Digging for a logical answer

Work on the light rail at French Hill, one of the busiest junctions in the city, has been held up for the most improbable of reasons.

light rail 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
light rail 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Aficionados of the TV series Star Trek will of course remember Mr. Spock's immortal rallying statement, "It is not logical." For Spock and his fellow Vulcans, logic meant everything, since if something wasn't logical, it couldn't be serious. "Corridors," which dreams of a wave of Vulcan olim, recalled the Vulcans with nostalgia this week following a press release sent out by a city council member. Here's the story: Among the various members of the Eda Haredit are members of the Atra Kadisha organization, whose main goal is to look for ancient graves anywhere the state or its representatives decide to build a bridge, a road or houses. For years, Atra Kadisha was notorious for its rather aggressive conduct. But today, representatives of the haredi organization are officially invited to vet every construction site before any work begins. Thus Atra Kadisha was invited to check the site of the light rail at the French Hill junction. In order to carry out the construction, the whole area - including the road from Pisgat Ze'ev to French Hill (Sderot Uzi Narkiss Avenue), perhaps one of the busiest roads in the north of the city - has to be shut down. To minimize the inconvenience caused by the closure of a major route, the municipality and CityPass, the company in charge of the construction of the light rail, agreed that the roadwork would be done during the last two weeks of August - when children are still out of school and many of the residents of Pisgat Ze'ev and French Hill are on vacation. Last week, city councillor Yael Antebi, who heads the traffic and transportation portfolio, learned that despite the agreement, no work was being done, and CityPass warned of yet another delay in the light rail schedule. The reason behind this doesn't sound logical at all, but it is the reason nevertheless: Atra Kadisha's people, who need to make sure there aren't any human bones on the site, didn't show up as expected. They were duly invited but apparently, as Antebi was told by CityPass, "They suffer from a shortage of available staff." Now, "Corridors" wants to understand: Where have all the Atra Kadisha members gone? Are they on vacation? Have they gone to the beach? Since when do radical anti-Zionist haredim abandon their holy duty? Could it be that the spirit of secular permissiveness has reached even Mea She'arim? Is everything lost? Antebi, apparently herself a disciple of dear old Spock, asked naively why CityPass didn't ask the Israel Antiquities Authority, as requested by law, to send someone to check for bones. According to Antebi, she was told that the Transportation Ministry and the Finance Ministry (since every work stoppage costs the public a fortune) have requested that all work be coordinated with Atra Kadisha. Antebi says it's a shame that thousands of residents will be stuck in traffic because the government has renounced its legitimate rights to an organization that doesn't even recognize our right to exist. "Not logical," Mr. Spock would have concluded. The question that remains is, logically: Is this new attitude of the Atra Kadisha going to affect our life in other aspects? For example, the weekly demonstrations against the opening of the Karta parking lot. Are we going to see pashkevilim announcing that on such-and-such date there will be no demonstration due to the fact that such-and-such number of leaders are relaxing on the Riviera and there is not enough staff to stage the riots?