Last week, a popular nuts and seeds store at the Bucharim neighborhood in Jerusalem declared it plans to institute separation between men and women shoppers ahead of the Tu B'Shvat holiday during which dried fruit sales are on the rise.
The owners of Pitzuchei Mizrahi said they would arrange separate entrances for men and women, after they were recommended to do so by a kashrut supervisor.
He advised them to prevent a situation whereby men and women customers unintentionally touch each other during the busy shopping hours when the store is crowded.
Tu B'Shvat preparations (Photo: Kfir Harevi)
Not all residents of the neighborhood welcomed the idea, which to some seemed "radical and exaggerated." But one resident, Avi, said that in his view "it would be more pleasant if on these busy days there is separation at the store and men don't rub against women."
The decision was widely lauded by leaders of the Haredi Community, who issued notices supporting the store's new policy, which they said falls in line with Halachic principles.
Sources in the ultra-Orthodox public believe that other businesses in the capital will follow suit.