Female Driving Ban Issued by Jewish Sect
Jewish leaders sparked fury recently after issuing a female driving ban because mothers who drive are breaking the ‘laws of modesty.’ Book Theory Test Today shares its thoughts on the issue...
Book Theory Test Today says: “The peaceful and private world of London’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community was shattered after Jewish leaders said they would impose a female driving ban and prevent students, who are driven to school by their mothers, from attending classes because Jewish females who drive go against the laws of modesty.”
Why a female driving ban?
‘Women who drive break the traditional rules of modesty in our camp’ according to Rabbis of the marginal Hasidic sect, Belz.
A letter issued to parents recently stated that a female driving ban would be enforced as of the summer, 2015, because too many mothers are driving their children to school and it’s causing ‘resentment among parents of pupils of Hasidic institutions.’
The ban comes following a recommendation from the Belzer spiritual leader in Israel, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach.
The letter sent out does say that if a mother has no option but to transport her child[ren] to school by car – on medical grounds – they can ‘submit a request to the special committee citing medical reasons and the request will be considered by the committee.’
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the introduction of a female driving ban has sparked fury among Jewish women. UK Ambassador of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Dina Brawer, said: “This draconian ban simply reflects the fear of a rapidly changing social reality that threatens some of the Ultra Orthodox leaders.”
She added: “They are desperately trying to hold on to a patriarchal hierarchy that is out of step with the twenty first century. The ban has no grounding in Jewish law or practice whatsoever. It is simply about power and control.”
She continued: “The positioning of this ban is that women drivers somehow breach the values of modesty, which is absurd, as by any objective standpoint there is nothing at all immodest about a woman driving a car.”
Book Theory Test Today says: “Outside of the Belz sect, Jewish women have vented their outrage over a potential female driving ban, but the story is very different from women within the sect.”
A statement released by a local Belz women’s organisation on behalf of women within the Belz sect, said: “We’re extremely privileged and valued to be part of a community where the highest standards of refinement, morality and dignity are respected.”
“We believe that driving a vehicle is a high pressured activity where our values may be compromised by exposure to selfishness, road-rage, bad language and other inappropriate behaviour.”
“We do, however, understand that there are many who conduct lifestyles that are different to ours, and we do not, in any way, disrespect them or the decisions they make.”
Board of Deputies of British Jews
Interestingly the Board of Deputies of British Jews refused to be drawn into the fracas saying that the letter has been issued by a marginal sect with whom they have no affiliation.
Ladies, what’s your take on this issue? Leave a comment.
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