Religion Magazine

Residents of RBS C (Gimmel) Upset at Mayor About Not Having a Mikva

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

According to this article in Kikar, a group of residents of RBS C (a.k.a. "Gimmel") have gotten together and are opening a front to battle with the mayor of Bet Shemesh, Moshe Abutbol and City Hall.
Their problem?
They have been living in RBS C for several months already, and there is no mikva in the neighborhood. They are required to make use of the mikvaot in other neighborhoods. A representative of the group says construction on a mikva has not yet even begun, and City Hall says it will be 2.5 years before there will be a mikva. There are already more than 200 families in the neighborhood, he says, and in the coming months another 700 are scheduled to move in. This representative also refers to a halacha that says it is a danger to live in a neighborhood with no mikva. The biggest problem, perhaps, is on Friday nights when women would have to walk over 50 minutes to the nearest mikva, and then back (though perhaps they can travel by car/taxi before Shabbos and just walk home), and at night the road is dark and dangerous.
The representative of the residents said that they expected more from a City Hall that has a Haredi mayor, that spiritual issues would be resolved right away. The City Hall is haredi, with Haredi rule, and they are populating a neighborhood with Haredi residents, so a mikva should have been built before the residents were moved in. Perhaps it is understandable that in the first few months there is no mikva, but the neighborhood has been under construction for three years, and a mikva should have been built and better advance planning should have been employed.
Even if the city made a mistake, he says, that is fine, but fix it now. Why do we have to wait another 2.5 years for the mikva to be built?
To be fair, all these residents bought and moved in knowing that no mikva was being built. It does take time to get everything up and running in a new neighborhood, and they should have been aware of that. When they bought, did they ask when the shul would be built? when the mikva would be built? when the schools would be built? Obviously the Iryah is not providing the necessary services, but the residents have no reason to act so surprised about this. Everyone was so worried about getting them in quickly, before infrastructure would be ready, and everybody knew it. And what immediate solution does he expect? Can a mikva now be built overnight? Where would the rainwater even come from?
2.5 years before a mikva will be built? Really? The mayor has been in such a rush to populate the mountains around Bet Shemesh, but would it really have been so hard to build the mikva, a shul and a school at the same time as building the rest of the neighborhood? This is extremely negligent, though not unexpected.
And the Iryah not providing services, even religious services, it is supposed to, not planning properly, no vision, is nothing new.
So basically, nothing here is new or unexpected, not the lack of vision or provision of the Iryah, not the complaints of the residents, and not the support for someone who clearly was not going to provide these services.
As the saying goes, we get the politicians we deserve.
If any residents of RBS C read this blog, please write in, in the comments or to me directly, with more information about this issue, and if there is any way for other people from around the city to help..

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