OUTRAGEOUS: Kiryat Arba Closes Pool Due To Supreme Court’s Order To Offer Mixed-Swimming

Photo by Simon Ray on Unsplash

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Kiryat Arba council made a decision to close its pool ahead of the summer season in light of an order by the Supreme Court to offer at least two hours of mixed swimming every day.

Two weeks ago, four residents of Kiryat Arba, a town of about 7,500 almost exclusively populated by religious residents, filed a petition with the Supreme Court demanding that the local pool offer hours for mixed swimming.

The Supreme Court issued a similar order two years ago following an earlier petition by the same residents, who represent only three families.

The pool obeyed the order by allocating hours for “family swim” but many residents responded by canceling their memberships, causing the pool to close due to financial constraints.

Attorney Gershon Masika, who represents the Kiryat Arba council, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the absurdity of the Supreme Court ruling which according to the judges, is based on the reasoning that all public pools should offer both separate and mixed swimming hours because they cannot serve only one segment of the population. He said that he intends to file petitions forcing all the cities throughout Israel which fail to offer separate swimming hours to do so.

Masika called out to the Israeli public to contact him if they live in a location near a pool that does not offer separate swimming, adding that there is already a demand in many cities and yishuvim for this and it applies to public beaches as well.

Masika also mentioned the fact that the court does not intervene in Arab or Bedouin communities which offer only separate swimming in their public pools.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. This article is confusing in the way it is written. Is it ourageous that they closed the pool, like tge title implies or is the supreme court decision outrageous like the article implies. And the lawyer said the ruling is outrageous, but then sounds like he wants all cities to do the same. Please rewrite it in a clearer way.

  2. @ Besalel: I think that by family swim they actually mean familIES swim. Like your namesake – Betzalel ben Uri ben Chur – I am certain you are full of chochmah, daas, and tevunah and understand why that is indeed prohibited.

  3. Because it’s against Jewish law. If you have any Jewish friends who are not completely ignorant of their religion, ask them and they will be happy to explain it.
    Or if you have any Arab friends, ask them and they can explain it as well.

  4. Because מסייע לעוברי עבירה is forbidden. If the people in charge of the pool are religious Jews, there is no היתר for them to be a party to the transgressions involved

  5. Arabs are often treated with preferential treatment in Democratic pluralistic Israel. So much for that apartheid slander canard.

  6. A little off topic but a quick question.

    Is this Kiryas Arba in the same location as the Kiryas Arba (היא חברון) from Sefer Bereishis?

  7. The story makes very much sense; because you are not allowed to patronize an establishment facilitating issurei d’oraiso. The same is true with venues operating on Shabbos and hotels serving treif.

    This kangaroo court has nothing to offer besides hurting the Torah, Judaism and l’havdil the state of Israel.

    You are right, the story makes no sense: the men can go for a swim so can the ladies, just not together, so what. Are they better off with the pool not operating at all? Just hatred!
    The petitioners should be expelled from any religious settlement and put in cherem.

  8. besalel June 24, 2020 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm
    This story makes no sense. Why would anyone object to the pool offering two hours for family swim?

    Maybe the town should allow a little corner store to accommodate aroyis or other treife places for 2 hours a day?
    if the Torah prohibits mixed swimming and only 3 families out of thousands demand it it shouldnt be granted.
    In Kiryas Arba where are Fathers are buried and the Kedishes hamukoym should be Metameh with mixed swimming?

  9. Besalel, because it is against halacha. The City of Kiryat Arba must obey the Torah, just like anybody else, and the court has ordered it to violate it. This is a matter of כתבו לכם על קרן השור.

  10. The nonreligious population of Kiryat Arba is much larger than a few families. It approximates 25% and has been so for decades, although composed of changing groups. Kiryat Arba isn’t a religious town and its founders never meant it to be one. There has never been a serious move against the entitlements of the nonreligiious on other issues, such as driving on Shabbat. The current unpleasantness is fueled by (1) the specific thoughts that mixed swimming brings to mind, (2) the sentiment among the local majority and the rabbanim that Kiryat Arba is or should be a religious town, and (3) the assertiveness of the hardal element, some of whom learn in Kiryat Arba/Hevron but do not live there.


  12. this story really makes no sense. its like you are so used to publishing stories that are highlighting the punishing of frum jews. and here it makes no sense. what is the complaint? too much mixed swimming or not enough? if in fact a yishuv has only three families advocating for mixed swimming as you state, then its highly unlikely that the fees generated by three families alone caused the swimming venue to shutter its doors due to lack of funds. I dont understand anything this article is trying to say except they want a rule on the books that all pools must offer mixed swimmming. with that i agree its ludicrous, as the pool should serve the needs of the community. and should vary from community to community. having said that, yes i would bring arab and bedouin areas as proof that it should serve the community’s inidvidual needs.

  13. Obviously a community where the vast majority if the population is shomrei Torah umitzvos does not want mixed swimming. However Israel is not a country based on Torah umitzvos. That is why the secular courts rule the way they do. From a non Jewish standpoint of course a communally funded enterprise should provide for everyone. Anyone heimish who is now frightened of living in America should know that moving to Israel is not moving to a Jewish country.

  14. Theo The reason why this happened is because the so called religious Jews in exile refuse to move to Israel. Its quite easy to pinpoint the secular Zionist failure but do they learn Torah? Are they repeated three times a day how a Jew is supposed to live in Israel and then turn their numb switch on and pretend they didn’t say it? Who is worse? Unless the Jew picks himself up from exile before the goy strikes him down, failure of the Zionist state rests in the hands of the lomdei Torah who ignore the most basic and simple of its mitzvos

  15. All: I understand why certain religious people would want separate swimming (even if all the women are dressed in swim dresses, caps etc.) but i do not understand the objection to putting aside two hours for those who do not want separate swimming when religious people are not present to be offended.

    I understand that the long term desire of anyone frum is to see all of Israel keep Torah and Mitzvos but that is clearly not happening now in Israel is so many facets of life so why object over such a trivial thing?

    And are you not worried about the cries of kfiya datit that will arise? And are you not worried that those cries will lead to the religious losing rights to separate swimming hours in other towns? And are you not concerned that the cries of kfiya datit will lead to the next Avigdor Lieberman showdown?

    This is nonsense.

  16. BS”D
    Whoa. Everyone jumping on Besalel might want to apologize. Gosh, the guy might be a brand new ba’al teshuva and not know yet so much about halacha, and where he comes from, um, mixed swimming — heck, mixed everything — is the norm. Why does everyone have to be so mean and sarcastic and snarky?
    Yes, the headline is confusing.
    As for Masika’s point — for those of you who are asking — it looks to me like he is calling the SC’s bluff. They issued a legal decision that establishes a principle that all public pools in Israel must provide service according to the tastes and standards of the members of every (religious) group who might use any such pool. If that principle is going to be rammed down the throats of the city of KA, then, argues Masika, the SC has to ram it down the throats of every town in Israel by forcing them to provide two hours per day of separate swimming. And such throat ramming must also occur in every Arab town as well. Masika is just calling out the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the SC. But with anything the Left does, it’s just so easy to call them out. And sadly, it rarely does any good.

  17. “absurdity of the Supreme Court ruling which according to the judges, is based on the reasoning that all public pools should offer both separate and mixed swimming hours”

    I totally fail to see why this is absurd.

  18. The article seems quite clear. The Kiryat Arba council doesn’t want mixed swimming. The vast majority of those who use the pool are against it and refused to support the pool b/c mixed gender hours were offered, forcing the pool to insufficient business.
    Masika is demanding that just as the court requires a community which is mostly religious to open a public pool to mixed swimming (in this case 2 hours daily for a small minority), the court must, in turn, require all public pools throughout Israel, no matter how small the minority the religious residents are in any given community, to offer (the same daily) separate swimming.

  19. What is so hard to understand
    The court is forcing the pool to have mixed swimming because every pool has to have both. The lawyer for the pool is saying that he is going to petition The court to have all pools have both which is more for the pools that currently dont have separate