Debate Over Public Transport On Sabbath Stirs Discord In Israel

From Dome of the Rock
From Dome of the Rock

JERUSALEM — It started as a bit of sarcastic whimsy: Israelis frustrated with the lack of public buses on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays hijacked the Facebook page of the transportation minister during Passover and turned it into a shared-ride board.

Nadav Maor wanted a lift to the country’s northern tip, with “room in the trunk” for some equipment. Miki Ezra Stranger needed to get to Friday night dinner at her grandmother’s house in Kiryat Motzkin from Ramat Gan, a journey of about 70 miles. Hamutal Adler, a single mother of two, was more flexible: “Just want a bit of beach,” she wrote.

None connected with a ride, but they did manage to catapult the issue to the forefront of political conversation, reviving a thorny debate about the role of religion in the Jewish state.

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