Friday, December 30, 2011

Rav Elyashiv bans Mishpacha Magazine! Satmar bans AMI, Bina, Mishpacha, and Hamodia Magazines!

Hi Folks! Its crazy out there and getting crazier....
Yitzchok Frankfurter editor of Ami Magazine, the chief panderer of Satmar just got kicked in his lower posterior by Satmar. He thought by featuring the article "The Principle" and sucking up to Satmar he would be allowed to sell his magazine in Williamsburg.... well he is just got a major surprise! They just banned Ami, Mishpacha, Bina and Hamodia! Satmar instead of  thanking Hertz Frankel the author of "The Principle" for putting a nice face on Satmar, threw him under the bus! The Kol Koreh writes that Hertz Frankel, not mentioning him by name but referring to him as  the "Spokesman" is a "two faced" liar, just as we have been writing in the past, but they added that his article is "Pro-Zionist" ??? I guess because he wrote that the Satmar Rebbi was saved by a Zionist! Hey Frankel ... this is what you get when you deal with Gypsies and Romanians. They use you and when they are finished they betray you... Hope you learned a lesson..
Hat tip: 
Meanwhile, in our Holy city of Yerushalyim, Rav Elyashav Shlitah banned Mispacha Magazine and prohibited anyone helping the magazine in any way!
I guess we are all going to have to go back to the good old days of reading, Time, Newsweek etc. 

An Open letter from Aish Hatorah to the "frum" Israeli gangsters from Beit Shemesh!

Aish Hatorah Campus, Jerusalem

How dare you?
How dare you spit on an 8-year-old schoolgirl and terrorize her as she walks to school? I don't care what she's wearing; spitting, verbal abuse, and threats of violence cannot be tolerated.
How dare you call yourself a Hareidi, God-fearing Jew? Your despicable actions are diametrically opposed to Judaism. You are a thug and a hooligan whose conduct, in the words of the statement from Agudath Israel of America "is beyond the bounds of decent, moral – Jewish! – behavior."
How dare you put us in a position where we need to state loud and clear that we condemn your loathsome actions. We do not share the same theology; we resent having any association with you that necessitates our stark denunciation.
How dare you wear the garb of a religious Jew and create a massive Chillul Hashem, a desecration of God's name, where uninformed Jews and non-Jews around the world mistakenly believe media distortions that you somehow represent religious Jews in Israel. You are like the kippah-clad thief who dines on pork; he cannot call himself a 'religious' Jew. You refuse to listen to rabbinic leadership and your actions are causing irreparable harm to the Jewish people.
How dare you – through your reprehensible actions – turn off Jews who are curious to learn about their Jewish heritage.

How dare you reject the Torah's way of “love your fellow man” and instead erect barriers of hate and intolerance.
Perhaps you should try following the example of a real Torah Jew, the great Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, of blessed memory.
A non-religious Israeli couple was married for 12 years and could not have children. They were distraught and decided to seek counsel from the renowned Rosh Yeshiva. It was a hot summer day and the couple knocked on the door. The woman was wearing her typical summer attire and was not modestly dressed.
Rebbetzin Finkel opened the door and greeted the couple. "How wonderful that you came to meet my husband!" Then she turned to the wife and warmly said, "You know, my husband is a great scholar – he learns all day. When I go in to speak with him, I wear a shawl out of respect. Why don't you come with me and see if I have one for you, too. I think I even have a perfect piece of jewelry to match. And we'll go in together to speak to him."
They entered his study and told the rabbi why they had come. Rabbi Finkel had great difficulty talking due to the debilitating effects of Parkinson's. He mustered his strength and said to the woman, "You and I have a lot in common. We both know what suffering is." He began to sob, along with Rebbetzin Finkel. Then the couple started crying.
Rabbi Finkel spoke with the couple for a while, offering words of comfort. He then took their names, and vowed to pray for them.
No yelling, no threats, no spitting. Just love, respect and compassion of one Jew for another.
Maimonides writes (Laws of Character Development, 6:7) that the only way to draw people close is through love. That is how the Almighty relates to us, and that is how He wants us to relate to others.
Abandon your hate and choose the Torah's path of warmth and understanding. I dare you.

Judge stops Jewish killer husband from collecting her Life Insurance!

A man suspected of killing his beautiful blond banker wife in her Upper West Side apartment has been stripped of control of the $1.6 million in insurance money she left their kids — after The Post's exposé on how he got his hands on the cash.
(Dus iz Nies is wondering how Misaskim and the Chevra Kadisha allowed Shele Danishefsky to be buried the next day, knowing full well that she was strangled. We have information that the Chevra Kadisha saw the strangulation marks on the body and didn't report it..)
Shele Danishefsky and her killer husband Rod Covlin
Westchester County Surrogate’s Court Judge Anthony Scarpino iced Rod Covlin’s control of the big-bucks payout after The Post reported that he’d apparently conned his way into controlling the purse strings for his children, Anna, 11, and Myles, 5.

The order will remain in place until at least next Wednesday, when the judge has set an emergency hearing amid the new revelations.

Covlin — who’s being sued by the New York County Public Administrator’s Office for allegedly causing Shele Danishefsky Covlin’s wrongful death by strangling her — had in his April petition for guardianship of the dough never mentioned that his wife was a murder victim and that he was a suspect.
Shele’s body was found by her daughter in the bathtub of their West 68th Street apartment with a gash on her head on Dec. 31, 2009. She had been scheduled to meet with a lawyer the next day to remove Covlin from her will.
Covlin has not been charged in his wife’s death. Sources yesterday told The Post only that an ­arrest in the case could come by spring.
When Covlin submitted Shele’s death certificate to the Westchester court as part of the insurance-fund proceeding, he handed in one dated Jan. 10, 2010, which listed her cause of death as “undetermined” and said there had been no autopsy.
That was true — in January 2010.
But three months later — concerned about reports from friends that Covlin had threatened to kill Shele — her Orthodox Jewish family got special permission from a rabbi to have her body exhumed and an autopsy performed. The family had originally refused an autopsy on religious grounds.
Officials said the probe was hampered by the condition of the mom’s body when finally exhumed.
But the city medical examiner still found that she’d been strangled and reclassified her death as a homicide.
A source said Covlin had been listed as a beneficiary of the Aetna policy but Shele switched it to just her kids about a month before she died, when she was telling friends that she was worried he was going to kill her.
Covlin was still named as a beneficiary in two other $1 million life-insurance policies from US Life and Hartford Insurance. That prompted police to let both companies know he was considered a “primary suspect.” As a result, both proactively went to court and had their payouts put in a court account.
Marilyn Chinitz of the law firm Blank Rome, which is representing Shele’s family, declined comment.

Read more:

When will our Torah leaders speak up against the Craziness of Beit Shemesh?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rav Elyashiv bans College even if it's done in a "Charideie setting"

Rabbi Elyashiv's letter published on the front page of Yated Neeman, at the height of the tensions and conflicts going on in Bet Shemesh.
In a letter published on Tuesday and described as "historic, of incredible significance for now and future generations" by his followers, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv - who is considered the leader of the Lithuanian non-Hasidic faction of Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox Jews - called for a total boycott of frameworks, such as the programs that enable Haredim to serve in separate army units or learn a profession in the IDF, and the colleges where thousands of ultra-Orthodox study. He said such programs are subjugated to the control and culture of those who have "thrown off the burden [of the commandments]."

Rabbi Elyashiv's letter was published on the front page of his newspaper, Yated Neeman. The letter was published at the height of the tensions and conflicts going on in Bet Shemesh. On Monday, the main headline in the paper referred to a "Campaign of planned incitement against the Haredi community," and on Tuesday the dramatic letter was intended to raise the barriers between the Haredi camp and the outside world.

"We must protest and warn of all sorts of trends from outside to harm the pure cruse of oil, who found 'special frameworks for Haredim,' which will be under their full control and spirit," he wrote.

Writing about the Haredi colleges founded in recent years, Elyashiv warned they will "bring in foreign ambitions absorbed from the outside, and their goal is to bring a change in the spirit and essence of the Haredi public, and act to introduce all sorts of other aspirations, national and enlightenment which our forefathers did not know; and to integrate and connect them with the nonreligious life and the culture of evil people." He called on his followers to perform the "will of our heavenly father" and walk only in the path of tradition.

Read more in Haaretz

The Spanish way of dealing with terrorists!

 This incident took place in Spain .  Apparently the Spanish police agreed to placate a 'bank hostage' situation by allowing the radical to 'escape' uninhibited. He was allowed to walk out of the bank in the company of 2 hostages.
 The police provided him with a motorcycle and free access to the motorcycle. Then, leaving the hostages behind, he was permitted to ride away down a clear roadway to make his 'escape.'  This whole incident, shown on CBS television, complete with news reporting in English, can be seen on this 55-second video clip.

The concluding few seconds of this video shows the result of the Spanish planning. 
If this happened in the U.K. ,  America or Canada , the cops would all be suspended and fired. The terrorist would get a new motorcycle, $500,000 compensation, an apology from the Secretary of State, and his family would be brought over from Pakistan and housed in Detroit . Now watch the video.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Miracle! College Student wakes up from coma just as he was given no chance of survival!

After Sam Schmid, a business major at Arizona State University, was critically injured in a five-car crash in October he was given a slim chance of recovering. He was unresponsive after suffering a traumatic brain aneurism and his family considered taking him off life support, reported NBC's Kristen Dahlgren.
But his doctor decided to do one more brain scan before declaring the 21-year-old brain dead - and based on what he saw, asked the family to give it one more week. That very day, Schmid was able to respond to a command and raised two fingers - and not long after opened his eyes. He's even recovered enough that he was allowed to leave the hospital for one day to spend Christmas at home with his family.

"There is no better gift," his mother, Sue Regan, told Dahlgren.
He is undergoing intense therapy and hopes to return to school next year - and even coach and play basketball.
"It's been nothing but hard work and pushing through," said Sam Schmid.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gedolei Yisroel allow grown men to spit and harrass little girls going to school!

Hadassah Margolis, whose daughter was spat on and verbally abused by haredi extremists in Beit Shemesh just for walking to school in clothing deemed insufficiently “modest,” looked weary yet determined on Sunday.
“We don’t plan on leaving,” she told The Jerusalem Post in her home. “We just wake up every day thinking, what will be next?” Two days have passed since Margolis and her eight-year-old daughter, Na’ama, shared their trauma on national television.
Jerusalem Post
Hadassah Margolis & her daughter Na'ama
Israelis watched Channel 2’s Friday evening news program with astonishment as Na’ama cried and refused to take the short walk to the Orot girls elementary school, fearing more abuse from grown men.

Since that broadcast, “the phone has been ringing off the hook with people offering their support,” Margolis said.
“We are exhausted. I hope this will bring change.”
The young mother said she did not view the whole of the haredi community as villains, but added that the extreme elements who harass her daughter are “evil people.”

“As a citizen of this country, I’m looking at the government with an expectation to stop this evil,” she added. When Na’ama sees haredi men “she still gets hysterical,” the mother said.
Margolis, an Orthodox woman who was born in the US and came to Israel with her family as a young girl, lives on a street heavily populated with Anglo-Israelis who have been bearing the brunt of the simmering confrontation with the adjacent haredi neighborhood over the location of the girl’s school.
Haredi extremists claim the school is provocatively situated in their neighborhood, and draws “immodestly dressed” girls and women to their midst.

Miriam Marcus, a mother of three who lives in the same building as Margolis, emigrated to Beit Shemesh from New York in 2007. She held back tears as she recounted how she was spat upon in 2008 while waiting at a bus stop with her sons.
“My knees and elbows were covered up, but my toes were exposed – I was wearing sandals,” she said. That was enough to prompt a spitting and shouting attack,” she added.
“It was so unbelievable that I could not react immediately,” Marcus added. “I never imagined when I moved here that we’d be fighting other Jews.”
Marcus asked why no haredi leaders have taken a public stance against the extremists.

“I’m actually afraid to cross the street,” she said.
Moshe Friedman, a resident of one of the haredi neighborhoods, told the Post that claims of spitting on children were fabricated, and were part of a homegrown “anti-Semitic” media campaign against his community.
“They can bring Channel 2 here, but it won’t help them,” he said. “There’s no spitting. There is yelling, because they decided to put the school in our neighborhood.”

“We will continue the fight,” he added. “We don’t want immodesty in our area.”
Friedman said there would be no conflict if the school was situated elsewhere.
“We never dictate to them how to live their lives. They shouldn’t tell us how to live either,” he said.
“What would happen if Arabs opened a school in a settlement?”
The tensions in Beit Shemesh had not abated on Sunday, when a vehicle carrying a Channel 2 crew was attacked with stones in a haredi area, smashing its windows.

Shmuel Pappenhum, a former haredi community spokesman, has been working to build a dialogue between the two communities. He blamed recent events
and intense media coverage for setting back progress made in recent months.
“We are in close touch with parents and teachers from the Orot school, and we are trying to calm the girls down. We are explaining that haredim are not opposed to the school. Only a violent minority is behind this,” he said.
“We thought we had reached sanity, but last week it all fell apart,” Pappenhum continued.

Haredi rabbis, “even ultra-conservative ones” from Beit Shemesh and
Jerusalem, had met with national-religious community representatives in the past and reached agreements, Pappenhum added. “Now it will be harder to make progress. We hope sanity will prevail, and that the extremists are restrained.”

Dov Lipman, a moderate haredi political activist, praised Orthodox Anglo-Israelis for “leading this battle.”
Lipman, who heads the Emergency Committee to Save Beit Shemesh, said “It is because of our efforts – and only because of our efforts – that this has become a national story.”

Now read from Haaretz:

Rabbis maintaining 'disturbing silence' amid uproar over gender segregation

Beit Shemesh is a microcosm of the wider ultra-Orthodox community, and of Israel itself; many wonder where the rabbis have gone.

Many wonder about where the rabbis have gone. Can it be that the current media uproar, in which virtually every day Haredi extremism reaches the front pages of the newspapers, hasn't reached the rabbis' attention? Can it be that the norms of the outside, secular political world are completely foreign to them? Are the statements and denunciations uttered by the prime minister kept away from them? Do the rabbis have nothing to say about acts of violence that occur in Beit Shemesh?
The simple answer is that the Haredi rabbis, particularly in the Ashkenazi community, do not feel committed to any agenda or public viewpoint, certainly not anything rooted in media coverage. They do not "respond" and, assuming they are aware of public consternation concerning the Haredim, do not feel obligated to expectations of any sort harbored by secular Israelis, who believe they (the rabbis) should deal with this or that phenomenon.
Not only that, but if Haredi rabbis do have an official position, it is one of complete negation of what they see as a campaign against the Haredi community, as another attempt to uproot religion. The closest thing to a response has been headlines such as one that appeared in Bnei Brak based newspaper "Yated Ne'eman" on Sunday which said, "The tendentious and deceitful incitement continues."
Another key reason is the leadership crisis among Haredi rabbis. The Haredi community is awaiting for comments from Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the Lithuanian Haredi leader, and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader oh Shas, neither of  who have addressed the incidents so far.
None of this, however, is directly relevant to Haredi extremists in Beit Shemesh, who do not oblige dictates given by the mainstream Haredi world. In recent years these elements seem to have spun far from the main Haredi rabbis.
"The main problem concerning Beit Shemesh is our silence, the disturbing silence maintained by religious, Haredi people. We are the first people who really ought to come out and oppose such extremism," stated Rabbi Dr. Dov Halbertal Sunday. Halbertal suggested that if a prominent figure, such as Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, issued a denunciation of violence emanating from the Haredi fringe, it would cause convulsions in the Haredi world, including its extremist fringes.
Yet Elyashiv persists in his silence, as do the main Haredi media outlets. In their eyes, the Haredi community is the subject of a serious blitz, and those from the Haredi camp who are willing to cooperate with the media are playing into the hands of those who wish to uproot the Torah. Any criticism that does exist in newspapers such as "Mishpacha," Hebrew for "family," or "Be Kehila," Hebrew for "in community," is very subtle indeed. 
Even so, the winds of change are blowing. The call for change, for stopping the Haredi gangs, for putting an end to extremism, are coming from the Haredi street. Until last week, these voices were mainly heard in internet forums, where members can comment anonymously, but on Sunday they were clearly visible in the headlines of Haredi websites, such as "Kikar Shabat," Hebrew for "shabbat square," that called on extremists by name, and called to denounce them. One example is journalist Asher Gold, who called on members of the public to join a religious-nationalist protest in Beit Shemesh on Tuesday.
Many are not prepared to put up with the tyranny of Haredi gangs in Beit Shemesh, or incidents such as the recent one where little girls are spat at, and not just because they understand how much damage the extremist minority is doing to the ultra-Orthodox majority.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Israeli archaeologists uncover first artifact confirming written record of Temple worship

Israeli archaeologists have uncovered the first archeological find to confirm written testimony of the ritual practices at the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
The Seal
An Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeological survey at the northwestern corner of the Temple Mount yielded a tiny tin artifact, the size of a button, inscribed with the Aramaic words: “Daka Le’Ya,” which the excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, archaeologists Eli Shukron and Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, explain means “pure for God.”
Researchers believe the artifact, dated to the first century, towards the end of the Second Temple period, is a seal similar to those described in the Mishnah. If they are correct, this is the first time physical evidence of the temple ritual was found to corroborate the written record.
The team believes the tiny seal was put on objects designated to be used in the temple, and thus had to be ceremonially pure.
In this vein, and in the spirit of Hanukkah, Jerusalem District archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said: “It is written in the Talmud that the only cruse of oil that was discovered in the Temple after the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks, “lay with the seal of the High Priest” – that is: the seal indicated that the oil is pure and can be used in the Temple. Remember, this cruse of oil was the basis for the miracle of Hanukkah that managed to keep the menorah lit for eight days”.
In addition to this artifact, the dig also yielded other Second Temple artifacts, some older from the time of the Hasmonean Dynasty rule, including oil lamps, earthenware pots, and containers filled with oils and perfumes, as well as coins bearing Hasmonean kings such as Alexander Jannaeus and John Hyrcanus
From Haaretz

Lady From the Gerer Chassidim defiant of segregated bus rules in Yerusalayim, sits in front of bus!

The Lady Yocheved Horowits after being shouted at to move to the back of the bus, replied:
"What do you mean by 'men's area'? A geographical area?" she wondered. "What is mehadrin? Are you talking about an etrog, a lulav?" she queried, referring to two of the principal symbols used during the festival of Sukkot. "Nowhere in rabbinical law does it say that it is forbidden to sit behind a woman, not in the Shulchan Arukh and not in the Yoreh De'ah [two classical compilations of Jewish law]. What is written in the Torah and in rabbinical law is that it is forbidden to humiliate sons and daughters of Israel."

Like a deflated balloon, the man became quiet, and maintained his silence for the rest of the bus ride.
Yocheved Horowitz
Now read the rest from Haaretz:
On a sunny afternoon early this week, an ultra-Orthodox woman boarded a bus in the enclave of the Gur Hasidic community in Ashdod and took a seat in the second row. The bus, Egged line 451, was headed for Jerusalem. It quickly became clear that this simple, everyday act - choosing a seat to her liking - was enough to transform her presence in the bus into a palpable challenge to the rest of the passengers. I sat down across from the woman, fearing the worst.

Not only did the woman, whose name is Yocheved Horowitz, blatantly ignore the tacit agreement among the bus' riders to adhere to the most stringent religious practices - in this case, an unwritten rule that men sit in the front and women in the back. And not only did she not conform to the seating arrangements dictated by men - that is, those in authority. This was also a woman who, judging by her appearance, seemed to come from within the community.

A young girl who boarded the bus at one of the stops in the Zayyin quarter, where the Gur compound is situated, apparently couldn't have imagined that an ultra-Orthodox woman would relate dismissively to the highest social stricture of segregation by sex. Even as she saw Horowitz heading for the second row, she whispered to her, as if trying to save her before it was too late, "Mehadrin, mehadrin" - a term usually employed in connection with food, but which in this case referred to the adherence on the bus to the strictest religious principles; the girl also gestured to her to sit in the back.

After raising her tone a bit, without succeeding in moving Horowitz from her seat, the girl finally left her alone and continued to the back of the bus, where several women were already sitting. After her, a mother and daughter who do not belong to the Hasidic public riding the bus, and who are thus not obligated to its rules, got on board. Stopping next to Horowitz, they said to her, smiling: "What, they haven't thrown you out yet?" They themselves headed toward the back.

The smiles evaporated the instant the bus began to move. "Mehadrin, mehadrin," said a bearded man sitting behind me, raising his voice. When I did not get up from my seat across from her, he continued to shout.
"Women to the back," he called out like a conductor. "To the back, to the back." He trembled with anger. A man sitting in the first row whose appearance revealed him to be a Gur Hasid, shushed him, with a finger to his lip. But the shouter paid no attention to him. "Men's area," he continued to shout. "Women to the back."

Now Horowitz turned around and said loudly and clearly: "What do you mean by 'men's area'? A geographical area?" she wondered. "What is mehadrin? Are you talking about an etrog, a lulav?" she queried, referring to two of the principal symbols used during the festival of Sukkot. "Nowhere in rabbinical law does it say that it is forbidden to sit behind a woman, not in the Shulchan Arukh and not in the Yoreh De'ah [two classical compilations of Jewish law]. What is written in the Torah and in rabbinical law is that it is forbidden to humiliate sons and daughters of Israel."
Like a deflated balloon, the man became quiet, and maintained his silence for the rest of the bus ride.

'Men's scorn for women'
"That people tell a woman to go to the back of the bus and repeat this like a mantra - 'Women to the back' - is outrageous," explained Horowitz a few hours later. "The man who shouted at me could have said gently, courteously, that this is a segregated bus. That women and men don't sit together. But he shouted again and again, 'Women to the back.' The expression 'to the back' shows that that's the main thing. The word [back] shows how much men scorn women. It's like in South Africa when the blacks were several rungs below the whites. And it's a huge blasphemy, to behave like that. The Torah strictly forbids us from behaving like that. It's called 'villainy invoking the Torah.'
"People cite all kinds of statements from the sages, and in that way cover their wickedness and hatred for women. And that is the worst of all, because women have not studied those things. And they don't know what is correct and what isn't."

The ride we had taken earlier from Jerusalem to Ashdod, on a bus on the same line, was quieter, but it was a tense quiet. A grim-faced Belz Hasid who sat in the front row fidgeted in discomfort for a long stretch of the way. With all his might he tried to attract the attention of the other Hasidic men on the bus to the phenomenon of Horowitz sitting immediately behind him, but the men sat down several seats away from him, apparently to create a space between Horowitz and themselves, and paid him no mind.

Finally the Hasid phoned someone whom he told loudly, in Yiddish, that "women of the maskil" ["enlightened"] sort are on this bus, and there is no telling them anything." He used a disparaging epithet that is more than 100 years-old, which echoes the hatred between Hasidim and young people who left religion in the context of the Enlightenment movement in Judaism. "Meshigga tzum toit," he complained in summation - "crazy as a loon."

When Horowitz later spoke on her phone in Yiddish, he learned to his apparent surprise that this woman was not in fact one of the "enlightened."

A week and a half ago, when a student named Tanya Rosenblit sat down in the front of a bus on that same line and male passengers called her a shiksa - an insulting term for a gentile woman - the country was in a tizzy.

When the passengers refused to continue to ride, as Rosenblit reported later on her Facebook page, the driver stopped the bus and called the police. But Rosenblit did not acquiesce to the policeman's pleas to move to the back, either.
After the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the treatment of Rosenblit in a cabinet meeting, and she was even invited to meet with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who expressed shock, although he knows this is not a new situation. Rosenblit also received praise from at least two prominent female politicians, Culture and Sports Miniser Limor Livnat and opposition leader Kadima MK Tzipi Livni, and was anointed the standard-bearer of the struggle against ultra-Orthodox extremism.

With all due respect to Rosenblit, her move in no way compares to the stand taken by the ultra-Orthodox Horowitz. For the latter, a public protest with her name and picture appearing in the newspaper is something of a suicidal act, in which she risks being shunned and boycotted by her own community. It is she who is our real Rosa Parks, the black, American civil rights activist who in 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, risked her life by refusing to obey a bus driver's order to give up her seat to a white person and move to the back of the bus.
This is not the first time Horowitz has been shouted at and cursed at on the gender-segregated bus. Once she was even threatened with a beating. "I have something to lose but I am not afraid," she says, "because I tell the truth. And if anyone accuses me of blasphemy, I say to him: On the contrary, I am 'sanctifying the Holy Name' [an expression that in Hebrew can be a synonym for martyrdom]. I've done this so people won't say the Torah commands the scorning and humiliation of women."

The idea of the segregated bus lines originated in the Hasidic community - specifically, in the ultra-Orthodox compound in Ashdod. About 20 years ago a shared-taxi service operated between Jerusalem and Ashdod, whose main customers were large numbers of Gur Hasidim. When the men among them refused to sit next to women, the company began operating taxis for men only and for women only. Later private bus lines began offering similar services in ultra-Orthodox areas and when the public Egged bus company feared the trend would spread, it too began to offer segregated lines for the ultra-Orthodox.

This past January, the High Court of Justice, in a ruling written by Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, ruled that compulsory segregation is illegal, but left an opening for a bus' passengers to choose segregation if they so desire. Currently there are about 40 segregated Egged bus lines, both local and intercity, on which gender separation is enforced. To date, however, no one from within the ultra-Orthodox community has dared to say openly that the separation is a symptom of increasing extremism and that sending women to the back is discriminatory and humiliating. Mehadrin buses do not operate in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods where the majority is non-Hasidic or "Lithuanian" - places like Bayit Vegan and Har Nof in Jerusalem or the ultra-Orthodox town of Modi'in Ilit.

'What's so awful?'
Although there are elements in the ultra-Orthodox community who do not take a positive view of the segregation, the segregated lines have won the tacit agreement of the ultra-Orthodox community in general and its leaders; this includes leaders of the Lithuanian community although it doesn't implement the segregation policy.

Although in the wake of the Rosenblit incident, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger issued a condemnation of the practice, the ultra-Orthodox do not consider him a spiritual authority. In general, ultra-Orthodox women have never protested against the necessity of sitting at the back of the bus. When they are asked, many of them even declare their unreserved support for the separation.
Leah Shilitz, who until not long ago lived in the Ashdod Hasidic neighborhood, says she favors segregation, although she considers herself an "open ultra-Orthodox woman."

"When I was in my teens I rode the bus to the seminary every day and had very unpleasant experiences. As a mother, I am less worried when there is separation." Shilitz believes that anyone who chooses to board these buses has to respect the rules there, "because there is an alternative: regular bus lines. And you're already boarding the bus, what's so awful about taking a few steps to the back?"

"We aren't talking about walking distance," scoffs Horowitz in response, later on.
As we alighted from the bus in Kiryat Gur, in Ashdod, around us swarmed teenage girls who had just emerged from their single-sex school. "We're talking about an idea, a concept. About the fact that women are not marionettes. They have a body, a soul, a spirit. They have feelings. And a man is supposed to respect a woman more than his own body. The Rambam says something that is the basis of all peace in the home: 'He should honor her more than his own body, and love her like his own body,'" says Horowitz.

She says she is especially concerned about the influence of gender segregation on young boys. "They are taught that they are lords who sit in the front. And they learn from this that it is possible to relate to women as though they are garbage. But where have they themselves come from? Didn't women give birth to them? I come from a Beit Yaakov [ultra-Orthodox girls schooling network] education. But I have other insights, and in particular I can't stand injustice."
And she adds: "I became a feminist when I witnessed the oppression of women."

Horowitz is a tall woman of 51 with comely features. Her personality combines a rare openness with stricter observance of rabbinical law than many "regular" ultra-Orthodox people. In ultra-Orthodox society, which is accustomed to labeling and cataloging people according to their social and religious affiliation and pedigree, most probably they would attribute her difference to the fact that she is European-born.

Horowitz was born in France, the daughter of a devout ultra-Orthodox family. Her father was a French-born rabbi; her mother was a teacher at an ultra-Orthodox seminary for girls in England. She grew up in a small ultra-Orthodox bubble of a few families that gathered around the yeshiva which her father headed in a small town some 60 kilometers from Paris. It was a Lithuanian yeshiva established in the Novardok tradition, known for its strictness. But the community's girls studied in a relatively lenient atmosphere.
"We studied everything. Alongside sacred studies and lessons about modesty we studied French and mathematics. History. All around was open nature and forest. It was a wonderful childhood and my girlfriends and I were like sisters," she reminisces.

When she was 13 her beloved father died, and her family immigrated to Israel. She was sent to the Rabbi Wolf seminary in Bnei Brak, but did not acclimate to the society of the Israeli girls there. After a year, she transferred to the Beit Yaakov seminary in Manchester.
Horowitz: "We mainly had Jewish studies: Torah, Prophets, morality, worldview and prayer. We loved it, because we had wonderful teachers. There were girls from Denmark, Russia, Belgium, France and of course England, and I tutored some of them because they had come from homes where they hadn't done Jewish studies.

"We were taught mostly by rabbis, and the director was a Gur Hasid. They instilled in us the idea that a woman has to be subordinate to a man and be a good wife. This was strong brainwashing, and it had an influence on me."
Horowitz married at the age of 17, in an arranged match with a boy from the extreme wing of Neturei Karta - an extreme Hasidic sect known for its opposition to Zionism. She has four children, all of whom were educated at Yiddish-speaking institutions. About a decade ago, she and her husband divorced, and she subsequently remarried.

Over the years Horowitz has worked as a lactation counselor for the women of Mea She'arim. She dismisses those who say that seating women in the rear of bus is designed to make it easier for them to nurse modestly: "Anyone who is nursing [already] knows to go to the back. She does this quietly. But I don't think that women tend to nurse on the bus. Usually there are screaming babies on a bus. In any case, that isn't a reason to put the women in the back like sheep and cattle. You have to rely on women's intelligence and their common sense."

Making do with little
We are at the gate of the Gur seminary in Ashdod, in the heart of the Hasidic compound, on the heels of the girls. From inside the building come the sounds of a well-known march and drumming. The neighborhood was founded in 1978 by the Rabbi Simcha Bunim, the father of the current rebbe of Gur. Bunim wanted to send the young married yeshiva students outside of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, where the apartments are cheaper, out of an ideology of learning to make do with little. Some people say he also wanted his disciples to live in mixed cities.

"He wasn't afraid of outside influences," says a Gur Hasid who prefers to remain anonymous.
During the years that followed, however, all of ultra-Orthodox society went through a process of barricading itself into sectors and of separation. Today the complex in Ashdod is the largest concentration of Gur Hasidim in the country, numbering thousands of families. It looks like a small city and is totally cut off Ashdod.

"The man is the spiritual 'boss' in the home," says Horowitz, in reply to my question about why women accept segregation as something taken for granted. "Men who don't respect women - [which is] not all of them, of course - tend to use all kinds of sayings from the sages to shut their mouths. In general, women have become accustomed to seeing themselves as creatures without an opinion, because the man knows everything. They don't believe in themselves. And apart from that, it's against the rules of modesty [for women] to 'unite' against rules made by the men. If they do, they will be called derogatory names: spoiled, impertinent, rebellious.

"In ultra-Orthodox society, it's customary to think that woman are not worthy of being leaders," explains Horowitz, raising her voice as we peek in through the door to the seminary, where we hear the march playing. A wedding march, apparently.

"But it's a fact," she goes on, referring to the Bible, "that Judith did a brave deed when she went out on Hanukkah to the military camp to kill the Syrian general Holofernes and saved the Jewish people. And Deborah was a judge. It wasn't customary for women to hold public positions then. So why did these women become leaders? Because there wasn't anyone else of stature. In Deborah's case, it never occurred to the wise men to choose a man as a judge in her place simply because he was a man. Also on the issue of separation, it can be said that if there isn't anyone else who will protest, then I am protesting."

Inside the school the girls are rehearsing for the Hanukkah party. They march in lines, in their school uniforms, waving British flags to the music. A woman graciously invites us to the party, the following day.
There is something pleasant in the atmosphere at the seminary. Many years ago
I studied at a Gur seminary. The director would stand at the gate every morning. Anyone who was dressed in accordance with the rules of modesty was let in and anyone who was dressed in a way he didn't like was sent home.

I wonder aloud what price ultra-Orthodox girls pay for the constant discussion of their clothing and their adherence to strict dress codes. Horowitz, who is dressed like they are, doesn't see modesty as being restrictive. But, she adds, the ideas that attribute spiritual authority to men and belittle women are a product of the education of girls in the ultra-Orthodox sector.

"I am acting because I can't stand to see other women humiliated," she says before we part. "They have been educated to exist with their eyes closed and I say that where there isn't a man, try to be a woman," smiling, as she paraphrases Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers ). "I don't, heaven forbid, have any interest in provocation. But I hope that what happened today will happen every day. At first, one woman will sit in the front of the bus and then a second one will join her and then a third will come. That gradually everything will return to normal, and that people will learn to relate to women."
As she alights from the bus in Jerusalem, a tall and noble figure, it is already getting dark