'Make buses kosher'
Photo: Avi Cohen
In a brochure distributed recently among the girls of the Beit Yaakov congregation, the Rabbinical Committee of Transportation asked the young women to preserve "halachic riding" during every bus ride, and not only on the buses defined as "kosher".
A kosher bus is one that allows the boarding of men through the front door, while women board using the back door. "Unfortunately there are still buses driving through the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods that have not received permission from the Transportation Ministry to open the back door for the female travelers," the rabbis explained in the handout.
Orthodox insistence that bridge ceremony dancers dress up modestly uncalled for
They therefore requested that "these bus lines also be converted to kosher lines, by having the female travelers congregate in the back of the bus after paying." The committee hopes this move "will cause the transportation companies to come to their senses, hurry up and make these lines kosher, and permit the opening of the back door in them as well."
In their letter to the young women of Beit Yaakov the rabbis stressed that those girls who are strict about their own modesty should see it as a privilege, and asked them to advise their friends to sit in the back of the bus. "Thanks to the preservation of the modesty and sanctity limitations we will gain the inspiration of the Divine Presence of creation, an abundance of wealth and happiness and everything good," the rabbis blessed the girls.
Next goal: Train wreck
The rabbis are also preparing for their battle against Jerusalem's new light train, which, in their opinion, holds various dangers in its wake. In an ad published by the committee, the rabbis explain that once the train is completed, the Transportation Ministry plans to cancel many of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods' kosher bus lines, thus forcing the inhabitants to make use of the new train.
The rabbis stated that "the light train is not compatible with the needs of the ultra-Orthodox public, material or spiritual, and the intention to coerce the ultra-Orthodox public into using the light train constitutes a grave spiritual danger."
The rabbis added that "the Transportation Ministry intends to alter the courses of the buses that serve the general public and reroute them through Geula neighborhood, thus completely ruining the spiritual identity of the neighborhood."
The rabbis called on those who can to assist in the matter, as these plans "completely ignore the needs of the ultra-Orthodox public, and will cause the collapse of the ultra-Orthodox transportation layout in Jerusalem, which required much labor to achieve."