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Orthodox Judaism/gender-segregated sidewalks?

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Question
I have a Jewish friend who recently took a trip to Israel and she told me that in the Orthodox areas they have gender segregated sidewalks. Is she joking or is this true? If so, what is the purpose of this custom?

Answer
Dear Rose,

Ha! Ha! Yes, indeed. There are 1 or 2 places in Israel (in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh)where a bunch of crazy people succeeded in posting such a sign.

These are crazy people. Ignore them. They dont represent Judaism.

Regards,

Rabbi Ari Enkin  

Orthodox Judaism

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Rabbi Ari Enkin

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Specialization in Jewish Law and Customs

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Education/Credentials
Rabbi Ari N. Enkin originally from Montreal fulfilled his life-long dream of making aliyah in July 2004 after serving for seven years as a congregational and community rabbi in Montreal, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. Rabbi Enkin holds both Yoreh-Yoreh and Yadin-Yadin semichas as well as a Masters Degree specializing in Informal Adult Education. He is the author of several seforim including most recently "Dalet Amot - Halachic Perspectives" which discusses over 100 contemporary halachic issues. The first printing quickly sold out and a second revised edition is underway (Gefen Publishing House), as is a second volume in this series. Rabbi Enkin is also a frequent contributor to a number of publications on mostly Halachic topics. Since making Aliyah Rabbi Enkin has taught at a number of Yeshivot and Seminaries and is currently working as the manager of Cheerfully Changed Financial Services in Modiin. He also serves as the General Editor of the highly acclaimed Hirhurim Website as well as rabbinical advisor to Judaism.about.com. His lectures are known to be fun, informal, and enlightening appropriate form both laymen and scholars alike.

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