Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

12 Tishrei 5760 - October 11, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Poskim Call for Careful Driving
by Betzalel Kahn

Poskim and morei halocho have issued a call to drivers not to exceed the speed limit and to slow down in residential areas. The call was issued as part of an government-sponsored campaign against reckless driving.

The rabbis refer to speeding as "a bad character trait." They recommend that, "all yirei Shomayim review what was said in reference to Yaakov Ovinu: `And he saw, and he was distressed.' `And he saw,' is explained as, `lest he be killed.' `And he was distressed,' means `lest he kill others.'"

The rabbonim add, "Surely this peirush applies to those who speed excessively, endangering themselves and others."

Among those who signed the proclamation are HaRav Moshe Halberstam, dayan in the BaDaTz of the Eida HaChareidis; HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, the rav of Ramat Elchonon in Bnei Brak; HaRav Yehoshua Neuwirth, author of Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchoso; HaRav Sholom Amar, member of the Beis Din Harabbani Hagadol; HaRav Shaul Klein, member of HaRav Wosner's beis din; HaRav Simcha Hacohen Kook, Chief Rabbi and ravad of Rechovot.

Copies of the call were posted in synagogues throughout the country and on billboards in chareidi residential centers.

HaRav Simcha Hacohen Kook said that according to halocho, drivers who are unmindful of safety regulations fall into the category of "shedders of blood," and not only that they are indirect causes of bloodshed. In reference to the obligation to respect traffic laws, HaRav Kook said that one who disregards traffic regulations may be likened to a murderer, and the laws pertaining to a rodef apply to him in the fullest sense. We must do our utmost to make sure that safety rules are upheld and that drivers are careful to keep the regulations, he noted.

The chareidi sector traffic safety campaign is targeting the dangers of speeding in the initial stage of its campaign. The National Authority for Road Safety relates that speeding is the primary cause of fatal traffic accidents in Israel. Studies made in Israel as well as throughout the world indicate that excessive illegal speeding endangers the driver, the passengers and all those on the road. Speeding is one of the main factors determining the type and severity of accidents.


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