London – Hasidic Sect Banning Female Drivers At School Defends Beliefs

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    London – Hasidic schools in London that announced last week that children would be banned if driven to school by their mothers wrote a letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan defending their stance on the topic.

    The schools apologized for the “unfortunate” choice of words, but stand by their decision, stating the efforts are being taken to stop the fall of religious principles and maintain traditional Hasidic values, reports the London Evening Standard (http://bit.ly/1BEse3Z).

    Morgan launched an investigation into whether the guidelines issued among the Belz community breaks equality laws.

    As previously reported by Vin News (http://bit.ly/1dHNMHI) leaders from Belz schools sent out a letter last week stating that allowing female drivers is against the modesty rules of the sect and goes against the “norms” of general Hasidic organization, and that the increase of mothers driving their children to school has fostered resentment among other parents at the school.

    TTMH Belz Day School chief executive Ahron Klein said the comments were not meant to discriminate children or parents who drive, but that they are proud of what they believe in and won’t apologize for their beliefs.

    The leaders went on to say they are not trying to impose their lifestyle on anyone outside of the group and said members who want to drive should talk to their rabbi about it.

    Information taken from The London Evening Standard

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    33 COMMENTS

    1. They handled it great given the circumstances that have arisen, unfortunalty some things can not be explained to the secular world, this thing needs to fade away… Otherwise this will not be in favor or enhance the image of chasidim at large

    2. This is a case of jeoulousy from others who see their friends female friends driving a car nothing else,its domination of others ,hassidim love to dominate their peers by threatening or scaring them into submission

    3. This is about the school receiving public funding. Very likely the government cannot put up with this. The school can be privately funded, if they wish , and then adhere to whatever fanaticism they wish.

      • What you’re saying is true if God gave you the right to define Yiddishkeit. Then whoever doesn’t do as you do is not practicing Yiddishkeit. Same with “cult.” That’s a classic example of a meaningless word that’s used to express disapproval. Calling Belz a “cult” is beneath juvenile, it’s infantile. Here’s a suggestion: you can say that in your opinion, what they’re doing is excessive, because it is inconsistent with what you’re used to.

    4. What happens to a girl with no father?
      For whatever reason these cases can exist. Assuming the mother drives must this girl wait in the rain for mass transit while other girls get rrides from their father? Those that scoff should understand that a simple thing like this sets a path of deprivation to single parent children.

      • I have a cousin who is a Belzer Hassid. He was divorced, and his young son lived with his ex-wife. [The father lived in a different city]. He went to Belzer Cheder in Bet Shemesh. Usually, the boy would take the bus to Cheder. Several times, when he was late,etc., his mother drove him [she started driving after the divorce]. The Menahel of Belz understood the situation, and allowed the boy to remain in Cheder, but requested that when the mother drove her son, she would drop him off a block away from the Cheder, in order that the boy’s classmates wouldn’t see a mother driving. This arrangement worked out well, and there were never any complaints on either side. Even if it was raining, the mother dropped him off a block away.
        The lessons is: Belz is very reasonable and is willing to compromise!

        • That’s reasonable???? That is WARPED!!!! You think that’s what HKBH wants from us? This poor kid has gone through enough Gehinnom and now he has to walk in the rain? And what do you think is going through this poor boy’s head – “Oh this is so yashrusdik, this is not at all inconsistent and fake”……

    5. The rabbis of Belz explain they are forbidding women to drive in order to maintain traditional Hassidic values. They are absolutely correct! It has been historically proven that the wife of the Baal Shem Tov, the wife of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, and the wives of countless chassidic rebbes in the 17th and 18th and 19th centuries did NOT drive a car! However, it was recently discovered that the Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman and hundreds of Rebbes ALSO did not drive a car!! We are now waiting for the Belzer Rebbe to issue a decree that the men should ALSO NOT DRIVE, to safeguard TRADITIONAL Hassidic values. .

    6. In all seriousness, Please can someone explain how not driving is tznius? I am having a very hard time understanding how driving has anything to do with tznius.
      Or is it just being in public? Or in a position of ‘power’? Or the sense of freedom?
      I’d appreciate a true answer to this.

        • While I appreciate your response, it is not very helpful.
          I understand that going out into the big wide world may not be considered ‘tznius’, driving a car is only 1 method – walking in the street, public transport or car service can certainly all be worse. (And a man is endangered even more.)
          So I ask again; can someone please try to explain this ‘chumra’ of not allowing women to drive a car as I would really like to try to understand it. What is it based on?

    7. When I see all the Chassidim from NY State, come to Modern-Orthodox, Teaneck NJ, every night for dinner, in droves! eating in all of our meat and dairy restaurants. It’s great for our local economy. Keep it up boys!
      Hey, whatever happened to their tradition of only eating their own hashgochos/hechsherim? Ahhh…it’s a whole new world out there…

    8. How much more shtus to we have to endure? A lot of the men shouldn’t be driving either.

      I have to admit, that the women driver in the picture scares me a bit, lol

      It reminds me of a story I read years ago, that a Bochur turned down a Shiddach because the girl put on her seat belt on their date and that wasn’t Tznius. How did our society get so nuts?

      • and I heard of a date going south because the girl refused to put on the seat belt, the date refused to drive as it was a sachana – and what about the girls who will not go out with a young man if they listen to the female voice on gps – it’s the chumrah of the weak !

    9. They will come around. When trains were first invented we had gedolim assuring travleing on the “Ban” to the big cities. They are written teshuvas on it. I am not kidding! Although nowdays we have swung back around and chasidim won’t ride the subways. (When I grew up the all rode the subway to 47th st. But now they need hiemisha busses! And the tznuis was the same then as now.) I remember when texting was treif. We were told the thousands of yidden are being mechlal shabbos from texting! Now whats app is treif. Its takes time for yidden to adjust to technology while staying frum and sticking to principals.

    10. This whole issue is not targeted on Belz individually, this is an attack on most ultra chasidic groups which have the same custom! which attacking chasidim is the norm, the same reason the world is always blaming Israel for what ever they or don’t do.
      Just one thing i cant understand, all these attackers / commenters are either so-called open-minded people or system drop outs who try to over come the chasidishe narrowness, so why cant you think out of the Box that there are different cultures & different opinions?? did they tell “you” what do do? Are they saying you are doing something wrong? They are only talking to the people who wish to have a belzer chinuch! and the inside people who are upset no one forces them to send to Belz! Ah!! when it comes to the great services Belz provides they know how to take advantage!
      Every body should clean up your own garbage and let people live!!

    11. ok I get it

      Belzer and other chassidim/cults like in WillyB,Monroe,Skver,fill in the blanks , all want to go back to the 17th century,so everyone will travel with Horses,male ferds of course because of Tznius,and then the Hanhallah and powers that be will be happy.

      But why stop there?

      do everything like in the 17 th century,especially cutting out all electricity from homes and moving back into little huts ,and not having any plumbing for showers and bathrooms indoors,etc etc etc and of course NO air conditioning in shuls and schools and homes,bungalows ,summer homes etc etc

      Having already eliminated radio,computers,TV and “goyish”newspapers and “goyish” literature along with cellphones so why stop/start with just car? eliminate also,every phone device in the house and office,yeshiva etc

      I recently saw Chassidshe guests arriving at a Chusana riding on horses and buggys.

      But we must ask that they be consistent and do everything like in the 17th century,always.

      who gave the Heter that Men are allowed to drive cars?Where does it say?I

      I guess Al T’hee Chussid shotah does not apply anymore

    12. so let me understand this – a woman can’t drive – so OK she then can use public transportation mingle with all sorts of people -see the real world and then go back home oblivious – Talk about religious blindness – wouldn’t be better for these women to take the child to school – in the privacy of her car – goes in the car and out of the car – often just letting the children off at the school.
      Perhaps they should also wear Burkas –
      What is happening to Klall Yisroel.

    13. lets all calm down and sing the famous Yiddish song mine shteitela belz take a deep breath nice and easy. Leave the Belzers alone each group is entitled to their own ways if you don’t agree don’t become a Belzer chosid Im sure you can find in everyones minhagim things that aren’t like you. LIVE AND LET LIVE

    14. To all those arguing let them live. Be open minded and respect their beliefs. True. But what about when someone who is a belzer and can’t conform with this rule gets otsracized and thrown out just because of this? What about when it causes extra hardships on the ladies but they must keep their mouth shut because they are married and must conforrm? If the reba got up and said Ok according to our mesora ladies don’t drive. We must be mechazk that mesora as much as possible. But noone should be thrown out or ostracized and neither should we critcize those that can’t keep up with this rule that would be one thing. But you all know thats not whats done.

      • And what if the sky falls down and it knocks the shtrimal off the rebba.
        AFAIK, No one has bee thrown out or complaining about being ostracized.

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