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Dec 15, 2011

More Updates Of The Gender-Segregation Issues

In this latest installment of updates in the gender-segregation fight, also known as the removal of women from the public sphere fight (we really have to come up with a good general name for this - ideas anyone?) we have some interesting issues:
  • Aryeh Deri spoke up recently criticizing the "mehadrin bus movement". He said, in addition to other things, that a shul is a place where men cannot sit beside women, due to the holiness of the place. But in a bus? We have turned the bus into a shul! Aryeh should watch his comparisons, as I have been on plenty of buses and trains that were literally turned into shuls with minyanim and people davening. 
  • The voting in Geula for the local council was a disaster. Kikar reports that at a certain point, after the mayor and other reps left the site, the sikrikim showed up and vandalized the entire place, screaming at the women for destroying the fences of tzniyus. They also broke into the ballot room and destroyed the box containing the ballots already voted. Various haredi municipal reps criticized the Iryah (themselves as well) for not being sensitive to the situation and for not preparing properly in advance. 
  • Rav Elyashiv was widely quoted the other day by one of his askanim/bneibayit/handlers, and the quote was picked up by the national press pretty quickly, saying that while mehadrin buses are fine, it is not an issue to be forced on anyone and is not something that should be pushed for in the public domain. I didn't quote it because I was suspicious the entire story was not yet out, and more has come out now, and it is interesting enough to mention. After the initial quote made the waves it made, another handler spoke out denying Rav Elyashiv's original quote, saying Rav Elyashiv
    supports the mehadrin bus lines, and people should use it whenever possible. And then, sure enough, another one of Rav Elyashivs askanim spoke up denying the denial, saying that rav Elyashiv has said many times that he supports the idea of mehadrin, but there is a difference between a good idea and forcing it on the public. He says Rav Elyashiv supports private bus lines that would be mehadrin, and when such lines exist people should use those rather than the public bus lines. However, the mehadrin should not be forced into the public bus lines. I see the main story here as being that once again nobody knows what the gadol said because each handler quotes something exactly the opposite of the other.
  • A group has arranged an event for January 1, 2012 at which hundreds, or thousands depending on how many sign up, of volunteers will show up in Jerusalem to the various bus lines that have been designated as mehadrin, unofficially of course, and will ride the bus provoking responses. So far 500 volunteers have signed up. Clearly they did not read the item in the JPost the other day in which a woman told her tale of spending weeks riding a mehadrin bus while sitting in front and encountering no harassment or violence.
(sources: Kikar, Haaretz and Bechadrei)


  1. There's no need to "provoke" responses. just ride the bus, sit where you want, dress regular, and respond qietly and politely to anyone who tells you anything - but I hope these people aren't going to try to make fights, that's not right either.

  2. You can see the massive damage violence does: a total chillul Hashem that makes even people like me (fully Orthodox) think that there's amuch larger group among the RBS B people who would harass a woman on a mehadrin bus for sitting on the front, eeven if really it is rare.

  3. I am able to confirm the Rav Elyashiv denied the denial along with denial's denial and completey denies that he denied what he said regarding the mehadrin busses.


  4. The Rav Elyashiv story, and the way in which the rav's messages are being manipulated by his nochshleppers for their own purposes, shows up everything that is corrupt and bad in ultra-Orthodox Jewish life.

    If we add to that the massive chillul haShem caused by the hooliganism in the Geula polling station, charedi Judaism has really done very, very poorly this week.

  5. Rav Elyashiv is not their posek. They are their own poskim. They only like the gedolim when they say what they believe. It is time to deal with them as terrorists.Read this. It is well said by someone who generally do not like. http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/israel/only_126_shopping_days_until_yom_hashoah


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