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Oct 3, 2019

Interesting Psak: free bus to the Kotel from Ramat Gan

Mayor of Ramat Gan Carmel Shama Cohen has announced that the city will be sponsoring and operating a free bus line from Ramat Gan to the Kotel for selichos during the Aseret Yemei Teshuva, the Ten Days of Repentance.

The question was posed to Rav Yitzchak Zilbershtein, rav of the Ramat Elchonon neighborhood of Bnei Braq, if it is allowed to use this bus to the Kotel. The question is because Shama Cohen recently started operating bus lines to the beach on Shabbos for the secular residents, and this line to the Kotel is being sold as Shama Cohen's "equality" - just like he did that for the secular, he is doing this for the religious residents of the city. So, with this line helping him justify the chilul shabbos bus line, both in the form of equality and that he is spending residents money equally among all the sectors, using the new Kotel bus would be, in a way, supporting and legitimizing the chilul shabbos bus line. That being the case, can one use the free Kotel bus line?

Rav Zilbershtein's answer was that one cannot use the free bus line from Ramat Gan to the Kotel, as it is clear what the purpose of the bus is, so that Shama Cohen can tell everyone he is kosher and fair.
source: Kikar

interestingly, a little while back Rav Zilbershtein paskened that one should use the Shabbos bus to go to the hospital to have a baby, rather than finding an alternative method. While perhaps the difference is that in the case of having a baby pikuach nefesh is involved, I would say that if the case is one of pikuach nefesh, one should call an ambulance or a taxi or use a private car and not get on a bus that could take a long time to get you to the hospital. And if it is not pikuach nefesh, why would that be ok while taking to a bus to the Kotel is justifying the chilul shabbos? I know he said that it would be obvious to everyone that the religious person on the Shabbos bus is not there to support chilul shabbos, but it could still be used by the mayor to justify the line, saying that even religious can use it to get to the hospital, for example.

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1 comment:

  1. I would suggest that people support and use the service - if the city provides a service for religious people and it sits unused and empty then it gives a message that the people in that city aren't interested in anything religious, and the city won't bother doing things for that community in the future.


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