Religion Magazine

Protesting the Nude Maayan

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
It seems there is a complaint about the use of maayanot on Fridays in the Jerusalem area.
A maayan is a natural spring. In many places around Israel there are springs that people enjoy cooling off in. Most are just out int he wild, all around the country. Some have been renovated by the State and turned into nice ponds, and some are just wild ponds. These are all, obviously, open to the public and anybody and everybody has a right to go there. Nobody controls them.
I remember we used to go to a beautiful maayan at the edge of Bat Ayin. We once went there on a Friday and after some time some men came and told us that on Fridays it is used by the locals as a mikva so we would have to leave. We left.
Now it seems that in some of these springs, yeshiva guys are showing up no Fridays and chasing away people swimming and frolicking in these ponds and springs, saying they wish to use it as a mikva. When the frolicker, including female, refuses to leave, some of these guys are either pressuring them to go or even get undressed and jump in regardless of the other people there and via their nakedness chase the other people away.
source: Kol Ha'Ir
The yeshiva guys have as much right to use the ponds and springs as anybody else. They are open to the public and that includes everybody. However, the women and non yeshiva males also have a right to use it. Being that it is not a private swimming pool, there is no real way to create a bank of hours for it to be used as a mikva, so it should mean go at your own risk. If you want to go to a maayan and swim or dunk, know in advance there might be omen there. If you dont mind mixed swimming, gei gezundeheit. If you do, you are taking the risk you wont be able to use it.
And if there are other people there, you should not get naked in front of them and use it as a mikva. Go to a mikva instead where that is part of the expected experience. Not only is that indecent exposure, for which the person undressing can be arrested, but ti is also sexual harassment.
There is a group arranging a protest against this behavior. The Facebook event as of right now ha 132 people registered as going to participate. The form of protest called for is just to show up to the Lifta spring near the entrance to Jerusalem and enjoy the water and not be pressured to leave.
I have heard of nude beaches. Now there are nude springs.
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