Secularists Planning To Overrun Mehadrin Bus


The ongoing anti-chareidi media campaign appears to have provided a fighting spirit for those opposed to the mehadrin bus lines. The Yisrael Chofshit (Free) organization is taking advantage of the current political climate, one that has painted the chareidi tzibur in a very poor light, planning to target mehadrin buses.

Using the internet and email to spread the word, organizers are calling on the general public to join in achieving the noble goal of standing up for women’s rights and to bring an end to the discrimination against women on segregated seating bus lines.

If their plan is actualized, thousands of people on Sunday, 6 Teves, will board mehadrin buses and create new facts on the ground – hoping to bring an abrupt end to segregated gender seating. This will be taking place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beit Shemesh, Ashdod, Ramat Gan and Rechovot. In an ‘act of protest’, they will get onto mehadrin bus lines in the areas mentioned, and men and women will sit at one-another’s side on the bus.

According to the publicity circulating for the planned event, it also enjoys the support of the New Israel Fund, The Center for Jewish Pluralism, Awakening in Jerusalem, The Conservative Movement, Na’amat and others.

Organizers are angry with the government, explaining that the government subsidizes mehadrin lines and as such, encourages and gives monetary backing to discrimination against women.

A number of members of Knesset have announced plans to join in, including Eitan Cabel (Labor), Rachel Adatto (Kadima), Shlomo Molla (Kadima) and Zahava Gal-On (Meretz).

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. If the frum Jews (or the Palestinians) planned a concerted attack on the elite’s public services, what would the reaction.

    This is more evidence that the split between (orthodox) Jews and (secular) Israelis has reached the breaking point, and we should be adjusting to the fact that Israel is now a tri-national state, and we are just as much a minority group in Eretz Yisrael than in multi-cultural American (except that Americans generally don’t hate as much).

  2. #1: It’s not an attack. It’s using a service which they are entitled to use, without adhering to the unofficial policies some have been forcing on everyone.

    And I really disagree with YWN’s portrayal of some anti-frum media campaign. If there is one, it was of the Charedi community’s own doing, and is rightfully deserved. The Charedi are not the victims here.

  3. #2- To be analagous, you would have to have hareidim going into Tel Aviv and disrupting their buses and places of entertainment (which we can’t mention on YWN) and disrupting their stores. If they want frum Jews to be part of Israeli society (and avoid the risk, as almost happened in the past, and could happen again, that the Arabs will make as a better offer), then they should learn the coexistence means letting people whose lifestyle you reject do what they want in their own neighborhoods. That means, if we want separation of the sexes in our area, and they want (what we can’t discuss) in their areas – that’s fine. But it is clear the hilonim want to impose their will upon us, and the Jews of Eretz Yisrael are correct to be finally standing up and drawing lines (even in some individuals in our community, apparently on their own, are getting carried away with themselves and trying to play terrorist). If they can demand that men sit next to women on crowded buses, and they also demand they go to the same schools? Can they then demand that the majority determine what is kosher, and to surpress any attempts to exceed that standard? What about Shabbos – most Israelis hold that doing malachos is permissable on Shabbos – can they start arresting those who refuse to (or deny them government benefits).

  4. Mazel tov YWN, your readers are finally showing their true colors. This is giving many of us chizuk… that everything will soon become very clear.

  5. This wont accomplish anything unless the chilonim are prepared to do it every day.
    There will be arguments the day they do it, and the next day, things will be back the way they were.

  6. big deal

    let them have their fun for one day (or two)

    but “hoping to bring an abrupt end…” – well come on, thats pushing it a little.

    maybe for a day or two they will sit and waste their time but then things will go back to the way they were….

  7. This letter was posted on the Neve Yaakov (beginning of the 49aleph bus route) yahoo group:

    From the Organizers of the Mehadrin Line in the Neighborhood:

    This coming Sunday, around the country and around Jerusalem, non-religious groups are planning alighting Mehadrin lines, and disturbing the seating arrangement that has been advised by our Rabbonim. They will be alighting at the first stops, both to and from Neve Yaakov, from 5pm until the end of the day. Our response should be as follows:

    1. Under no circumstances to enter into any discussion with them. Do not request from a woman sitting in the front part of the bus that she should move.

    2. Try and use Egged lines that ARE NOT MEHADRIN.

    3. All individuals who have private vehicles are requested to make a special effort to pick up travelers from the bus stops, to avoid them having to take Mehadrin lines.

    These actions are for Sunday only (in the interim).

    In addition, a bus conductor yesterday on a mehadrin line caught many people who did not pay (they did not even have a chofshi chodshi). Most of them were women who alighted on the back door. This is clearly a chillul Hashem that MUST NOT HAPPEN. In addition, it threatens the future of the mehadrin lines that service our community. There is a significant increase in the amount of conductors at the moment, and many have been caught not paying.

    Please plan your day accordingly on Sunday (there will be less seats available on the buses as well).

    Please give this information to your neighbors (Hebrew and English speakers) who are not on this list.

  8. As I understand it:
    These bus lines started as private charted buses by and for chareidm. Egged offered to run these lines for them.

    Mistake: Egged being a public entity can’t legally run it under the original guidelines.

    Therefore, these lines should revert to their original private format. Since the size of this operation has grown, this is easier said than done.
    Allow egged to rent out these buses to a private entity, rename the buses from Egged to something else and then run it for a fee that would be covered by the tickets. For all practical purposes they would be running the same way, but with a different name.
    The buses are no longer “public” buses.

  9. #4:

    An extremely disingenuous response. Anyone is welcome to go to Tel Aviv and use public services and businesses to their heart’s content.

    Are you seriously submitting that protesting forced gender separation on PUBLIC buses is akin to arresting people who refuse to be mechalel shabbos? Or keep a higher standard of kashrut? Are you really suggesting that? If you can’t see the difference between those inherently private act, and the fact that the buses are PUBLIC, I can be of no further help to you.

    If, however, you are insinuating that they should be allowed to have separated bus services which are PRIVATELY owned and funded, there I have no disagreement with you.

    I hope the latter and not the former, since you have seemed to be amongst the more intelligent posters on here.

  10. how long do you think the secularists can continue? they work or go to school. Like the protests at the old Edison theater, they are doomed by demography to lose

  11. I’m adraid that the Orot school nor the segregation on the buses is the root cause of of the matsav but rather the charadi intolerance towards non-charedim.

    Indeed the lunatic extremists are only a fringe element, but what is always ignored is the wider problem of charedi intolerance and contempt for anyone and anything non-charedim.
    This is compounded by the fact that once charedim are in the majority in a neighborhood it must conform to their sensitivities and demands

    We still do not understand from the top all the way down to the bottom that a small minority cannot tell the majority what to do. This was an idea spoken about by one of the US gedolim in a public shiur.

  12. #9, not paying is not only a chillul hashem, it is gezel. Once, a driver gave me too much change and I did not realize it until much later. I was told by Rav Shlomo Aviner to go to Egged, tell them which bus I was on and when and give them the money.

  13. #14, would you give some examples? cuz the situation in Beth Shemesh advises otherwise.
    The charedim live in a separate quarter than the non charedim, they all mind their own business, the charedim NEVER went in to the secular neighborhoods telling them what to do! never ever!
    The Orot school was a slap in the face and a direct answer to the charedim on the charedi growth and how they can’t stand the charedim.
    It’s also obvious throughout the state the hate against the charedim by the chilonim, for no reason.
    מטבע הרע לשנוא את הטוב.