Does the White House Remind Hillary Clinton of Iran?


hillaryBy Orthodox Pundit

Ezra Friedlander describes his experience at the White House Hanukkah event, where he was amazed of the attention and sensitivity exhibited towards our religion: “What I did not expect was what the Military Social Aide asked my wife and I, as we were approaching the receiving line: “are you shomer nigiah?” explaining that if so our photo takings would be handshaking with the President and First Lady respectively. To be honest, I did not expect this level of courtesy. This level of detail reflected something very unusual but very positive: that we as Orthodox Jews have not only the right to be fully observant but indeed are obligated to do so.”

It’s really heartening, and we should all appreciate that gesture. At the same time, we should ask, why some in the administration call for the suppression of these very same rights to our fellow Jews in other countries?

As reported and commented on last week, Secretary of State Clinton criticized the gender-segregation on some public busses in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Israel as some of the things that reminds her of Iran. A strong reason for this separation of the genders is to avoid touching each other. Can someone please explain me why that tradition, that the marines at the WH are trained to accommodate, should not be accommodated on Public Transportation provided in Orthodox neighborhoods and used by Orthodox communities (there are separate routes for those who want to ride mixed).

Madam Secretary: While Mr. Fridlander had the choice to skip this event, the bus commuters in Israel have little choice and can’t afford private transportation. Can you please explain why catering to their customs a resemblance of Iran?

{Orthodox Pundit/ Newscenter}


  1. I can, because they force everyody to abide by their customs much like Iran. There is nothing wrong with gender segregation per se it becomes authoritarian when it is forced on others. Hope this helps

  2. why not have all female or all male busses?

    or have the women sit infront (bc thats ok) and the men at the back with a mehitza?

    its sad that frum and non frum society rather fight than talk and resolve issues… GB

  3. #1 When you write “they” it sounds like ALL chareidim in EY do it, the truth is its only some lunatic individuals that sometimes “force” women to go to the back of the the bus.

    Many times I’ve been on the #2 bus to the kosel and I saw women in the front and no one said nothing.

  4. Obviously the person who wrote this email never even sat at a lunch table in yeshiva let alone learned in one. The fact that the president wanted to accommodate his guests is extremely impressive as noted by the author. However no force was needed it was by choice. Most chareidi woman do not want to be relegated to the back of the bus. We have produced a generation of yidden who would not be one iota better had they rode on separate gender buses. The ones who are making this tumult about the buses do not speak for the tzibur rather out of their own frustrations.

  5. No one forces. They can have seperate secular busses.

    According to a professor qouted in Forward, during the BP Busses debate, this can be seen as religious accomadation that gov have to do under the RUILPA act.

  6. 3&5

    Once you agree that a custom is fine to accomeadte, the Gov is forbiddend to diferentiated between the levels of accepted observances. If they accomedate one, they have to accomedate all. The seperation of church and state’s main goal was to prevent Gov on interpeting religion.

  7. “Ezra Friedlander describes his experience at the White House Hanukkah event, where he was amazed of the attention and sensitivity exhibited towards our religion:”

    Oh? And what about the first lady appearing at the event with a sleeveless dress? Would she go to a Muslim event that way (I saw someone else raised this point, it is not my chidush)? And the Kol Isha with the choir that sang there?

    I am not saying that it wasn’t impressive re the handshaking sensitivity, but let’s not get carried away here. Let’s keep things in perspective. Having glatt kosher food at an event doesn’t necessarily make the event itself glatt kosher. Just because a politico, who is close to Democratic politicians, wants to make it sound so great, doesn’t mean it was so.

    At the seudas Achashveirosh they also catered to Yidden…but Hashem was not so pleased.

  8. At the Bush White House Hannukah event, in addition to Mrs. Laura Bush being dressed tzniusdik, they also were accomodating re shaking hands. And the Bush’s were the first to kasher the kitchen for the event.

    So Mr. Friedlander, don’t make it like it is a chiddush of the current administration.


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