Jewishupdates's Blog

January 14, 2010

Storm Following Installation of Cameras at Jerusalem Mikvaos

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 1:53 pm

Storm Following Installation of Cameras at Jerusalem Mikvaos

Minister of Religious Services Yaakov Margi promises to investigate and take immediate action following the storm that erupted after it was learned that security cameras were installed in men’s and women’s mikvaos in Yerushalayim.

The balaniyot (caretakers) stated the move represents an unacceptable invasion of privacy. It appears in recent days, letters of complaint have reached rabbonim including Maran R’ Elyashiv Shlita, Chacham Ovadia Shlita and chareidi MKs, reporting that over recent weeks, the cameras began popping up outside mikvaos in the capital.

The balaniyot call the situation absurd, explaining the cameras transmit real-time pictures from a place that is intended to be as discreet as possible, explaining the entire matter of women going to mikva is sensitive, private and one that should not be broadcast over security cameras via the internet.

Interestingly, the daily Yisrael HaYom reports when they asked religious council officials, they denied the presence of cameras but when they checked the sites as per the letters of complaint, they found a number of cameras, including six at one men’s mikva. (It should be pointed out that in many cases; the women’s mikva is adjacent to the men’s mikva).

Adding to the anguish are the fears of the balaniyot, who insist the new security precautions present halachic and safety problems, citing the automatically locking doors, which they fear will result in someone being locked in. They add new security arrangements at an entrance render the facility inaccessible for the disabled, an unacceptable situation. In other cases, the electronic security passage is too narrow for heavier women to pass through they add.

Margi promises to make this a high priority and take necessary action.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


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