Petition: Mehadrin Bus Lines Are Discriminatory and Degrading


eggedDozens of Israeli public figures and intellectuals have recently signed a petition calling on Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz to come out against the segregation between men and women on public transportation lines, otherwise known as “mehadrin” lines. The Transportation Ministry is scheduled to deliver its position on the matter next month.

The petition, signed by Israel Prize laureates A. B. Yehoshua, Chaim Guri and Natan Zach, defined the “kosher buses” a “degrading and humiliating arrangement that hurts men and women in the State of Israel.”

“Lately we have been witnessing serious manifestations of discrimination and degradation of women on public transportation lines, which have been defined as special lines for the ultra-Orthodox population.

“On these lines (which are called ‘mehadrin lines’) women are forced to sit at the crowded back and various limitations are placed on the way they dress. Women who dare defy these demands are subjected to humiliation, verbal and even physical abuse from the other passengers,” the petition stated.

“Segregation between men and women is an extremist practice and extremist practices should not be allowed in the public sphere in the democratic State of Israel.”

According to the petition: “This discrimination against women opens the door to discrimination against other sectors in the future and is absolutely unacceptable. We urge the transportation minister to put an end to the appalling phenomenon of discriminatory lines in the service of public transportation in Israel, and abolish the segregation practiced on these lines.”

{Ynet/Yair Israel}


  1. There is even frum people who dislike the mehadrin buses, makes it difficult for families (or father and daughter) to ride together.

  2. It’s a shame that this petition is coming from the secular leftists, because it will boomerang. It should have come from the average frum Jew who realizes that the people clamoring for mehadrin buses are obsessive- compulsive who need professional help.

  3. 85% of the population is not frum – why should we inconvenience them ??
    If in fact you are bothered by seating next to a woman – then stand !! or take a cab or walk or create your own independent – NON GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED – bus line !!

    In America nobody has the chutzpah to demand that the MTA set up a separate subway bus line with segregated seating – why demand such of the memshala

    until we achieve numerical parity better not to incite eivah and kinah .. a little tzinius (in the classical sense – not in the absurd way it is used today) will go a long way .. keep a low profile ..

    much more will be accomplished that way

  4. They’re looking to further vilify the frum. Watch out- this is not the last thing that’s the target. Next they’ll say that Uri’s pizza shop is discriminatory as well since it’s separate seating.
    When will their verbal attacks on us end?

  5. I’d like to add- that I’m not sure why Zalman constantly looks to side with anyone who criticizes the frum way of life!
    No one forces anyone to go on the Mehadrin busses. The frum help support the Egged line with all of their business and have made arrangements with the municipality to have these separate lines and they were accommodated.
    If you would understand the tension between the chilonim right now, especially with the Meah Shearim lady, which might expose them for the ‘blood libel’ as one gadol in Eretz Yisroel said, they are grasping at straws right now. They want to say we are backward and discriminatory- and no better than the Arabs.
    Have you ever traveled on a Mehadrin line? No one there looks oppressed (unless they are going on with chutzpah to antagonize the frum)
    Stop believing everything bad they say! Have some pride in our community!
    Zalman, I wish you could see the beauty in the frum way of life instead of constantly bashing it. I know it’s a lost cause but at least I could try 🙂

  6. Following logic of #5 & #2 above

    can one open a restaurant (or bus line) in NY where African Americans / other minorities / women / are seated in the back or denied entrance based on a minority’s religious believes (parenthetically – i question the religious imperative – Reb Moshes Tshuva explicitly allows commuters to ride buses / subway)??

    can one claim a religious imperative not to mix races or genders in public venues ???



    am aratzus – ve zeh lashon Hagemarah ” ….. Shoteh”

  7. to #9, do you think the person claiming discrimination would have been any less critical had the mechitza ran down the aisle? If it would be down the middle and the women got the right side, they’d claim that the right side is discriminatory.

  8. Mehadrin buses run as do not mehadrin. You have an option there too. Both genders want the mehadrin buses those who claim discrimination also don’t approve of separate seating in the shul. But there they opt to not go at all. The buses though are used as a topic for the naive public who aren’t aware that this is an accommodation not an exclusion.. They love hearing their “righteous” selves speak against the evils of the chareidim…


  9. When i was at school teachers use to punish us by making the seating arrangements in the class room boy girl boy girl. These intellects protesting is discrimination. I shouldn’t have to be forced to sit near other men if I choose not to.

  10. I know that, #10. I’m not out to make the chareidi-bashers happy. (As far as I’m concerned, if we’re like Arabs, well, let them try their pritzus-shtick in Gaza.) I’m just asking out of curiosity, that’s all.

  11. to AA, glad you’re on our side!
    I’m just so tired of so many self-hating Jews constantly finding fault with everything we do. If they would have a little more yiras Shamayim, they’d realize that it’s the chilonim who are looking for fault.
    You can’t claim discrimination if the ladies want the separate seating as much as the men!
    On the other hand, Matzav adds fuel to the fire by posting all the shtus complaints from the other side, and gives people like Zalman what to criticize about us.
    We have a lot to be proud of and they are just jealous!

  12. Analogies to black segregation are totally misleading – they put women in the back so men dont have to see women(the inyan of riah be’alma), and not be distracted. It has zilch to do with inferiority – honestly, you can make analogies to anything charedim do, but identical actions can have vastly different motivations and purposes. Only the chitzonius mentality, that everything it as it seems, leads to this nonsense. The comparison to women in shul is right on the mark – even though there’s a huge difference, since the mechitzah is a chiyuv meikar hadin – separate bus seats is a nice idea, but not a chiyuv. Communities have the right to make these sorts of siyagim – it’s a beautiful idea if one stops an thinks about it without vague analogies to racism and goyishe history.

    As reb chaim ozer famously said, comparing yiddishe history to goyishe history is like measuring length in pounds and weight in inches – yidden are not in the same world as goyim; we have kavanos that goyim(and chilonim) never even heard of – the inyan of preventing miing of the genders is ALL over the poskim – chilonim im sure know this, but choose to ignore it in favor of self-righteous liberal bashing.

    All the blogging kapos who scream ‘not in our name’, and ‘they dont represent yiddishkeit’, and ‘taliban’ and so on, are the biggest makatregim on klal yisroel.

  13. If you don’t segregate at your shabbos table, or walk on separate sides of the street, there is no reason to segregate on the bus. If we behaved on buses and in public as we do at our tables, the chilonim would have much less reason to complain

  14. truth be spoken – he’s right in a sense. In any non-orthodox temple, there is mixed seating, and it is looked upon as degrading and backward to have a mechitzoh z”l. The only problem is that a mechitzah is a chiyuv – this is just a nice siyag, which we should be defending and explaining to the chilonim, instead of cow-towing and being apologetic.

    I can guarantee that if the rosa parks incidents hadn’t happened(most charedim probably have never even heard of the word segregation; their temimus is phenomenal ‘vus is dus racism? as iz a goyishe hashkufeh’, there’s no way they’d accept any goyishe idea, much less ideals like genderism/racism. They’re just trying to be ovdei hashem, and trying to follow our mesorah of separating men and women as much as possible. (when I say mesorah, I mean what’s in the seforim, not the weak standards and conduct on a sociogical level – there are those who try to prove halacha by saying that since people used to do somehting, and the rabbis didnt stop it(usually they simply couldnt), it makes it fine, and if youre more machmir, you’re a fanatic. My parents mixed danced, so if you think it’s assur you must be a fanatic, and so on.)

    I mean honestly, there’s a whole siman in shulchan aruch ‘lehisracheik meod min hanoshim’. azoi shteit – this is daas torah – what’s the shailoh that we shouldn’t be separating men and women?

  15. MATIS i beleive the halachah says MEOD MEOD MIN HANASHIM but thats not my point.
    the seperation is not forced and has never been, in my experiance. I traveled on the 402 to bnei brak last week and sat in the middle next to my wife. NO ONE SAID A WORD and there were some meah shearim and gerrers on the bus. its mostly the women at the back and men at the front but its not enforced and definitely not forced. Please dont hate jews. if someone wants the mixed bus, take the 400. if someone doesnt want to sit behind five seminary girls, WHY SHOULD YOU CARE.

  16. Shabbos tables are different – and you dont have to look at the other aisel where there are women sitting down
    . At a shabbos table, you only see the face and some hair (which is not erva – hair is erva and you see a lot of it on the bus), plus, the atmpshere is one of total kedushah where things are very different – erveryday life is different, and the same thing goes for the streets(although that has a different reason – they want to avoid the issue of walking between two women, as many hold it’s a flat-out issur, since it leads to forgetting torah knowledge). Kol hakavod to the heilige kehilos of klal yisroel!