Hitch Hikers In Lakewood Ticketed By Police Story

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  • #1581161

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Some of you may have seen the article posted today about two hitch hikers in lakewood receiving tickets. The first 9 posters took the side of the police. This was my comment

    I’m disappointed in the posters here
    Hitchhiking is an opportunity to to a mitzvah. I routinely give frum people rides. Whether in Brooklyn, Lakewood or EY . Why leave a fellow yid to stand out in the elements? If you have the finances to afford a car , why not share that wealth?
    Of course if it’s dangerous to stop I don’t. But if it’s not?
    I simply can not understand the mindframe of those who are the children of avraham avinu to rationalize not doing Chesed . And please don’t argue it’s dangerous. Halachically one episode in Israel doesn’t outway the obligation to help thousands. And don’t argue the law. My law (halacha) says that you help a yid in need.
    It’s Elul . Three things save you from din. Chesed is one.

    Seriously, If Avram Avinu was walking with a caravan of camels near sedom, do you think he would have said “sure there is a guy who needs a ride, but the law says i cant”

    Two Lakewood Yeshiva Bochurim Ticketed For Hitchhiking in Jackson

    #1581552

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    And here was my response to you: mentsch1: Picking up a hitchhiker maybe an act of chesed but the hitchhiker is violating NJ law whether you like it or not. I am not so naive to believe these boys were looking for a ride just so the driver can be credited with an act of chesed.

    #1581775

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Robin Hood also thought he was doing a chessed.

    #1581829

    apushatayid
    Participant

    It is the responsibility of the parents and yeshivos (in that order) to get the bachurim home at night.

    Before advocating hitching as a valid mode of transportation, please be sure to educate everyone involved how to do so in a manner that ensures their safety as well as those on the road which includes those who would stop and pick them up, and drop them off, as well as the other vehicles on the road.

    #1582299

    mentsch1
    Participant

    iacrismma
    You do realize that implicit in my posts is the implication that avoiding helping a jew (law to the contrary or not) is a maaseh sedom?

    #1582420

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Apush
    Please explain to me the logic of your statement
    Theft is clearly against the halacha
    Giving rides to people in need is clearly a mitzvah

    Also
    Other then a few anecdotal stories
    Hitch hiking/giving rides is done all the time without incident

    #1582423

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    From what i hear lakewood is plagued with illegal hitchhikers.
    The lakewood cops has their hands tied so to speak by the local askaim.The jackson cops on the other hand on simply not going to put up with it. Its dangerous both for the bachurim and has caused many car accidents in lakewood already. Genig shoyn.
    Its the parents and yeshivas responsibility to make sure the bachurim get whete they are suppose to in a safe manner.
    And to that commenter about what avrom aveenu would have done etc. I can guarentee u he would not pull over and put other drivers at risk of getting hurt. Even if it was legal to hitchike

    #1582443

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Takes 2
    Seriously, how hard is it to safely pull over to a curb?
    Are you telling me that you have never, in your entire driving career , dropped someone off or picked up someone from a curb?
    Every bus and taxi in the city manages to do it without causing car accidents.
    I am not advocating slamming on your brakes when you suddenly notice someone as you pass them. Yet I see taxis do that all the time and they are legal.
    So please don’t tell me that intelligent careful drivers can’t do this safely. If you want to miss out on these Chesed opportunities that’s your rationalization. I would gladly pay the fine and be counted among those that descend from Avram Avinu.

    #1582441

    NOYB
    Participant

    I don’t get this whole controversy. They did something wrong, they got punished. You can do chessed in ways that are safe and legal. You can also hitch or give rides if you think that is a good idea, and then pay the fines. To say “they shouldn’t get tickets because its chessed” is ridiculous. We live in America, where they do not use the Torah (exclusively) for the laws. And yes, standing in all black clothing (or any clothing really) in the road, sticking your arm into oncoming traffic, stopping in middle of the road, and accepting rides with strangers are all inherently dangerous.

    #1582465

    Doing my best
    Participant

    “Robin Hood also thought he was doing a chessed.”
    He hurt people, hitching doesn’t.

    “Its dangerous both for the bachurim and has caused many car accidents in lakewood already.”
    When was the last time a bochur hitching in lakewood had got hurt or kidnapped?

    #1582452

    mentsch1
    Participant

    NYOB
    Never said anything about the fines. I would gladly pay them for the mitzva.
    As I said it can be done safely.
    The “inherent danger” from being picked up by a guy in a black hat is so negligible as to be laughable (or sad that you assume so)
    Taxi drivers face much more of an “inherent danger” from every one of their fares. The hitcher faces more of a danger from you getting into a car accident (driving is dangerous in case you didn’t know)

    #1582460

    mentsch1
    Participant

    I have helped dozens of people with rides. Most are at bus stops getting soaked or sweating or freezing while waiting for a bus that never seems to come when it is supposed to. And all of them are incredibly appreciative. I got my wife into it (she picks up women of course) and it makes for great dinner conversation and has a huge hashpah on the kids.
    Try giving someone a ride some time, you might feel good about yourself

    If someone is headed from Flatbush to boro Park and passes a bus stop that is also headed to boro Park. And he sees a yid shivering in the cold, and he drives by, that’s callousness.
    Unfortunately I think this thread shows how the Americans “values” of self centeredness has overcome our Chesed DNA. You can call it being a law abiding citizen. I call it rationalization. Do it safely and be a better person.

    #1582618

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    mentsch1: implicit in your posts is something that is not part of this story…..not giving a ride is a maaseh sedom. Where in the story is there any mention that 5, 10 or 20 cars passed these boys without stopping? The posters are just stating that the cops did not do anything out of line by issuing a ticket, just like if you passed a red light and were issued a ticket. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense.

    #1582622

    mentsch1
    Participant

    While googling this subject I see it’s not a new machlokes.
    Found an “ask the rabbi” with rabbi Chaim Mintz that says what I’ve said. If it’s safe do it. And don’t worry about holding people up for a few moments that’s within norms.
    Interestingly enough, saw a video on aish today with a video about lessons learned in India (by rabbi Becher )
    He talks about the traffic being more chaotic and despite that he feels there is less stress. He hypothesized that the focus on individual rights in America has made us less community sensitive.

    #1582623

    YTAB
    Participant

    dumb law, some free country

    #1582635

    por
    Participant

    If it’s illegal why doesn’t dinei d’malchusa apply? In general, I’d think askanim guided by Rabbanim should issue guidelines how to act.

    #1582685

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Por
    If you are referring to the rabbi Mintz video , in all fairness, it’s possible he doesn’t know. The shayla was only asked from the POV of bein adom lchavero

    #1582689

    mentsch1
    Participant

    My strong reaction comes from the belief that callousness is a disease of the soul. And dina demalchusa dina has been used as an excuse for callousness in the most extreme of cases. You just need to look at examples such as stephen wise in ww2 to see that illustrated.
    I don’t know why NJ counts itself among four states in the union that ban hitch hiking. I am sure that the originators of this law had good intentions. But it’s an unnecessary law. For those worried about the danger of swerving to pick up hikers, that is called reckless driving and let LE ticket for that. Don’t criminalize being a good person.
    Lakewood should urge a change to the law. Why is this different than our fights against shecita bans etc. ? We should be a model of chessed to the nations.

    #1582907

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    mentsch1: My issue is that you are using this forum for your mussar when it was not the reason for these bochurim being issued the tickets. They did not get a ticket because cars passed them. They go a ticket because there is a law on the books making hitchhiking illegal for whatever reason the legislature passed the law. If you don’t agree with the law, move to New Jersey (unless you already live there), run for the legislature and change it.

    Why is this different than our fights against shecita bans etc. ? Because we cannot live a normal life without shechita.. Hitchhiking (however you want to twist yourself into a pretzel and turn it into a chesed) is not. If the boys were just walking along the road towards Lakewood, your mussar would be correct. The fact that they were actively trying to hitchhike in an area where it is forbidden is the problem.

    To solve the problem would be to designate an area where yeshiva bochurim to congregate and drivers know to go there to offer them rides. It would be similar to the groups that gather at “Shomrei Shabbos” on 53rd and 13th Ave. looking for rides from Brooklyn to Lakewood.

    #1582890

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “hitching doesn’t. ”

    It can, and has.

    “When was the last time a bochur hitching in lakewood had got hurt or kidnapped?”

    Typical, looking at it from the side of the hitcher, only. There is another component, cars on the road.

    Unless all involved are made aware of the potential danger to themselves and everyone else who shares the road with them, hitching is a stupid thing to do. If the yeshivos insist the bachurim get out at 10:30 at night, and parents agree to send their kids to such a yeshiva, by all means figure out how to get them home.

    Walking at night, on a dark road, wearing dark clothing, it stupid. Standing at or near the passing traffic looking for a hitch, is even dumber. You can get hit. Drivers might not see you until it is too late. They may have to swerve, or stop short and endanger other pedestrians or cars. The driver may stop suddenly to pick someone up. May not pull completely off the road, and pose a danger to those who might get into the car on the street side, or to other passing drivers who may not see the open door or those passengers.

    I witnessed many near misses many times over the past summer on route 42 in Fallsburg. All scenarios mentioned above, I saw myself, more than once, in fact several dozen times. Until all involved understand the inherent dangers of hitching, I wouldnt advocate it. It is not a question of IF, it is a matter of WHEN someone gets seriously hurt.

    #1582897

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “callousness is a disease of the soul”

    so is a self centered view of the word. when one understands the inherent dangers on standing on the side of a road trying to hitch a ride, or, the inherent dangers to other cars on the road, when one suddenly stops, or only partially pulls off the road poses to others, at the very least, wouldnt so enthusiasticly support hitching. At the very least, promote the inherent dangers involved and the precautions necessary both for those looking for a ride, and those who wish to offer the ride.

    #1583156

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Apush
    You realize that in a statistical analysis “near misses” don’t count? Your subjective idea of what is or isn’t dangerous is meaningless to the overall conversation. I’m sure you will point to the government analysis but as I’ve already said only 4 states have it on the books , so how dangerous can it be?
    “Near misses ” happen to every driver every day. More often from cars and not pedestrians. do we ban driving?
    Lets be real
    We have all seen countless accidents. Have you seen one caused by a hitcher? I’m sure it has happened but is it statistically warranted to ban a behavior that is easily within the control of every driver to perform safely?
    We all know how to pull over to a curb safely. We all deal with double parked cars every day. We deal with people that have to pull over to get a kid or parent every day. How is this different?

    #1583232

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    While googling this subject I see it’s not a new machlokes.
    Found an “ask the rabbi” with rabbi Chaim Mintz that says what I’ve said. If it’s safe do it. And don’t worry about holding people up for a few moments that’s within norms.
    ———————————–
    What is a bigger sin:
    Picking up bochurim while in an illegal and dangerous spot?

    Buchrim hitchhiking when its clearly prohibited and dangerous?

    Doing a mysa sedom by not picking them up while in a dangerous and prohibited area?

    Googling and blogging on the internet

    #1583381

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Takes 2
    Your making an assumption that those on this helig website don’t have filters
    I’m don lkav zchus

    And I’m still waiting for the proof to the supposed danger of pulling up to a curb to pick someone up. Every ones idea of dangerous is subjective. Since I follow halacha and try not to be swayed by emotion , let me assure you that no posek would call a teenage boy getting a ride with a frum man dangerous. It’s not halachically dangerous for the hitcher. And if done in a sensible way it’s not halachically dangerous to the driver.

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