Thoughts on Judaism

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Solution to Haredi Violence

The solution to the Haredi issue on Israel's public buses is easily achieved and could be used on U.S buses and trains in Haredi areas of New York as well. In fact, it could probably be extended to the street to some extent.

The problem is that Haredim have special laws of their own invention that require woman to sit at the back of the bus and men to sit at the front. Also, they are not allowed to look at advertisements that they deem "offensive" or to show a woman in a photograph. If a woman walks before them in dress that they consider "immodest" in their law, even if it conforms to Jewish law, they are required to react violently.

The solution is to outfit two compartments (men's and women's) on the buses and trains with partitions on all four sides that are completely white and without any windows. No advertisements, pictures, extraneous sounds or other sex people would be allowed in the "mehadrin" compartments. The door opens into the compartment, you pay the fee, and the door closes. The compartments are completely shut off from the rest of the bus. The bus can then have regular seating in one compartment and Haredi seating in completely white mini rooms. Then, Rabbis could require their adherents to ride only in these compartments. Perhaps there would be fewer seats, but it is worth waiting for the next bus or few buses to save your Jewish soul and fulfill the mitzvah. No need for violence.

On a NYC train, entire cars could be outfitted in this way. Just put up the white walls and shut out the entire filthy velt.

In fact, even walking along a street, a conscientious Haredi could put on four sided folding white box with suspenders over the shoulders, perhaps complemented by a blindfold and ear-plugs. No, incidental human contact, salacious images or "non-Jewish" music could affect the person. In fact, accommodations for the blind already have already been developed, using canes and dogs to safely traverse the streets with less danger. Of course, some more danger and expense is involved, but how much is a Jewish soul worth? Is it not better to die than to be exposed to the outside world? This option allows one not to be exposed for even one minute, and when he or she has arrived at the destination that is deemed "safe", remove and store the box, blindfold and earplugs until the next time exposure to the outside world is risked. Again, even upon full invasion of Haredi neighborhood by scantily clad models or gay activists, the faithful need not be exposed to such depravity, and no violence is necessary.

There you have a solution that respects both sides' rights and relieves the tension points for violence.

Apparently, some similar solution was in place during the times of the Gemora and the chachamim commented on it. (Mes. Sotah 22b).