Well, we'll see what this turns into...
let me go back a bit. I rode on the 40 bus in J-lem today, a mehadrin bus in Ramot. The women sit in the back and the men in the front. A group of secular Jews got on. Not the usual thing for Ramot daled - a totally charedi area. 2 young guys came to the back of the bus. an elderly woman told them in Hebrew that its a mehadrin bus but they ignored her. I thought perhaps they were American tourists, so I told them in English. They ignored me, said, "Bla bla" and proceeded to sit behind me in the back.
Then I noticed they were part of a bigger group of women and men and the rest of the group sat in the front - including the immodestly dressed women. NO one said a word to them. Maybe this time it was just as well. A woman sitting near me kept hinting out loud how she was sure they were journalists trying to start a scandal, and she used the filming one of the men in the front did to back up her claims. I told her I want to be "dan le kaf zechus" and I wasn't so sure she was right.
But then, lo and behold, at the second to the last stop, the bus almost empty, one woman came to the back and asked the woman sitting in front of me what her opinion was of the mehadrin set up. "Isn't it crowded for you back here?"
"Oh, no, it's very nice." replied the religious woman.
The woman admitted they were journalists.
I couldn't keep quiet any longer. Hashem was giving me a chance to stick up and speak up.
"We are all very happy in our community about this set up. We LIKE it. We don't feel like the women are being degraded, this is what we want. And we want mutual respect from the seculars. We have maybe 3-5 mehadrin busses - let us have our peace..., give us at least that." i lectured a bit, but with a friendly smile.
After I got up to get off I added, "you know, when a person does teshuva and becomes charedi, he does it not in order to be a radical, anti-everything, etc. he does it because he loves Hashem and wants to follow Hashem."
"Thank you. Shana tova." she bid me.
"Shana tova" i bid her.
Let's see what they publish in the paper. Not a one charedi said a word to them, much less did anything violent, as they longed for. Hashem help us.