The Bus Problem

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    “What’s OP?”

    Opening Post.

    “The reality is however, the reality. The male population, whether me or yeshiva bochrim or our elderly, when placed in a mixed setting we will be more attentive to our hygiene requirements.”

    That is true. Which is EXACTLY the point. And is why we MUST take extra precautions to prevent the mingling.


    what is wrong with higher hygiene requirements?


    Nothing; except for the reason it is being done. See the context of the discussion.


    MM wrote “Since the guy is acting different than he would have (whether showering or whatever) if he was in a guy only environment, it is clear that his reason is to try to ingratiate himself with nearby people of the opposite gender. That is objectionable according to our Torah traditions.”

    This is absurd. First, people should maintain proper hygiene, at all times, regardless of whether they are in a mixed environment or not. When you walk around dirty and smelly and are identifiable as a Jew, you make a chilul Hashem. Second, just because the presence of women might alert someone that its not acceptable to go around with bad body odor, whereas they’d be oblivious only among men, does not mean that the only reason that they wake up and clean up is to “ingratiate himself with nearby people of the opposite gender.” It is proper to maintain good hygiene and whatever alerts someone to that is a good thing. There is absolutely nothing in our Torah traditions that requires anyone to maintain themselves in a state where they are repulsive to the other gender. Nothing at all. Maintain standards of tznius, of course. But let your hygiene go- no way.


    Isn’t it better to do the right thing for the wrong reason than not to do the right thing at all?


    people should maintain proper hygiene, at all times, regardless of whether they are in a mixed environment or not.


    Isn’t it better to do the right thing for the wrong reason than not to do the right thing at all?

    No. And certainly not in this case. Aroyos, by design and due to nature, has the most Gedorim and Siyagim for good reason.


    MM – you can’t have it both ways.


    cherrybim, You can maintain both proper tznius and proper hygiene. You can maintain proper hygiene even without intermingling.


    MM- then why is someone who previously neglectful of hygiene but then cleans up only doing it to ingratiate himself with the opposite gender?


    If the change in behavior is toward formality, why not. If it’s to attract attention, that is inappropriate. It seems here the case leans more toward the former than toward the latter. Being the only “Yarmulka” in my office, some people try not to use vulgar language around me (some don’t care).



    “You can maintain proper hygiene even without intermingling.”

    Last time I checked they had sinks and showers in the dormitory of boys yeshivos and girls seminaries. I am certain they are not used only by those who have a shidduch meeting later that evening. You know what they say, “like flies, if you ignore your teeth, they too go away”.

    “then why is someone who previously neglectful of hygiene but then cleans up only doing it to ingratiate himself with the opposite gender?”

    When I was in Yeshiva, those who neglected their hygiene were called “greasers”, which was evident by the slick atop their head and the shine on their face (and unfortunately, if you sat too close, evident on their breath). Those same bachurim were never seen on the bus at any time, they were always in the beis medrash. Its been a LONG time since I’ve used the bus on a regular basis, have things changed?


    justaguy, They should never have been neglectful towards hygiene. Mah Inyan Shmita Eitzel Har Sinai? Ah kasha oif ah maaseh.


    40 years ago, when I was in Yeshiva High School in Brooklyn, I was shocked by the language and behavior of public school teenagers on the public busses. by the time I got to college (yes I did go to college in NYC) I was immune to the language and dress around me. but it came at a cost that I did not want to pay with MY children.

    When our girls, ages 1 & 3 were playing on our front porch one day, and a group of public school kids passed, talking using very inappropriate language, I went inside and called my husband and said we HAVE TO MOVE.

    I did not want my children exposed to such language and dress. I did not want to expose my kids to inappropriate behavior, constantly explaining that WE do not do that, that WE do no say that, that WE do not act that way.

    We moved to the suburbs where, quite honestly, these problems do not exist. Our children traveled on private busses to Yeshiva, our children played in our backyards, unexposed to the “other kids” and their exposure to the outside world was very, very limited until they were 16 or 17 and able to travel to the city by railroad. And boy were they shocked by what they saw and heard !!! However, they were older, and better prepared to handle it. But more importantly, they were able to easily differentiate between “us” and “them”.

    I truly believe that parents need to find a way to keep their kids away from the pervasive “treif” environment found in public places. Perhaps taxi car pools instead of busses, etc. To this day, I find that I am not as easily shocked as my kids are by inappropriate behavior and language, and that is just not right.


    after all, YOU May have to sit next to this person on the bus.


    Everything else aside, my only point was that given the reality of human nature, at least one has the benefit of proper hygienic care.


    MM- I take offense at your comments regarding my non-existing wrinkles. Some of know how to hide our age well. How do you know I dont still get carded?

    What do you mean by your comment about where I sit on the bus- are you spying on me? Were you the one wearing the white shirt, black suit and the black yalmukah? Or was that the one next to you?


    This seems like a joke. Seriously, people won’t try to be clean and hygienic unless their around the opposite gender?? That sounds way too extreme….


    hud, Can you believe what people will stoop to promote Aroyos??

    hss, C’mon, I’ve never heard of anyone with gray hair being carded…


    Rivkib I’m glad you were able to shelter your children until they were 16-17. However the reality is that we live in galut, its the price that we pay living amongst goyim. My 3 year old knows that he cannot behave the same way as the cleaning ladies, he knows that on shabbat he can’t turn on the light only the goy can. We cannot pretend that the goyim world does not exist, otherwise the day that they enter that world(trust me one day they will have to leave the bubble) can be a very big shock to them.


    Bus – short for OMNIBUS, which means for ALL, in Latin. Generally, on buses, there are no entry requirements beyond the proper change.


    MM- where did I disagree?


    Today we had a very disastrous accident in our town. An 18-year old high-school girl was hit and killed by a train while crossing the railway tracks behind the high school. This is a shortcut that has been used a lot in the 50 or so years that the high school has been around, and a few students have been killed there over the years, though it has gotten much better in the past decade.

    Crossing the train tracks is a shortcut that saves about 15-minutes of walking between the high school and the neighborhood behind it.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the girl’s family, and also with the engineer of the train who will have to live with this on his mind for the rest of his life.

    There is a long stretch of rail behind the high school, and it is at least an 8 minute walk to the nearest crossing. People have proposed buying some of the land on one side of the tracks and creating an overpass at the midway point, so that bikers and walkers don’t have to go around the tracks.

    What has this to do with the bus problem?

    I started to think that safety, of all sorts, is a two-way street. We are obliged to encourage safe drivers and penalize bad drivers, but we are also obliged to teach our children, at a young age, not to run out in traffic without looking. Though any accidents will always be viewed legally as the driver’s fault, in practice, that is not always the case.

    Likewise, it is a shame that the standards of dress and behavior of the people aboard these buses is so low, but aren’t we also obliged to teach our children how to deal with that? They will inevitably come across low characters in this world.

    Having the mehadrin buses, etc., are solutions that are equivalent to only training the drivers of cars to avoid hitting children. But part of the solution is to prepare our children to for some of the people they will inevitably meet, so they will not run out into THAT traffic without looking both ways.

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