Number 2 Bus Turns Mehadrin [Unofficially]

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eged5.jpgWhile Egged and the Transportation Ministry continue to probe the mehadrin bus service issue, the 2 bus providing service to the Kosel in actuality has already become mehadrin, with men seated in the front and women in the rear. The 2 line has become the symbol of the conflict between the chareidi community and the state, with askanim and rabbonim working together to create facts on the ground, at times in defiance of state law.
 
The word was spread throughout chareidi areas of the capital and while government agencies debate the matter, the number 2 bus appears to be a mehadrin line in every sense of the word.
 
One major difference however is that women must still get on in the front of the bus in order to pay the driver.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


30 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that, given the history, having an “unofficial” policy is just asking for trouble.

    The day will come when someone will want to sit next to his wife (which is fine according to the official policy) and some nut will become violent over it.

    You either have to have a clear policy that it is a mehadrin line, or a clear policy that it is not.

    The Wolf

  2. I (unfortunately) await the posting here, of the “orthodox” woman who sat in the front, because it is not officially mehadrin, and as such she has every right to sit where she pleases! (And maybe even use the opportunity to sue and go to court!)

  3. Is there any reason why, on a mehadrin bus, we can’t have men in the BACK, and women in the FRONT??? It would still be separate seating, but without women having to have the (real or imagined) stigma of having to go to “the back of the bus”. Couldn’t this be a p’shara to make everyone happy/happIER?

  4. #1: Don’t be such a pessimist based on the false stories you read from the israel press.

    #3: That cannot happen for tznius reasons. Men are not supposed to be behind woman. Halacha is men must be in front of women. This is also common sense. And besides, I don’t see why that would change anything. There is no purpose in such a change.

  5. #2- for some reason, I assume you are male. #3- how condescending can you be? How about the fact that women get onto the bus with children, and/or pregnant?!? How about the fact that many women (who are not noticeably pregnant) have problems with nausea that are exacerbated by sitting on the back of the bus?!?! Why are the men in front? And if you tell me “shemiras einayim”- this is not the be all and end all of our religion. Say some tehillim in the back of the bus and shut your mouths and eyes!

  6. Egged should put women employees on the no 2 busses and have them sit in the front of the bus just to avoid the creation of “facts on the ground”

  7. Chaverim,

    You really think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that some kanoi who doesn’t understand that beating up people is wrong will hit someone for sitting somewhere where they have a right to?

    I think that it’s not only a possibility, but practically a given, given enough time.

    The Wolf

  8. #4, don’t waste your time explaining tsniyus to the people here. From the way they write, they obviously have no shaichus to tsniyus. They can’t be blamed because they are probably tinuk shenishbo’s but this is not the place to teach them something they have no understanding of.

  9. What is this, 1960 in segregationist Alabama? People, we live in a world where you can’t foist your religiosity upon others. Just sit on the bus and deal with it. If you don’t want to sit or stand next to a woman, then don’t. If you can’t control yourself, walk; doing so will give you ample time to reflect on how to overcome whatever issues you may have with being in close proximity to women.

  10. I think that the same way the ladys have to go on in the bck for tznius the men can do that how many times did u have a kid that throws up from car sickness in the back??we have to put down our feet and have the men in the bck or NO mehadrin buses at all

  11. Chaverim if u dnt want to sit behind me then u can walk I have the right to sit in the front just as much as you. I agree with observer1 and if u really so holy than take a taxi then u won’t have to see any women. What about passing right by u that’s fine?? I don’t go on in the bck for reasons that I have and if u don’t like it lump it

  12. #1 – 100% right. If there is no official rule someone will violate it, intentionally or not, and the kanoim will have a party.

    #10 – In our country we have the right to enforce our religion. Just because America gives the freedom of religion doesn’t mean we should. Those who don’t like it can ride the other line. And our “issue” of sitting with women is a halachic problem which you also have.

    #11 – To destroy a system created for tzinus so you can sit in the front of the bus is ridiculous and extremely immature. Whether men or women should sit in the front can and should be discussed, but that they remain separate is the most important thing.

  13. #1 – 100% right. If there is no official rule someone will violate it, intentionally or not, and the kanoim will have a party.

    #10 – In our country we have the right to enforce our religion. Those who don’t like it can ride the other line. And our “issue” of sitting with women is a halachic problem which you also have.

    #11 – To destroy a system created for tzinus so you can sit in the front of the bus is ridiculous and extremely immature. Whether men or women should sit in the front can and should be discussed, but that they remain separate is the most important thing.

  14. #13: We jews go by the law our father in heaven gave us, not some equality law made by a drunken congressman. On our father upstairs doesn’t want men behind women. So you don’t have any rights that your father upstairs didn’t give you.

  15. #17: Nope, sorry. Our father upstair thru his holy Torah authorized our Rabbis to enforce his word. Your western ears may not like the sound of that, but thats the law. If you don’t like jewish law, your alternative is las vegas where anything goes.

  16. #18, how little self control do you have, that you think the only alternative to allowing men and women to sit on a bus together is allowing rampant “las vegas” to take place?

  17. I personally am a moher in yerushalayim with a handfull of kids. I MUCH prefer to go on mehadrin buses. they are just more pleasant for me! True, it is sometimes less comfortable in the back but it is worth it. I don’t have to try to juggle the kids down a long aisle. The women seated/standing near the door always offer help. It is very unpleasant for me to be stuck on a crowded bus (bus=can of sardines usually), especially holding a baby and with someone pulling my skirt. It is MUCH WORSE when I am between men and fall into them (or them into me) at every turn. It isn’t kanois! When the women’s section is full on the mehadrin buses, and the mens section isn’t, women go and sit at the back of the mens section. I’ve even seen women who couldn’t stomach the back sitting there with no trouble.

  18. In the Shulchan Aruch, we are warned against walking between two members of the opposite gender. It mentions speifically men between two women, but according to my understanding, also applies to a woman between two men. It cites that it causes loss of memory and loss of Torah study. Obviously, this is more dangerous for a man to walk between two women.
    Also in Shulchan Aruch, one learns that a man cannot look upon a women, other than his wife and children, mother and sisters.
    In New York, I believe they have some mehadrin buses where the aisle is split men and women down the length of the bus. I dont know how this works if the bus is overcrowded, as the number 2 often is.
    Unfortunately, in our generation, we think we have Halacha and are throwing out the chumros, but I’ve seen differenly- we are ignorant of the actual halacha and are more leinent than we can be, or take a private responsa of a friends(or from years ago) and apply it to ourselves today. I’m a Baalas Tsuva. How many times have I seen, in frum ashkenazi homes, people taking off the cover and taking food stiring a kli rishon on the blech! This is, al pi halcha ashkenazim, completely ossur and considered bishul.

    I’m not looking to upset anyone- I’d just like people to first look at the actual halcha- then try to come up with a practical solution.

    I know pelnty of people who get motion sickness. Perhaps a limited section up front for women, on one sides of the bus? There are solutions we can all compromise on. Can we compromise or stay the stiffnecked people we can be?

  19. I also oppose this.

    I think the mechanism which has been present on the 2, 11 and 15 (and some other lines also) for years is excellent. Men and women simply don’t sit next to each other (except family); that’s all.

    I will never sit next to a woman (other than my own wife, or daughters) unless there is a special situation.

  20. “Nope, sorry. Our father upstair thru his holy Torah authorized our Rabbis to enforce his word.”

    Chaverim,

    And so, what would you say about rabbis who hold that there is nothing halachically wrong with riding in a mixed-gender mass transit environment?

    The Wolf

  21. #24: I needn’t say anything. But the Rabbis who say the Torah wants such and such, must do their utmost to enforce what the Torah wants, even if “Rabbi X” is lenient.

  22. Israeli, Please don’t beshmutz Rav Moshe with your conjecture. If Rav Moshe could snap his finger and make the nyc subway have separate seating, he would. He had no such power, and since the subway is a necessity for new yorkers, his psak was how to deal with the metzius that couldn’t be changed. Not the ideal situation.

  23. Chaverim,

    The point that I’m trying to bring out, however, is that there are perfectly good rabannim who say that there is no issue with riding in a mixed-gender public transit system.

    So, why do I have to follow the rabbi who says that it’s assur? I’ll happily follow the rabbi who says that it’s muttar. Why does the former rabbi have any more authority than the latter that I have to listen to them?

    The Wolf

  24. #29: Follow your rabbi. But if the same rabbi another time tells you that you must eat cholov yisroel, don’t go shopping for another rabbi. And don’t complain when other rabbis declare the Torah wants a certain type of behavior and take steps to ensure that happens.

  25. #17 – kol yisrael araevim zeh lazeh. Was bais din wrong for “forcing their religion on others” when we still had the bais hamikdash? This concept of ‘you do what you want and I’ll do what I want’ is completely western in nature.

    #26 – When #25 said “Rabbi X” he wasn’t trying to denigrate Reb Moishe, he simply didn’t have a name to put there.

    #28 – You are free to follow your rabbonim, and the chariedim are free to follow theirs. And adding to what #29 says, I believe Reb Moishe also held it was assur to listen to music.

    #30 – Any rov who is trying to “impose” his opinions on people obviously feels that there is a halachic problem that must be dealt, not because he “feels a need to impose his chumros on the entire world”. Have a little respect.

  26. mw13: You are correct. Yasher koach!!

    Israeli: Wrong again. You tried to conjecture Reb Moshe’s psak allowing nyc subway travel into C’V Reb Moshe preferring (or having no preference) a non-mehadrin bus to a mehadrin bus. THAT is not only from your boich, it is libel against Reb Moshe.

  27. Rav Moshe is known to be leinent in many public areas because of the place he lived in and the people he was serving. However, if you hold by him then that’s your rav and thats how you hold. I do believe it would be worthwhile to clarify this, however, with another rav who is close in haskafah and community is similar to Rav Moshe(perhaps his son or the like) to see how to hold in Israel, when things can be different. Rav Moshe typically ruled for American Jewry. His rulings may not fit in with the circumstances in Israel. One must ask a rav over any differences. Two different time periods and two different societies make a big differences in a psak