Women told not to walk on main road in ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem town

Females in Mea Sharim urged to use side streets and to minimise their visits to the neighbourhood

Sunday 16 October 2016 13:08 BST
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The Ultra Orthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood preparing for the celebration of the Sukkot Festival in 2008
The Ultra Orthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood preparing for the celebration of the Sukkot Festival in 2008

Posters in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighbourhood have reportedly asked women to avoid the main street during the intermediate days of the religious holiday of Sukkot.

The posters in the town of Mea Sharim, one of the oldest Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem, advise women to use side streets and to minimise their visits to the area.

A High Court of Justice banned the use of partitions on public streets six years ago but those behind the posters remain keen to ensure separation during Sukkot, a seven-day religious festivity also known as the “Feast of Tabernacles”.

"And a special request to the women – residents of the area as well as passers-by – try to minimise as much as possible crossings of the main street of Mea Shearim in Chol Hamoed night times," the posters say, according to Ynet News.

"Only go through side streets, and in general minimse visits in the (Mea Shearim) neighbourhood in those hours,"

Hiddush, an organisation that campaigns for religious freedom and equality, sent an inquiry to Jerusalem municipality’s legal council.

"It cannot be that in the main street of a city, even in an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood, women will find themselves outcast from the public square," said Hiddush CEO Rabbi Uri Regev, Ynet News reported.

The municipality reportedly responded to the inquiry by saying the issue would be taken care of in accordance with the law.

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