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Monday, October 31, 2011

Segregated Buses in Borough Park--Public Buses!

I am an Orthodox Jew, and I am opposed to public buses being gender-segregated, either in Israel or here in the States.  Note, I said public buses.  The Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) community, in my opinion, can hire private buses wherever they be, be it Bnei Brak in Israel or Borough Park in New York, and enforce their own rules however they like.  But not on public buses with city franchises.


Apparently, this had been going on for quite a while on a route from Borough Park to Williamsburg, with officials looking the other way. Not anymore:
Faced with the choice of losing its franchise with the city or allowing women riders to sit where they please, a Brooklyn bus line that is authorized and monitored by New York’s Department of Transportation says it won’t engage in gender segregation.
But it appears that in the company’s nearly four decades plying the streets between Borough Park and Williamsburg, government officials may have long known about the company’s improper practice and looked the other way not only because no one complained, but because the almost exclusively Orthodox passengers seem to prefer it that way.
I remember reading about Naomi Ragen's series of articles about this type of harassment on an unmarked Egged bus in Israel--unmarked as "Haredi" or Ultra-Orthodox.  This obsession with extreme gender segregation to this degree is not in the Torah, nor is it in the Shulchan Aruch.

In my humble opinion, it's NOT Judaism.  It's insanity.   Or just plain criminal.



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3 comments:

Batya said...

I think the gender separation is antihalachic and it seems to be fading on many Egged lines.

Anonymous said...

i like how you ended with "just plain criminal". You'd think that in the year 2011 in democratic western countries segregation would have been gone by now... but extremism in all aspects, still finds a way to alter, affect, and even ruin daily routine and peoples lives.

Lady-Light said...

Batya: I agree. It's one thing to keep a respectful distance to avoid sexual contact, but quite another thing to consider walking down the same block or riding in the front of a bus (while not sitting next to a person of the opposite gender) "sexual." That's their problem: they view being in the same world as sexual. Which only attests to their sickness.

Anon: I included that statement because that is exactly what physically attacking a woman down to the floor is: criminal. The fact that no one stopped them, is also criminal.

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