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Oct 28, 2013

bringing Waze to the mikva

The last times I went up to Tiberias I had a problem. I had no idea were the local shuls were, where the mikva was, what time services would be held, when they would be open, etc. Even looking up listings on the Internet did not help much. The information provided was inaccurate, not updated and only partial at best.

The same is true in other places as well. When visiting an area unfamiliar, one does not know what his or her options are for religious services, and could very well waste a lot of time trying to figure it out.

This problem will soon be solved.

Israel Hayom is reporting that The Ministry of Religious Services, headed by Minister Naftali Bennet and Deputy Minister Rav Eli Ben-Dahan, is working out a deal with Waze, in which the ministry will pay 100,000 NIS per year for Waze to list 1000 mikvas across the country along with a listing of 130 religious councils providing wedding services and burial services. At a later stage there will also be a listing of shuls around the country. The listing of shuls is more difficult because of how extensive the list will be - there are tens of thousands of shuls around the country, and each one has its own individual schedule.

The plan is that when you type "mikva" into Waze, it will find the mikvaot nearby, or in the area you specifically request, direct you to it along with listing the opening times, the name of the manager or mikva lady and her phone number. And the same for religious councils.

I don't think this has anything to do with it, but let's not forget that Bennet had been offered the position of CEO of Waze a number of years ago, a position that he turned down at the time.

Ben-Dahan explained that a woman should not have to ask around for directions and schedules for the mikva. her need for a mikva should be kept discreet, and this will allow that. Ben-Dahan also invoked the expression coined by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, "The old shall be renewed, and the new shall be sanctified". Using Waze will allow better services to be provided for the consumer, and we are taking something new and imbuing it with a level of holiness.

bringing waze to the mikva, or the mikva to waze, will definitely sanctify waze. Just don't dip your GPS device in the mikva when you get there!

Good job.

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1 comment:

  1. If it works out, we might have our first Bayit Yehudi achievement.
    FWIW, I recall reading that there are actually 7000+ synagogues registered as aumtot and this article claims there are in fact 10500 shuls in the country.


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