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Jun 13, 2022

Train Authority loses lawsuit over minyan seating

According to Globes, the courts ruled against the Israel Rail Authority in a case in which a group of men decided to daven in one of the rail cars, and the woman was told by a train attendant/usher to move to sit in another car. She was awarded 16,000nis by the courts for the incident.

It isnt in this article but I read elsewhere that the train people defended themselves saying that they did not tell her to move but when she complained about the noise and commotion of the minyan they suggested that they could help her find a seat somewhere else. I guess the courts either did not believe them or felt that this too is problematic.

I have not davened in the Bet Shemesh train minyan in ages, but I do remember that when it first started there was a common decency rule (my name) stating that nobody davening in the minyan is allowed to ask any other passenger in the rail car to move. And plenty of people enjoyed sitting there, both men and women who were not part of the minyan but either enjoyed the atmosphere, used it to daven along quietly themselves, or even some who just couldnt find other seats in other cars on busy days with overcrowding. I am not aware of anyone having asked or encouraged non-minyan people to move. 

If the train attendant really asked her to move, they deserve to be fined. The train isnt anyone's personal fiefdom. If they were just being helpful because she expressed her annoyance, then she achieved her goals (as stated in the article, as rejecting the possibility of any woman being asked to move because she disturbs a man) in an underhanded manner.

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  1. On the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train women sit among the minyan and no one says anything. They're in a seat, no one can really see each other, and temporary minyanim don't need mechitzot.


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