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Dec 25, 2013

law proposal to ease Haredi take-over

an interesting law proposal was submitted recently. It's goal is to make it easier for religious and non-religious Jews to live together in the same apartment building.

In 2011, a law was passed that said if a certain majority of residents in an apartment building vote in favr of having a shabbos elevator, the building would have to install one. This replaced the original law that required unanimous agreement in the building - if even one person did not agree, the elevator could not be forced.

The new law proposal would amend that even further and state what hours of the day shabbos elevators need to run. The law would now say, the shabbos elevator must be operated on Friday for 3 hours from the beginning of Shabbos, and on Saturday from 7am until 12pm and again from 3 hours before the end of Shabbos until the end of shabbos. And, if a majority of residents want, they can vote to extend those hours of operation beyond this minimum.

As it is stated in the proposal (rtf document), the purpose of this is to allow everyone the right to choose where to live, and to make it easier for religious people to live in buildings of non-religious people, usually buildings that are many stories high. Despite the previous law, many buildings have refused to operate the shabbos elevators even after installing them, thus rendering the original amendment useless. This new amendment would allow religious people their right to choose where to live.

According to Kikar, the proposal has secular opposition. They complain that the MKs are writing laws to make it easier for religious Jews while hurting the quality of life of those who believe less. They say this law is written so that if your neighborhood happens to be one that is being taken over, now the religious people will also be able to buy apartments in the top floors of very tall buildings. The haredim that will come to your neighborhood will take over, and will happily buy the top floor apartments at discounted prices, as the secular will no longer buy there.

They add, an elevator is not a major thing, and one can be considerate of the religious people. However, what about being considerate of the elderly, the young couples, the secular, the people who are in a hurry [and dont want to spend a few minutes in the elevator] (though I did not know "the people who are in a hurry" is a sector of society with rights of their own).

Little do they know, most haredim do not use shabbos elevators, so this should not be much of a problem. It would hurt non-haredi religious people, and possibly a certain percentage of haredi people, but overall the haredi community in Israel does not generally use shabbos elevators.

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  1. Nevertheless, it is a stupid law - the government has to learn to stop interfering in everyone's life.

    1. That's a ridiculous demand. The purpose of government is to interfere in everyone's life. It's done so that everyone else doesn't interfere in everyone else's life. In general, it's a good thing. I don't see any problem with this proposal. If secular Israelis really don't like Shabbos elevators, they should stop their secular neighbors from selling to religious Jews.

  2. In a bayit meshutaf, the installation of a shabbat elevator should be subject to the usual rules - I think 75% in favor.

  3. Giyus protest gets underway


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