According to Yoelish Kroiz, the Eda Haredit's operations office chief, no protests are planned against the tram.
"We had no problem with the light rail to begin with," he says. "The dispute regarded the shifting of the city's bus routes to the Geula neighborhood. In the end we reached an agreement that only some of the buses will pass through that area."
The faction will monitor the tram's activity in the near future in order to determine whether it meets haredi demands, Kroiz adds. And while buses create a halachic problem for men to sit behind women, in the tram haredi men seek to occupy the back car.
"The distance between the cars solves the halachic problem of sitting behind a woman, so we'll have no problem sitting there and proving that our insistence on sitting in the front in buses does not stem from chauvinistic motives."
The Eda Haredit plans to organize groups of ultra-Orthodox men who will travel together on the tram, in order to have quorums for the afternoon and evening prayers in the back car.
"If the rabbis see the tram working and gaining momentum, they'll instruct all men to sit in the rear car only," Kroiz believes. "If some women want to sit in the back car just to spite us, we won't object."
And what about women sitting in the front car? According to Kroiz, the halachic problem in this case is not as strict as it is with men, and therefore the Eda Haredit will not act on the matter.
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