2009/02/supermehadrin-superbus.html - if you look near the end, you will see the comment by someone from Kiryat Sefer.

  7. with superbus in Bet Shemesh, they are using a new system of a smart card. It gets swiped, and there are no hole punchers.

  8. OK. Yeah, I really have no clue about Beth Shemesh geography, so thanks for correcting me.

    I wasn't going to say it. You did. Q. Sefer has a very different make up that BS.

    מי שמבין יבין.

    So, my theory about the desire for isolation doesn't hold at all? It's just about schmuckiness?

    Yeah, well, when I was working at an I-Net cafe, with a mostly religious clientele, I got hit by an independent mishmeres hatzni'us, run by a meshuganah Gerer Hassid, but included Toldos Aharon/AY guys, too. I really hope people don't get the wrong idea about Hassidei Gur, though.

    Also, regarding tzni'uth in general, I don't think that the "American Haredi" {certainly not all Americans who ID as Haredi fit into this category}, of long sheitelach, skirts barely to the knees, and tight blouses, and the encouraging of so much fraternization between men and women is the answer either.

  9. as I said, the gerrers are into this stuff, but they generally keep it within their own community....

  10. post a picture of the kid and find out who he is....

  11. I still think that the level of isolation a community expects plays a part. Now after a generation, this 11 yo thinks that what he's doing is OK outside of his isolated area {and inside}. He didn't just wake up and decide to do this. He got it from somewhere.

    It's also enforced when the only person saying anything is the bus driver. If none of the men on the bus gave this brat a smack upside the head and told to show some Derech Eretz, then why SHOULD he stop.

  12. My parents visited Israel this past Succos.They are both in their seventies. My father doesn't walk well and many times needs somebody to help him with his balance.
    They went on a bus, I assume a mehadrin or whatever it's called from Bnie Braq to Yerushalim, and sat down in the nearest seat. They were harrassed by some guy ,telling my mother she could not sit down next to my father.
    My father told my mother to stay put and ignored the guy,but he kept up telling my mother to move.
    I just wish I was there, as I would have beat him to a pulp.

  13. SuperRaizy said...

    It is appalling that women can be treated so disrespectfully. That boy will probably grow up to treat his own wife and daughters dreadfully.

    He will also probably grow up to be the local netzig of "gimmel".

  14. none of the local netzigim of gimmel are like that. I protest that comment. The people they listen to are, but they themselves are not.

  15. Heh. If it were me (and I were female), I would have gotten up and sat down right next to the brat. :)

    The Wolf

  16. Let them deal with their own life...and you with your own...

  17. i don't think respecting your elders in the torah starts at age 40, but yelling at strangers might be onaat devarim if you're looking for a mitzva


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