By Menachem Baron, COLlive reporter
The cultural conflict between the ultra religious and the general public in Israel is affecting Lubavitch, even as shluchim, chassidim and bochurim work to reach out and bridge the gap.
A group of bochurim from the Tomchei Tmimim Chabad Yeshiva in Elad were refused entrance to a city bus this past Friday after they were wrongly associated with the haredi extremists from Beit Shemesh.
The bus driver of line number 79 did not allow them to enter, saying he “does not want problematic passengers on the bus.”
According to one of the bochurim, the driver allowed people behind them to board, while telling them he feared them because they were “a group.”
They were only a few bochurim, COLlive was told.
The 14 and 15 year olds, students in shiur Aleph in Yeshiva Ketana (mesivta), were traveling to the city of Petach Tikvah to do Mivtzoim and offer Tefillin and Shabbos candles to fellow Jews, and were left without a way back.
“The next bus came an hour later, but it didn’t stop at the station,” one of them said. With Shabbos nearing, they took a taxi cab back, arriving 30 minutes before candle lighting time.
A manager for the bus company Egged Taavura (not to be confused with the larger Egged) told one of the bochurim that the driver made a bad judgment call.
Relations between the general public and the haredi community in Israel have been troubled recently with extremists wanting to impose halacha on others and the media hyping up every small incident.