Volume 53 Number 84
                    Produced: Thu Jan 18  6:26:46 EST 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

99.99% of those on the bus
         [Batya Medad]
"Another" Haredi View
         [Tzvi Stein]
Back of the Bus
         [Alan Rubin]
Bedatz broadsheet regarding physical attacks
         [Tzvi Stein]
Bigotry and Halacha (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, Shoshana L. Boublil]
Buses, bias and Japan
         [Keith Bierman]
First Class Brawls over Second-Class Seats
Kattan saying kaddish
Not sitting next to a woman
         [Martin Stern]
Rabbis assisting women
Slightest Glimpse of Woman
         [Meir Shinnar]
Slightest Glimpse of woman
         [Batya Medad]
Tikkun Chatzot
Zemanim - Atomic Clocks
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 19:23:27 +0200
Subject: Re: 99.99% of those on the bus

>> The only place you will find a segragated bus, is in Chareidi
>> neighborhoods, where 99.99% of those on the bus are wearing Tzniusdik
>> clothing.
>  ...of whom 99.99% are quite happy with the separated bus concept.


I'm one of the few here on mailjewish who are dependent on Israeli
public transportation, and I'd like to clarify things.  Some/one of the
"separate" lines go/es through Neve Yaakov, which is a very mixed
neighborhood.  Many times, after going to the pool there, I find myself
waiting and waiting for a bus to get out.  The "separate" lines don't
stop in the area of the community center.  Buses pass by with plenty of
empty seats, but they don't stop for us.  So I'm forced to wait some

Batya Medad


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 10:45:50 -0500
Subject: "Another" Haredi View

As a follow-up to my summary of an email I received from a haredi
contact of mine, I'd like to summarize another exchange I've since had,
this time in person, from a different person, also haredi.  This
exchange was a bit more of a "give and take" than the email exchange I
reported on earlier, because this one ocurred in person, as my 2nd
contact (also someone I knew from my soujourn in Israel) was in the
States for business, and we got together to "catch up".  After we had
talked a while, I brought up the subject of the bus attack.

The reason I put "another" in quotes in the subject, is that there was
very little to distinguish my 2nd contact's views from those of my 1st,
even though I was careful not to mention to him what the 1st contact
said.  The thing that struck me most about the latest conversation, was
that I just could not elicit from him any criticism of the attacker.
This really disturbed me, as it seems to be a lacking in the basic
Jewish attribute of compassion for one's fellow Jew.  Regardless of
one's views, it would seem "poshut" that a beating perpetrated by a
Jewish man (or perhaps "men") upon a defenseless Jewish woman, who
certainly posed no physical threat to him, would provoke human feelings
of indignation, but it seems that these feelings had been erased by
ideology.  The closest I could get him to a criticism was that "both
were at fault".

His position reminded me of, l'havdil, Palestinian spokesmen who refuse
to condemn brual and violent acts of suicide bombers against defenseless
civilians, and the closest to they will come to criticism is a statement
like "both sides need to work to stop the cycle of violence".

He also repeated the theme of my 1st contact by stressing that she (the
victim) was guilty of not listening to the rabbonim.  (He did not
mention whether the attacker was "listening to the rabbonim" or whether
the appropriate punishment for "not listening to the rabbonim" is a
beating).  An interesting twist of logic ensued when I suggested that
perhaps she did not hold of these rabonim.  He answered "well then she's
not frum".  I replied, ok, let's accept your argument that "she's not
frum"... don't even non-frum people (and non-Jews for that matter)
deserve some basic level of respect?  He acknowledged that they do, but
that "she should know better" than a truly non-frum person.

What I gathered from this logic was that she (the victim) fell into a
twilight category of "secular" enough to be subject to contempt but
"frum" enough that she could be denied the basic respect due to
"non-frum" people who "don't know any better".  Quite an unfortunate
category, it seems.


From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 18:22:58 +0000
Subject: Back of the Bus

For what its worth my daughter who was in seminary last year in Givaat
Shaul tells me that there was segregation on many of the 'non-mehadrin'
buses and that she was told on at least one occasion by a woman to move
to the back of the bus. She sat at the back because she did not want to
be "glared at for the whole journey".

Alan Rubin


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 11:42:20 -0500
Subject: Bedatz broadsheet regarding physical attacks

I just happened across this scanned broadsheet:


Please feel free to augment or correct my translation:

[Heading] Bedatz [Eng. "High Rabbinical Court"]
Torah Warning (underlined)
We hereby declare our Torah opinion [Heb. "Daas Torah"] regarding
protests in general, and in particular protests regarding matters of
modesty, that it is forbidden in any way to impose upon another's body or
property, and that this is not the way of the Torah and regarding [the
Biblical] Jacob [it is written] "his power is only through his mouth".

And furthermore, regarding the occasions when the Bedatz forbids contact
and dealings with a certain individual, it is forbidden to to impose upon
his [or her] body or property, and certainly [these are forbidden] upon
his family members.

[Date] 9 Kislev 5767 [i.e. Nov. 30, 2006]
[end of translation]

For reference, the beating incident ocurred (according to newspaper
accounts) on Nov. 24, 2006.

[I believe that SBA sent in a link to this broadsheet in a previous
issue. The link was to a scanned copy that appeared on the "On the Main
Line" blog. Mod]


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 19:55:15 GMT
Subject: Bigotry and Halacha

From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>

> I recall that back then, many of my friends used to place their
> handbag between them and their date on buses, but nobody had a problem
> with mixed buses.

Since, as you know, this is not required except of married couples,
would this be a manifestation of a (DL branch of) the chumra of the week
club <g>?


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 23:41:32 +0200
Subject: Re: Bigotry and Halacha

Oh absolutely!!!  <g>
You would have enjoyed the "discussions" on this issue.  
The joke back then was: 

How do you recognize a high school Yeshiva student on a date with an
Ulpana student?

You can drive a tank between them.



From: Keith Bierman <khbkhb@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 19:10:03 -0700
Subject: Re: Buses, bias and Japan

> From: Yeshaya Halevi <c.halevi@...>
> ...
> The Japanese situation came about **ONLY** because too many Japanese
> men were pinching women and doing other too touchy-feely things while
> on public transport.

It should be noted that the density of Japanese public transport is a
couple of orders of magnitude closer than any Egged bus I ever rode
(including the time during a work slowdown where we were packed so
densely that some were riding *outside* the bus). That is, even if one
isn't trying to have (relatively) intimate relations with the person(s)
near you, it can forcibly occur. And any miscreants who are trying to
abuse the situation will probably be impossible to identify.

To try to use the situation in and around Tokyo to learn anything about
anywhere else is probably a mistake (my Japanese hosts observed that
people who seldom venture into Tokyo find it nearly as offensive as
visitors from overseas. Only those who endure it day in and day out come
to think of it as normal.

Keith Bierman  | <khbkhb@...> |


From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 13:29:01 EST
Subject: Re: First Class Brawls over Second-Class Seats

> So please you (and others) stop saying "they're just obeying halakha".

I suppose one could always assure that he doesn't wind up sitting next
to the "wrong" people by calling a taxi which he will have all to
himself.  How's that?


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 19:51:27 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Kattan saying kaddish

Unfortunately I've know of a few kattans who sat shiva and it was very
rough dealing with it. Of the non-Yekkie's , they all said kaddish but I
don't recall hearing a kattan saying kaddish at a Yekkie minyan. I would
have been a bit surprised to hear the kattan when there were adults in
the same position as well.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 12:06:52 +0000
Subject: Not sitting next to a woman

On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 20:11:26 -0000, Chana Luntz <chana@...>
> Not sitting next to a woman would seem at most to be a chumra (to
> prevent against the staring that is the issur) - if the practice of a
> chumra is going to cause you to be over on an issur d'orisa considered
> equivalent to murder, and one where many commentators hold that in
> fact you should give up your life rather than violate, then chassid
> shoteh seems rather a mild term to use.

AFAIK, the only prohibition for a man to sit next to a woman on a double
bus seat applies to his own wife when she is niddah, for any other woman
it is quite obviously a chumra be'alma.

Martin Stern


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 23:39:32 +1100
Subject: Re: Rabbis assisting women

From: Chana Luntz
>SBA <sba@...> writes:
>> However, as far as I could ascertain, at least beloshon
>> Chazal it refers to life and death matters
>But I am not sure how much that helps you.

Helps me in what way???

> causing embarressment in public is likened by Chazal to the spilling
> of blood. And in fact a significant body of rishonim and achronim
> consider this to fall into the category of yarog v'al ya'avor ... So
> if somebody is considered a chassid shoteh because he will not save a
> life, how much more so if because of his actions he is considered by
> Chazal to have murdered.

I must be missing something here. What does this disprove (or prove) re
my post?



From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 10:14:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Slightest Glimpse of Woman

> From: Meir Shinnar <chidekel@...>
> > perhaps it is these innovations in the community that are the
> > underlying problem?.. creating people who are completely unable to
> > interact with the outside world - even with modestly dressed women...
> A good analogy to consider may be the halachos of Yichud.  It matters
> not a whit whether the lady involved is a 100 year old grandmother
> wearing a full-cover potato sack and a paper bag over her head, it is
> still Yichud.
> Any outsider hearing of dinei Yichud would probably make the
> same comments as BM and MS.

the main difference is that yichud is a specific, situation oriented din
by chazal - which current thinking about sexual harassment would be
quite in sync.  It isn't an inability to deal with the outside world or
the opposite sex - but that precautions have to be taken.  Here, we are
talking about a complete inability to function in the presence of the
opposite sex - and comparing what can only be described as socially
induced deviancy - with no halachic background, and something unknown to
chazal, with the halacha of yichud is, IMHO, a bizayon hatorah 

Meir Shinnar

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 20:40:35 +0200
Subject: Re: Slightest Glimpse of woman

SBA wrote:

> A good analogy to consider may be the halachos of Yichud.  It matters
> not a whit whether the lady involved is a 100 year old grandmother
> wearing a full-cover potato sack and a paper bag over her head, it is
> still Yichud.
> Any outsider hearing of dinei Yichud would probably make the same
> comments as BM and MS.

Yichud is a very specific private situation.  It is far from the
situation in a bus.

And it's no secret that "dirty secrets" are coming out about the
"uncontrollable sex-crazed maniacs..." who are breaking both secular law
and halacha and damaging the "sexual orientation" of innocent kids,
because their lives are so separate from females.

Judaism is the one religion that integrates the kodesh and chol.  One of
the reasons we eat meat with so many restrictions is to teach that G-d
makes rules for everything.  Impulsivity is forbidden.  You can eat
meat, if it's from specific animals, killed a special way etc.
According to Yahadut, being a soldier is a mitzvah, under certain
circumstances.  We are commanded in the Torah to work six days, then
cease work and enjoy Shabbat.  You can have sex if you're married and
follow "taharat mishpacha."

Batya Medad


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 01:47:17 +1100
Subject: RE: Tikkun Chatzot

From: Eitan Fiorino
> This kabbalistic para-liturgical innovation was popular in Italy into
> the 1800s, observed by groups called "shomrim laboker."  If such
> observance of rituals persisted into the 20th century in Italy, it is
> unlikely they survived the Holocaust.

It was observed in many non-chassidic yeshivos in pre-war Greater
Hungary - especially during the 3 weeks.  The successors to these
yeshivos continued this tradition - at least until recently (and may
well still do it), eg Nitra in Mt Kisco, Erlau in Jm.



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 19:59:09 GMT
Subject: Zemanim - Atomic Clocks

From: <dtnla@...> (Dov Teichman)
> Remember the days when there used to be arguments in Shul about whos
> watch is correct to determine when to start davening?  I think those
> Atomic clocks have done alot to increase peace in Shul.>>


Orthodox Judaism discovers the secret of harnessing peaceful use of
atomic energy!!



End of Volume 53 Issue 84