Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chilul Shabbat in Tel Aviv - Public Buses to start?

How times have changed. The Tel-Aviv municipality poster below was signed by Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel-Aviv, imploring the residents to not publicly desecrate Shabbat. "Observe the Shabbat and it will protect you!"

(poster source)
Contrast with today...
The Tel Aviv city council decided Monday to seek a Transportation Ministry permit to run buses on Shabbat.

The city's Mayor, Ron Huladi, has supported the move for a while now. During Monday's discussion he said: "Those who don't want to get on a bus (on Shabbat) can choose not to board it."

According to a decision approved by city council, the municipality will now draft a detailed request and submit it to the Transportation Ministry.

Should the ministry reject the bid, city hall will advance the establishment of an independent transportation company. Such service would enable Tel Avivians to travel to city center and to entertainment venues. Another option is for the city to seek a permit to extend the limited service currently offered by minibuses. ynetnews
R' Chaim Navon poses the question: Who is saying the following in Israel?

Who are you to tell us what to do? All the riders on the bus want this solution! If you don't like our solution, don't get on the bus.

Is the answer:

- the Tel-Aviv secular bus riders, who want to take the bus on Shabbat,
- the Ultra-Orthodox Chareidim who want women in the back of the bus, men in the front, or segregated buses altogether?

R' Navon writes a thoughtful article about how we in Israel need to find better ways to compromise on issues of religion. Today, everything is a war -- on both sides of the spectrum.

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Jake F said...

I am pretty sure I know more than usual about Israel's inner issues, but I had no Idea Tel-Aviv did this.

Sure, religious people don't have to ride the bus, but letting it go through might dilute the religiosity in Tel Aviv's religious community because its members will be enticed into riding the bus and breaking Shabbat, starting a slippery slope into secularism. Maybe to prevent that, it's better to force the religious rule over the entire city.

Or just get the drivers to ban black hats and kippot?

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Mark said...

need to find better ways to compromise on issues of religion.

In general the best compromise is when each side agrees not to tell the other side how to live. AKA live and let live.

Anonymous said...

If buses were silent, and pollution free, I can hear the argument for Tel Aviv busses, but since busses are not silent, nor polution free, I can't see how someone can argue to just "not get on the bus"

Shira Salamone said...

Missing from this discussion: Who's going to drive the buses? Does this put religious drivers at risk of losing their jobs for being Shomer Shabbat/Sabbath Observant--in Israel, of all places?

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