Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lakewood: Gender segregation on buses

bhol
האם האוטובוסים היוצאים מהעיר לייקווד שבניו-ג'רזי יהפכו לקווי מהדרין?

בכינוס חירום בהשתתפות רבנים וראשי מוסדות חינוך שיערך הערב בעיר, מתכוונים להוביל מהלך שישדרג, כדבריהם, את הצניעות בקווי האוטובוסים החרדיים של לייקווד, ולכונן בהם מחיצה, כדוגמת המחיצה הקיימת בקווי האוטובוסים הנוסעים למונסי, לניו סקוור ולמונרו.

קדם לכינוס פירסום מודעות תחת הכותרת "ולא יראה בך ערוות דבר ושב מאחוריך". במודעות נאמר: "בדבר הנסיעה בבאסעס שנוסעים אנשים ונשים הנני להודיע דעתנו דעת תורה חייב מדינא שיהא מחיצה להפריד בין אנשים ונשים. אנחנו זקוקים לכח הרבים כדי להביא לאישור הקמת המחיצה". על המודעה חתום הרב אברהם יוסף רוזענבלום, מבכירי תלמידיו של הגאון רבי מלכיאל קוטלר, ראש ישיבת לייקווד.

קו האוטובוס לייקווד אקספרס, הנע בין לייקווד לשכונות פלטבוש ובורו פארק שבברוקלין, מופעל על-ידי 'מונסי טריילס', חברת אוטובוסים פרטית, הפעילה את קווי האוטובוסים למונסי סקווער, לייקווד, ומונרו.

48 comments :

  1. these buses are completely private, meaning they don't provide services to the general public, only members?

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    1. They are not owned by any municipality. They are privately owned just like Greyhound, Short Line, etc.

      A private owner in America has the legal right to segregate based on age, gender, locality, religious observance or whatever criteria they choose.

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    2. you think that a private restaurant or hotel or airline can exclude people based on whatever they like? WADR, did you miss the last 50 years?

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    3. Exclude? No one is excluding. No more than many schools in America choose to gender segregate males and females into different classrooms (or even schools). Or dorm room, rest rooms, prisons, military housing, religious parochial schools, sports leagues, medical researc. etc. Nothing even to do with religion. All legal. Always has been.

      Are you advocating the banning of currently legal gender segregated private education?

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    4. Whoever wrote up this article obviously failed to do proper homework.

      R. Yosef Rosenblum - who resides in Brooklyn, is not a talmid of R. Malkiel Kotler. He was a talmid of R. Ahron Kotler zt"l.

      R. Malkiel is probably half the age of R. Yosef Rosenblum - so even if there were a talmid-rebbe relationship - it would be the other way around.

      I wonder what other parts of this report are also misrepresented..

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    5. you're right i shouldn't have used the word exclude. however you did write that a private owner has the right to segregate based on any criteria he chooses and that is patently untrue.

      most of the examples you give are when issues of totally (sexual) privacy are involved. very few, except the extreme frum (and not all of the chareidim) accept that men have a right to sit apart from women. that a few chareidim see mixed seating on buses in sexual terms is their issue, no one else (except maybe the frum muslims) accepts that premise.

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    6. Separate gender schooling occurs in the secular American world and is entirely legal. Even separate gender sports leagues is legal (and the norm.)

      Any religious group may legally separate genders for any and all activities they engage in, that they privately own and operate. If you disagree with their religious position, that does not negate their First Amendment rights.

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    7. they can separate within a religious institution. buses aren't that.

      Any religious group may legally separate genders for any and all activities they engage in, that they privately own and operate.

      i'm not a lawyer but i don't believe this to be true. anytime they receive money (not just some patur from a tax) they have to abide by the relevant regulations. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B110_%28New_York_City_bus%29#Route_B110

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    8. Any private bus owner has the First Amendment right to follow his religious beliefs -- as he interprets his religion, not you.

      B110 has a city franchise, even if unpaid. They get their name on city signs and are allowed to stop at official city bus stops. Monsey Trails does not and is entirely private.

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    9. that was my original question. monsey trails is entirely private? it doesn't have a franchise, it doesn't pick up stam passengers, just members, it doesn't get a dime in government support?

      of course no one cares about how i interpret the 1st amendment. but when people use it to justify behaviors that society (and in particular the courts) deem unacceptable, there is a conflict. some college tried to use the bible to justify not acceptable african americans. that didn't go so well. what would be the decision if a totally, 1000% private bus company that doesn't run on a government tender said "gender separation is a religious issue? i don't know.

      my ex BIL was a dentist. he told me that he had to treat patients who were HIV positive, it was a state mandated requirement. the state gave out licenses, to certain people only, which enabled them to treat people. therefore the state had the right to tell dentists that that had to treat HIV positive people. could be the same with a bus company.

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    10. "that was my original question. monsey trails is entirely private? it doesn't have a franchise, it doesn't pick up stam passengers, just members, it doesn't get a dime in government support?"

      Correct. Entirely private. No subsidies, no franchise, etc.

      And, again, gender separation is done in Sports and (secular) private schooling. It has always been acceptable under US Law.

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    11. so if it is not a service serving the general public that is a different kettle of fish. if the only people riding are members of this organization, that is different.

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    12. I don't know what you mean by "members". Anyone can buy a ticket and ride the bus. You don't need to be a member of the tribe.

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  2. More frumkeit = less Yiddishkeit.

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  3. How can it be a halachic obligation to have mechitzos in busses? Rav Moshe Feinstein argues that there was only such an obligation in the Beis Hamikdash during Simchas Beis Hasho'eivah. Where does this new chiyuv come from?

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    1. We strive to observe more than merely "the letter of the law". This is fulfilling "the spirit of the law", as we all should.

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    2. ..."as we all should"? Says who?

      If your and your Lakewood minyans want to have separate busses for men, women, tall people, short people, the fat, fatter, and the skinny, then be my guest. Just make sure they are completely private, that they don't receive any state or federal subsidies or tax breaks, and that they operate according to legal and acceptable accounting principles.

      Other than that, kindly keep your personal chumrahs and your completely subjective agenda to fulfill the "sprit of the law" away from the rest of us.

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    3. The rabbi's letter says "midina" implying that this is the din

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    4. Requiring mechitzos at every mixing of the genders is not the halacha at all. Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach z"l rode on mixed buses. I've heard that Rav Aharon Kotler z"l attended chasunas without a mechitza.

      This imposition of mechitzos everywhere and no pictures of women's faces is a chumra yesaira and kol hamosif gorea.

      Pushing these kinds of items can only lead to greater girui hayetzer and should be avoided.

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    5. We strive to observe more than merely "the letter of the law".

      if i were the lawyer of the side demanding an end to gender separation, one of my arguments would indeed be that there is no requirement for it, that the same people who want separation get along without it just fine, that they also travel on the subway and mixed buses and therefore the state has no obligation to enable this practice.

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  4. There is no halachic chiyuv in buses.
    And there should certainly never be busses!

    buss [buhs] noun, verb, "kiss."

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    1. Yes, but they're not interested in what they really need: a mechitzah between predator rebbes and vulnerable students.

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  5. And they call it mehadrin. You know what's really mehadrin? Averting your eyes and just not looking. But that's too hard for such tzadikim I guess.

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  6. we trust in god not in frumAugust 21, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Frumkiet = KRUMKIET

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  7. Here we go again with excessive chumras being presented as basic halacha that everyone is required to keep. If this is today's halacha, I'm afraid to see what tomorrow's chumra will be!

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  8. R' Eidensohn-

    This is similar to what we were discussing last week regarding the 'psak halacha' against clear/transparent tights. Except this time there's probably even less basis in halacha to support it! I guess that's why they had to throw in the 'daas torah' line - the less actual basis, the more an appeal to 'authority' becomes necessary.

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  9. My wife and I once took the mechitza bus from Monsey to Manhattan. She sat the entire time with some guy's rear end about 6 inches from her face. Needless to say, by the time we mercifully got off the overcrowded bus, we felt way more frum.

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    1. yep, overcrowding is a problem. Even in the mehadrin separate busses in jerusalem, women need to squeeze past men to get to the back of the bus

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    2. Overcrowding is the same whether the bus is separate seating or mixed seating. That is irrelevant to the issue.

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    3. It is 100% relevant. If the whole purpose of these buses is to separate the sexes in order to avoid pritzus, then they should not even allow people to stand in the aisles. The bus company will have fewer fares and make less money, but is that not worth it to protect kedushas Yisrael?

      The fact that making money from stuffing the buses is more important than the actual stated goal of mechitza puts the lie to the entire endeavor. This is not about kedusha - it is only about "looking frum".

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    4. Or better yet there should be no bus service at all to avoid any problem whatsoever, right? Get a grip. There are tradeoffs. And the right balance is separate seating.

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    5. The right balance is for people to behave like responsible adults.
      Anyone can shut down an argument by telling the other side to "get a grip". Be a mentch.
      If you are so frum that you will burst if you see someone of the opposite sex, maybe you should stay in your daled amos shtettel and not tempt your yetzer horo. The answer is not making chumras that everyone else has to hold by. And I realize that no one is forced to use those buses. But in a place like Lakewood, not going along with this shtuss may give you problems finding your kids shidduchim.

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  10. A quick peak at wikipedia states clearly. At least one of the companies involved leases government vehicles and receives (or received) about 25% of its income from government grants. Further, it was already sued and the settlement of the lawsuit was such that it agreed not to segregate.

    Monsey Trails is a private bus company ... The publicly subsidized carrier uses a fleet of 60 coach-style buses, many of which are publicly owned by Rockland County and leased to Monsey ... Monsey Trails received mass transit subsidies from New York State amounting to nearly $650,000 in 1993, roughly a quarter of the company's annual revenue ... The suit resulted in an out-of-court settlement, in which Monsey Trails agreed not to actively segregate male and female riders for Jewish prayers, and neither to provide a curtain to separate the male passengers from women and non-Jews, nor advertise daily prayers in its timetables, as they had done before.

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  11. mishpachas rosenblumAugust 22, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    TThis whole letter from rabbi roosenblum is a farce. Im michpacha of his and i can tell you that he is very ill and confined to bed most of the time and he does not accept outsiders as a general rule. This whole letter is nisht emes. Another point i have is. Lakewood is the biggest ihr hatorah in america and i can for the life of me understand why they go outside of theier own shtut to get a psak? What happened to all the lakewood rabbonim who sign on the most siliest of letters. Where are the lakewood rahbonim who singned the letter to kick out a very choshive rov who was trying to bring justice to his lakewood molester.? Whereare they????

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    1. Lakewood may have many haredim but it isnt a great ihr hatorah. With the exception of Rav Malkiel Kotler (not a great posek), none of the members of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah live in Lakewood. None of the major chassidishe rebbes live in Lakewood. After Rav Shneur died, the major rabbanim left.

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    2. I don't know where you picked up the fiction that all the major Rabbonim left after Rav Shneur z"l was niftar. Rabbi Forcheimer for one is still there and he is a world class posek.

      Who do you claim left?

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  12. Reb forcheimer is a posek indeed. A worl class posek. Absolutely NOT. Actually rabbi gissinger paskens more worldwide then reb forcheimer.

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    1. So chaim A's posek is bigger than tzoorba's posek? Sounds like a fun game, Whose posek is bigger.

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    2. What does paskening world wide have to do with anything? Rabbi Gissinger shlit"a is also a world class posek but where do you get the nonsense that Rabbi Forcheimer who is the official posek of the Lakewood yeshiva is not a top level posek?

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    3. Mikey,

      Your comment's implications don't belong in a Torah blog.

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    4. I only wanted to point out the silliness of this kind of discussion.

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  13. Rabbi Yisroel Knopfler is The New Posek In Lakewood he Has a Bais Din Badatz Here in Lakewood He is a Talmid of Rav Sariel Rosenberg Av Bais Din of Bnei Brak and has aprobations from Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner

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  14. There is a famous picture of Rav Elchonon z"l speaking to the Chofetz Chaim outside of his house. The original picture had the Chofetz Chaim's wife standing there. The kanoim who are frumer than the Chofetz Chaim cut her out of the picture.

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    1. Incorrect. There are two pictures. One with the wife. And another, separate one, after the wife went inside. Both are legit.

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    2. I'm sorry but you are not correct. There was one and the women were cropped out.

      http://onthemainline.blogspot.com/2008/06/photoshopping-women-out-of-chofetz.html

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  15. And in the meantime,evil pedophiles who destroy jewish children physically and emotionally are protected by the roshey yeshivas and ra-bbonim,while a father who wanted to protect his own son and other children,is run out off town,but to sit next to a woman is CHAS VESHALOM,
    what a criminally insane evil leadership we have merited in Lakewood

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  16. Rav Yisroel Knopfler Bais Din Badatz, Replaced R'Forsceimers and Finkels Bais Din which fell apart

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