Israeli Rabbi Bans Women from Driving
A prominent Israeli rabbi has issued a religious decree forbidding Jewish women from driving or learning to drive unless absolutely necessary.
The order by Rabbi Avraham Yosef prohibits women from driving, especially in Israeli cities predominantly inhabited by ultraorthodox Jews, Ahram Online news website reported.
Yosef is the chief rabbi in the city of Holon and is the son of Rabbi Afodia Yosef — Shas’ spiritual leader.
The Jewish figure justified the decree by saying that driving for women does not reflect modesty or chastity, especially in cities mostly inhabited by religious people.
Yosef is reportedly not the first Jewish rabbi to issue such an order.
Rabbi Shmuel Halevi issued a similar prohibition forbidding women from driving, arguing seductive appearance of women distracted men drivers and thus resulted in a large number of traffic accidents.
Member of Knesset and head of the house’s committee on the status of women Tzipi Hotovely criticized the order, saying it negatively affects the assimilation of Israeli women and described driving as a daily routine a woman must perform.
Hotovely said that taking into consideration religious Jewish families have a large number of children, driving becomes a necessity.