Monday, March 12, 2012

Secular gender provocation on Israeli bus:The other side

A Bochur in the Mir writes:

The provocatzia hasn't ended?

Tonight I had the unfortunate but enlightening experience to watch an unwarranted provocation on a bus to Yerushalaim. I was returning from a Chasunah in Bnei Brak on an Egged 402.  I got on the bus by the exit of Bnei Brak at around 11:30pm. I was tired from the wedding and was looking forward to a quiet ride home. That was not to be. As soon as the bus turned onto the highway a few young women in the back of the bus started to act up. It started as giggles then it turn to singing then to plain shouting of profanities. The bus driver pulled over, on the highway and requested that they quiet down or he will call the police. He spoke to them again, to no avail. He then tried idling for a few minutes hoping they would quiet down, quiet wasn't forthcoming.  As a last resort he called the police. Naturally they weren't fast enough. So he decided to drive the bus to the police station. As soon as they realized where he was going the 4 of them marched to the front of the bus, (poking the men on the way) demanding a refund and to get off the bus. Both are against egged policy and getting off on the highway is rather dangerous.  They then started pushing his buttons. I mean the real ones, the lights the doors all while screaming singing and cursing everyone on the bus. Did I forget to mention the bus was moving while they were trying to open the doors. They were waving their hands in front of him, one of them even light up a cigarette. After one fine Chossid offered to pay them to alight they upped the ante to 100shek a person, not the 15 they paid to get on.
Finally after a slow drive to the police station, we arrived. Now they were really scared so out came the accusations. The bus driver touched us inappropriately, the Chareidim called us whores. And a dozen other complete fabrications of their perverted minds. Luckily the bus driver said the truth and the 4 of them were escorted off.
Now why am I telling you this story? The reason is because like many of you I am a skeptic. When I heard of the story of Rabbi Fuchs and the female soldier, I wondered. As I was taught growing up that to every story their are the two sides and the truth. Now after tonights incident I think to myself how it could have ended differently.  Someone's life may have been destroyed and people would have been almost completely indifferent. People would have said "yeah it's a shame but there must be more to the story".   THERE IS NO MORE TO THE STORY!! Boruch Hashem the police weren't in the mood (and they aren't under the command of Nisso Shacham) and they annoyed the driver too.
I'm sure this story will not make it to Haaretz or any of the other wonderful news sources but at least YOU should read it and know what's really going on.
My dear friends next time you read one of these sensational "harassment" stories, keep mine in mind. 


  1. The flaw here is their provocation would make no sense if the other kind of story hadn't happened first. There would be no desire to make the headlines by violating Mehadrin bus conventions if it weren't the pre-existing knowledge that headlines could be made.

  2. Sad thing is that I don't believe a word of it. I've ridden hundreds of Egged and Dan buses day and night and never seen such behaviour from seculars. The worst is shouting "Rega!" at the driver who just wants to keep on schedule. The descriptions here are way too over the top for it to be real. This kind of aggressive and rude behaviour one only sees from a different segment of the population.
    Pot, meet kettle.

  3. Micha - how do you know what provoked them it could have been the story with fuch's , or the fuch's story could have provoked by prior negative story's in the newspaper.
    Mighty garnel I. - its pathetic and sad that you think that secular israeli's can't be rude , provocative and vicious. Try to get out of the bubble you live in and accept the truth. ( I don't mean all Israeli's are like that, but a large segment are.)

  4. The first act of provocation had to post-date enough actual incidents of real unmanufactured harassment to make engineering the scenario possible. It doesn't matter which was the first to have been provoked, my statement stands.

  5. avf, please read my statement again. I've not seen this behaviour on a bus. Yes, while waiting in line and yes I'm sure there are people out there who get a kick out of annoying frummies but they are the exception and rare. You don't hear stories about seculars standing in the doorways of buses and screaming at people over where they're sitting. You don't hear about seculars spitting on chareidim. You don't see videos of seculars rampaging through the street and throwing stones and people. And please don't tell me it's because the media is on an anti-Chareidi witch hunt.
    I think this story is contrived by someone who wants to point out "No, it's not us, it's really them!"

  6. I believe that this really happened, but the difference is that these girls were simply badly behaved savages; the hareidim who try to enforce their ideas of tzeniyut are doing so in the name of Judaism- that's where we have a problem.

  7. So a bunch of drunk women get on a bus, act like asses and the bus driver has to get the police involved. I don't see a provocation. I have seen this happen a dozen times on the 38 bus late at night, men and women.
    Not everyone acts like a decent human being, but that doesn't mean that it necessarily a gender provocation. Sometimes it just means that their parents utterly failed to equip them for life in normal society.

  8. Nope, sorry, I don't believe a word either, mostly because a bus driver would never drive to a police station to report girls for "not quieting down"? What law was broken exactly? Disturbing a tired yeshiva bochur's rest? Seriously, tell your friend to come up with a more believable storyline next time because this one just doesn't have one. This story won't make it to Haaretz because it's not true.

  9. To all you non believers of this story: I am a completely secular American who has studied this issue from an academic perspective. I usually would agree with the skeptics on the accuracy of this story, except that I know the author personally and a video of the incident exists and will be posted shortly on youtube.

  10. Why does it matter that this story happened? There have been cases where charedim reacted wrongly, and this story does not negate those.

  11. Why focus on "charedim reacted wrongly" and whether this stories robs you of the opportunity to complain about those? Why not "Orthodox Jews" or even "Jews" sans adjective? Is there any value whatsoever to finding others' wrongs? Lemaaseh, what these stories tell you is that the underlying problem may not be specific to one community or the other, that one can take comfort in "at least we don't have their disgusting fault."

  12. Intent matters. Ask any Judge.

    Charedim who do these acts profess to be furthering Torah while they act like animals. It may be that they truly believe what they say, which means they are simply deluded. At worst, they are abusing Torah for their own goals and agenda, something which is completely despicable.

    Secular Israelis who make a scene are simply responding to Charedi intolerance. It's not a good way to behave at the best of times, and it simply fans the flames in the current situation. But at least they know their behavior is wrong.

  13. "- its pathetic and sad that you think that secular israeli's can't be rude , provocative and vicious."

    Why do you find this pathetic and sad, avf? Garnel is a religious guy who has spent a lot of time in Israel with ordinary secular Israelis, and he hasn't seen them intentionally provoking or behaving violently towards the religious. I would think that this would be a good thing.

    Come to think of it, I've lived here for almost 29 years, and the worst secular behavior I've seen was arrogant rudeness, bigotry, and truth-stretching on the part of several lecturers I had at Hebrew U. On the other hand, my modestly-dressed, non-provocative family (including a 3-week-old infant) were attacked by a mob of rock-throwing Haredim in our car one night in Geula for "being in the wrong place at the wrong time".

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. And unlike certain societal subgroups, they never smashed in my windshield with a boulder, either.

  14. Exploring the motives and actions of people you have no impact over is pointless.

    Rav Yisrael Salanter suggested that if you wish to feel taller, don't dig a hole for the other person, stand on a rock.

    I fear that this is why we get so focused on what other Jews are doing. And why we need to define that group in some way that excludes "me and mine", rather than look to see if the causes are ones we might harbor ourselves.

    1. I think you are contradicting yourself. If you don't understand the motives of those who act despicably, you will not be able to perform the proper introspection to understand if you harbor some of the same traits.

      I would say instead that it is vitally important to understand the motives. If nothing else, one cannot judge properly if one does not understand *all* the facts. And everyone judges; it's human nature. If you don't know why someone acts as they do, you cannot correct the underlying cause. We, as a species, tend to focus on symptoms. It doesn't help.

    2. Micha, talking about buses and decent behavour: What do you say re someone who brings on board a cup of (hot coffee), despite the sign clearly not allowing food or drink and of course the danger to other people's property and health?

  15. If you define those who behave despicably as a "them", you aren't analyzing their motives for anything constructive. It's a "we're not bad because they're worse" game.

    It only pays to discuss and analyze the flaws of one's own. If you can't see them as "my own people", and see in their actions an applicable lesson, the whole excercise is counterproductive.

  16. These girls definitely appear to be behaving badly. In fact, they appear to be a little drunk. But as far as I can tell, they aren't trying to force Charedim to behave a certain way. Because that's exactly what the Charedim are trying to do to everyone else who isn't Charedi.

  17. Wow, Israel is a different place. This is simply unimaginable in America.

  18. Recipients and PublicityMarch 13, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Let's not make a mountain out of a very small molehill!

    These obnoxious girls look like they are still drunk from Purim or high on weed or beer or arak. They are obviously from the dregs of Israeli society. Scum basically. These types cannot be expected to behave like mature women or like girls from bais yaakovs.

    From the YouTube video videos it's obvious these are a bunch of rowdy out of control teens who are just babies that do not deserve any attention. They are not samples of most secular Israelis who just get on with their lives.

    What's most impressive is the responsible behavior of the frum men on the bus as one can pick up their comments urging each other not to respond to these stupid behaviors.

  19. Well, if the person once had cancer, and after radiation took out much of his salivary system, so that his throat becomes painful if he doesn't bathe regularly with warm drinks, I would cut him slack.

    The busdrivers do.

    But you already know my opinion of people who fixate on what others are doing wrong.


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