'Mehadrin' sign on bus
'Mehadrin' sign on busIsrael news photo: Creative Commons

A three-member panel of Supreme Court judges issued a restraining order against adding more bus lines to the separate-gender bus routes.

The judges – Elyakim Rubenstein, Yoram Dantziger and Salim Jubran – ruled that the State must also make sure that on the existing “mehadrin” buses, as they are called, separate seating for men and women are not enforced. Men and women may be directed to get on and off the bus via separate doors, however.

The “mehadrin” lines are popular in areas populated by hareidi-religious Jews, but have caused controversy even there on occasion. Several women have reported being disgraced or even assaulted when they “dared” to sit in a spot reserved for men.

The judges acknowledged that the option of separate-seating bus lines in certain neighborhoods should be considered, where there is a demand for such.

The judges noted that the word “mehadrin,” referring to going beyond that which is required by the letter of the law, “might apply to Chanukah candles, kosher laws or an etrog, but apparently does not necessarily mean that whoever is mehader in the laws of modesty and inter-gender mingling is also mehader in the laws of respect to others.”