Points of Views
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Points of Views
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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


"Have you watched the video? This is what change at Lifta spring looks like. Slowly, women are feeling more comfortable coming back and enjoying the spring, which had become a men-only location [1]. Oh, and did you see that cluster of people in the background? A group of men asked us why we came. We explained to them that we will not accept the exclusion of women; they explained that that was the way in which they were raised. We may not have agreed on anything, but the discourse was intelligent, respectful and pleasant (so, no incitement or violent speech). And as you can see, everyone managed to enjoy the spring, without anyone woman being driven out. This is how you create change: on the ground, respectfully and politely."

– Jerusalemites FB Group

[Selected Comments:]
– "Incredible"
– "It’s great to see that."
– "This is a democratic state, and that is a public space. Not good enough for you? Good day to you; you’ve got other solutions. Yeah, go ahead and trample all over the seculars in the name of religion, modesty, kosher and God knows what else. Whoever wants to be religious should be religious at home, at his own expense. Public space is PUBLIC!"
– "Well done, that is the only way. The Haredis don’t own the springs in Israel."
– "Whoever is bothered by that should find a better time to come for ‘tevilah’ [2]. That is a public space, and we will not allow segregation in public spaces that belong to us all."
– "What’s wrong with being clothed modestly? There are men, secular too, that aren’t interested in seeing exposed women, and rightly so. The day could be divided into hours for men and hours for women – there’s no need for provocation. What’s wrong with you?!"
– [In response:] "They don’t want to see women? They can stay at the yeshiva and go to the mikveh. That is a public area!"
– [In response:] "There’s nothing wrong with modesty, but why should anyone – not only women – have to hide because someone else doesn’t want to see him. They should just look away."

0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] With the expansion of the city, the springs of Lifta and Itamar have become accessible to many more hikers, as well as those seeking ritual purification. Secular communities over the last few weeks have protested because some Haredi men that have come for ritual immersion have demanded – sometimes aggressively – that the women present leave. For previous posts on this subject, see:
[2] Tevilah is ritual immersion in a Mikveh. Mikveh (lit. collection) is a bath used for immersion in order to become ritually pure. The Mikveh must be connected to a naturally occurring water source, in order to be fit for use according to Jewish law. While many Mikvehs are built inside buildings and are commonly found in Jewish neighborhoods, any natural body of water may serve as one.

#Lifta #Gender #Nature #Activism