Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Feb 3, 2010

Two lessons learned while riding a mehadrin bus

The incident described within this post was told to me firsthand by the person to whom it happened and by whom it was witnessed. I am relating only the more relevant details..

A woman took a mehadrin bus yesterday. She got on the bus and sat in the first row of seats with her child. The bus was empty, so she figured it was ok, and the driver didn't care. She said she prefers the front because she gets nauseous in the back, and since the bus was empty...

At a much later stop, the bus suddenly filled up. It was near a simcha hall, so it was probably people getting out of the simcha, or just a very popular stop. One person made a big deal about her sitting in the front and pestered her until she moved. She moved further back, but at another stop this guy told all the women sitting in that area (the first section of the womens area) to move further back as there were some empty seats and if they moved back to fill those seats, the men could have more seats available and some standing would have seats.

There was a bit of a ruckus, with this guy making all the trouble. It seems he felt like he was in charge of the bus and passengers, as he kept moving people around telling them where to sit. When this woman got up to help a different woman with her kids, the guy took her kid and bag off the seat and put them on the floor, freeing up the seat for a man, forcing her to stand much of the way after that.

After that, as the bus came to the later stops and people were disembarking and the bus was less full, this guy was walking back and forth from the front to the back to talk to his wife and see the kids. This woman told me that he was the only man on the bus who spent considerable time walking through the womens section a number of times.

Lesson #1 - mehadrin buses are not about frumkeit. they are about control.

On the same bus ride, it seems that it is pretty common that people find ways to avoid paying the bus fare. Some get on the bus using the back door - as the driver has to open it for the women, and don't bother coming to the front to pay, hoping the driver hadn't seen them or hadn't noticed that they hadn't paid. Others blame the spouse - oh, I thought my husband was paying for me, or my wife was paying for me.

The bus driver already knows the tricks and knows people aren't paying. At some point he pulled the bus over to the side of the road, as he was about to leave the city, and walked up and down the bus asking people why they did not pay and demanding that they do. A large percentage of the people on the bus had all sorts of excuses, but once confronted by the driver, they all paid up.

Lesson #2 - under the guise of frumkeit, they are all just trying to cop free rides (aka theft), as it is easier to to do so on a mehadrin bus than a regular bus.


  1. Unfortunately none of this is new and yet the secular humanist activist rule-of-law-above-all-else court has upheld the right to continue this hillul Hashem.

  2. According the Transportation Minister that is exactly how it is supposed to work.

    The first time we were on the 497, we didn't know anything practical about the mehadrin lines. We got on at one of the first stops and sat together near the front. The driver said he didn't care but we would likely be hassled if my wife didn't move.

    Another time the 497 we were taking broke down and was replaced with a smaller bus. Some spouses had decided to sit togther leaving the only empty seat on the bus (with me standing) between two women in the back. They refused to move until a couple of passengers starting calling them out for their lack of consideration for others.

    If mehadrin lines were about frumkeit they would be demanding them in Kiryat Sefer.

  3. the court has not upheld the right. What happened the other day is the Transportation Ministry stated the opinion of the government (his ministry with tacit agreement from the coalition).

    The court will take that opinion into consideration when it makes its decision next month (supposedly)

  4. Most of the chumros today are about control and not fumkeit.

    Politics in kashrus, what school won't take my childen, which organization is more charedi it's all nonsense.

    The satan is laughing his (honed) head off at us while l'havdil the Shchina is cying (kaviyachol).

  5. I've talked to a few psychologists. It's about control, but a very specific type: repressed sexual aggression.

    It's very similar to the way boys interact with girls on the playground when they don't yet know how to deal with their sexual feelings.

    It's bizarre that it should manifest in adult, sometimes married, men. It may be no more prevalent in Chareidi society, but Chareidi men have virtually no other outlets aside from harassing women under the guise of tznious.

    It's very unfortunate that courts are enabling this behavior.

  6. Years ago I was riding a bus in Toronto and saw this yeshiva bochur get on. The driver asked for a ticket and the kid shrugged. He didn't have so the driver told him he'd have to get off at the next stop.
    Naively, I walked forward and handed an extra ticket from my pocket to the driver so the kid would be covered. A few minutes later the kid found me and told me that he only wanted to take the bus for the 1 stop because it was raining so there was no need for me to pay.
    I was stunned (like I said, naive) and finally asked: They teach you that theft is muttar in your yeshivah?
    The kid shrugged and got off the bus at that point.

  7. You can't even say yatzah scharo b'hefsedo. There is no schar. Never heard the psychological aspects as commented above. Interesting.

  8. Lesson #1 - mehadrin buses are not about frumkeit. they are about control.

    No, some people are about control.

  9. the only people who care about mehadrin buses are the ones who are about control. the mehadrin buses are the way those people use their control. The bus is a medium by which they control the people

  10. I've been complaining about the lack of paying for ages. Just spend a few minutes at the bus stop at tsomet Shuafat on the main highway from Ramot to center of town. Or better yet - position yourself towards the back of a bus travelling through Malchei Yisrael. How can frum yidden believe that what they are doing is anything other than chillul H'

  11. There's some twisted haskafa out there that the only rules to follow are halacha. Which means even standard rules about payment aren't really real.

    It isn't a conscious hashkafa just a general disregard of non-halacha rules because it's goyish, medinish, whatever.

    Meanwhile my 10 year old looked over my shoulder and saw I'm reading some story about a Mehadrin bus. She says she read in Chadash (we hide it but she raids the mailboxes) about some bus that toppled over and the Gedolim said no one was hurt because they were keeping tznius.

    I told her if it had been a chiloni bus with no one hurt the story would have read it toppled over because they weren't. She said she thinks stories like that are weird.

  12. Menachem Lipkin, I agree with you. I also think the Haredi men are being aggressive about women's tsnius, because they cannot do anything about the lax tsnius in the general public. It bothers them, and so they try to "control" their immediate environment, i.e. a bus, their neighborhood streets, etc.

    But let me ask, does your same analysis apply to the seamy islamists?

  13. I disagree with some of the tone/language used here.

    "mehadrin buses are not about frumkeit. they are about control."

    Only? Are you sure?

    "under the guise of frumkeit, they are all just trying to cop free rides"

    I mean, please. Thats all they're trying to do with the mehadrin line? Skip paying? (You had to use the word "all"? Wouldn't "some" be good enough?)

  14. ok, "all" was an exaggeration. Not everybody didn't pay. But this woman told me it was a very large percentage of the men on the bus who had to be pressured by the driver to actually pay.

    And as I made in an earlier point, most people don't care about mehadrin, and just take the mehadrin line because it is convenient - either the only line that goes closest to where they need, the timing, etc.
    The people who care about it are the ones who are taking advantage of it. It is easier to skip paying when you are getting on in the back, or your wife is, rather than when everyone has to get on in the front and pass the driver.

  15. As omeone who rode the 417 to J-m for a long time I would like to chime in about those trying to "cop a ride".

    In most cases it wasn't from the driver/Egged. It was from fellow passengers.

    I can remember only a few times that people didn't come and ask me for a "punch" on my ticket.

    If they have no money or intention to pay theu shouldn't be riding the bus.

  16. I have seen that happen on many bus lines, but not at the amounts you are suggesting. Wow! I have only used the 417 a few times and only saw that happen once out of those few times (could be I didnt notice the other times as maybe they got their ride before they needed to ask me for the punch)

  17. Agreed that most people don't care.

    But everyone like to pick a fight.

    I could imagine they're just trying to maintain the "status quo". :)

  18. Rafi,

    I haven't been on a 417 on a regular basis for a few years now but when I was it was a daily occurance.

  19. Wait a sec everyone. I think the point about not paying has stolen the center stage from this discussion. It can't be that the whole reason why the mehadrin line was invented was so people can ride for free. The earlier comments were saying they created it so they have something they feel they can control. Stealing rides may be a result that comes as well, but not the reason for its creation. BTW, asking you to punch for them is not stealing. You don't have to punch for them if you don't want to.

    I agree with the "control" aspect. You can tell it's not about emesdik frumkeit about tzniyus because women who violate this by sitting in front are then violated by the men trying to uphold the rules of tzniyus. A man says he doesn't want to look at a woman on the bus, but is willing to physically attack her, throw her down to the floor, pull her snood off, etc. is obviously not "frum," he's a control freak. And when a woman doesn't follow his orders he freaks.

  20. But let me ask, does your same analysis apply to the seamy islamists?

    I didn't ask about Islamists. However, it seems to me, just from a little observation, that Islamic men are less restricted than Chareidi men. There's certainly a strong element of control of women in Islalmic societies. In some ways worse than chareidi societies. Honestly I don't enough about Islaem to answer your question. I will say that, in general, fundamentalist religious behavior is not healthy for any of us.

  21. I used to take MeHadrin buses quite often, and one time stands out. My wife was in a later stage of pregnancy, with a small child to boot, and nobody would allow her to sit down on a 1 1/2 hour bus ride. I spoke aloud my disgust in Hebrew for all to hear, but it didn't make an impression. After about 10 minutes, an American married guy, himself travelling with 5-6 kids, agreed to let her sit.

  22. why didnt any other women get up for her? why do only men have to get up? unless all the other women were also pregnant...

  23. While I agree that was not a nice experience and inconsiderate that no one gave her a seat, I don't think it's fair to say that happened BECAUSE it was a Mehadrin bus. It could have happened on any bus. Don't draw the wrong cause and effect.

  24. wanna- there is still the point that the men dont get up for needy women because the women shouldnt be sitting in the front section....

    (though I still dont understand why a non-pregnant woman cant get up for pregnant women...

  25. Rafi,

    If the bus were very crowded it's possible the woman was standing in an area where there were only men.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...