Israel has its share of problems with mikvaot as well. Kfar Vradim, a mixed secular-religious community is an example. YNETNEWS reports:
The Kfar Vradim Council has unanimously approved the construction priorities recommendations drawn up by a special committee, which rated the construction of a mikveh at the bottom of the list.I understand why a mikva would be of little importance to those who wouldn't use it -- but to say it shouldn't be there at all, and intentionally offend those religious residents who would use it...that's simply secular coercion.
At the top of the list were a community center, youth sports center and a junior high school auditorium. A synagogue and the mikveh were rated last. The residents also rated their priorities on the construction of a council hall, an arts and culture center, a school gymnasium, etc.
The proposal was met with some reservations on the part of the Ofek faction. "I will vote in favor, though I'm making a great compromise," faction member Yaakov Ziv said. "It's no secret I'd rather see the mikveh out of the list."
The religious residents, however were outraged over the decision. "This is unfounded hatred, even anti-Semitism," chairman of the synagogue committee Perry Shahaf said.The secular residents even started a petition against any mikva in their community:
"What’s happening in Kfar Vradim is pure secular coercion, pure racism," he added and noted they intend to fight the decision. "We'll get a mikveh eventually, even if we wait light years for it. The council head will be replaced and we'll get our mikveh to which we are entitled by law."
"Kfar Vradim is a secular and pluralistic community, but pluralism doesn't mean changing its secular nature. Religious residents may live amongst us but must not enforce their lifestyles on us."The religious residents are planning on building the mikva from their own money now, in an existing structure, so that "public land wont go to 'waste'", but it seems some of their neighbors object to that as well.
How is the existence of a mikva, "enforcing a religious lifestyle" on a secular community?
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