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Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (Frum Parking Spot)

yw logo3.jpgNot long ago, on a trip to one our fine frum neighborhoods east of the Hudson, I was parked in front of a bakery one Erev Shabbos. Just before I pulled out a woman double parked me in. When I got out of the car to ask her to leave, she told me with a tone of “I’m right and you’re wrong” that “I have to go to the bakery, and then she walked right in, leaving me stuck there for a full 10 minutes!!!

I have spoken to a few people about this and everyone has a similar personal story to tell so I can’t accept that my experience was a fluke.

I would like to submit this as a letter encouraging an open discussion about this.

What wrong with us? With all the Torah we learn, why have so many of us learned nothing?

Are there ever shiurim that talk about this problem openly?


A Yid who wishes it wasn’t so.

66 Responses

  1. False sense of entltilment.
    Extreme self centeredness.
    That’s why we talk during speaches at simcha’s. We feel what we have to say is more important than anything even if it creates a chillul Hashem.
    Its the essense of gaiva

  2. i agree parking lot fights happen a lot and there is always one person who will cut in front of you to get that spot you have been waiting for for ten minutes its just not fair

  3. what is there to discuss.
    this woman is a sick woman.she probably gets her way at home with all rediculos arguments. what you should have done , is call a cop and give her a ticket. she would have learned her lesson very fast.

  4. Dear Writer,

    No shiurim ought to be necessary for such a common sense mentchlichkeit issue. Unfortunately though the necssity for such shiurim do exist and are made.

    That being said, and before some inevitable out-of-ny “nicer than thou” comments start appearing, your example is rather extreme and unusual in that the perpertrator had the chutzpa to tell you to wait. Usually the perp is gone by time you get there, while the car is double-parked.

    Bottom line is she deserved a broken window. (Won’t say flat tire, since that would extend the victims agony as well.)

  5. has nothing to do with being a Yid or not. it has everything to do being part of a “me first and only” mentality that permeates society today. with that said, we as Yidden should know and behave better.

  6. I think this comes from showering our youth with too much self confidence, we are so busy with this self confidence business, that people think they are the most important person on earth, some one else’s time does not matter to them.
    That is why there is so much Chutzpa, Self confidence is very important, I don’t deny that, but its like a medicinee it must given to the child that needs it in the right amount.

  7. What about when people block your driveway ‘just for a second’? The only way to teach people not to do these types of things is with an iron fist. Someone did that to me and I let the air out of his tires. By the time he had them filled he had enough time to think about what he did.

  8. Note to the editor of this letter:
    You are 100% correct. This additute is extremly horrible Lchol Hadais. It’s a true Chillul Hashem and it’s according to many poskim Gezel. What makes these people think that their time is more valuable than yours?!?!
    I can understand that if its an Hatzolah member responding to a call, and he needs to park near the site of the emergency, responding to a baby chocking etc. but other than that, its Rishos!!!

    I would have called 911 and reported that there is a double parked car and there are children locked in the car, that would get the police response quick, and they will ticket this person OR better yet, let out the air of their car tires and let them waist their time by needing to refill the air. Good Luck!

  9. The main problem is that some people have no middos, and since Derech Eretz Kadma LaTorah, their priorities are clearly very out of order. That should answer your question of “with all the Torah we learn, how come…?”

    I think part of this is that as Jews we take another Jew’s kindness for granted since, after all, we are Gomlei Chasadim. Therefore, these people (incorrectly) force the other person to do them that chesed of making them wait while she goes in to the bakery.

    This only happens in very-predominantly Jewish neighborhoods, IMHO, because in other neighborhoods you, “sigh”, have to act like a mentch since you are dealing with Goyim who do not have the same values nor tolerance as you, nor would they put up with your shtick, for that matter. It’s only when you deal with only Jews that this “heimishe” attitude can form.

    I really don’t see why the woman wouldn’t have taken the letter-writer’s spot since the letter-writer wanted to leave, except that she knew that someone else would pull the same thing on her if she parked legally; meaning, if she took the spot, then someone would double-park her in and force her to wait. Therefore, she was better off making someone else wait rather than being forced to wait, herself.


  10. 🙂 You must have been in Double Park (AKA Boro Park)


    I agree with you.

    What I find even worse and sometimes very dangerous is the constant passing of red lights. Whenever my light turns green, I wait a few seconds (even though someone is honking behind me) because as soon as I step into the intersection, someone else barrels through the other way passing a red light.

    The only answer to that is to strictly enforce the traffic laws. Not by placing fat trafic “cops” to give tickets, bur real police who will hopefully put the fear of G-d into some of these careless drivers by ticketing them into submission.

  11. Shiurim? You shouldn’t need a shiur to teach common decency and sense. For that you need parents to raise their children properly.

  12. Let air out of their tires? Break their windows? Then you become like the poipetrator!

    And, dialing 911 is a misuse of that service (and probably illegal).

    Call the police (on a non-911 number), and report the license plate number. Even if they come after the poip is gone, at least they’ll have the plate number.

  13. I have personally heard this issue raised at a shiur – not to block driveways, double park and block someone even “for one second”, etc. Alot it helps. Unfortunately some people are very selfish and only think about their needs – in this case what she needed from the bakery. Middos, middos, middos. That’s everything. I think that this is part of “Ahavas Chinom”. If we live in an environment of doing for others it will surely bring the geulah closer. I would also like to add that although many people do act this way, there are more of us that dont –

  14. #’s 2, 14, & 15, you are correct. But #6 hit it on the nose. No one to talk to, period! Her parents never gave her a real spanking. But ONE DAY… she’ll do it to the wrong person – and boy will she learn. Don’t bother telling her husband, either he also suffers from her shananigans or taught her.

  15. And what about all those fine, torah individuals that park in disabled parking? Without placards? And they think that it is all right because they are just there for a moment, or that it is ok to park there because there are other spots available, and they need to go in for work or for a second to the store?

    And, all the fine torah individuals that think that this is ok because it is a private parking lot, or a jewish owned store?

    Either way, it is a chillul hashem and anyone that does it should be ashamed of themselves.

  16. I’ve bumped into such woman before, its mostly those who drive fancy cars and have their nose up in the air like everything in this world is owed to them

  17. It happens all the time, every neighborhood. It’s rude & inconsiderate. When it happened to me I found a pen & paper & wrote a note…short, polite, & to the point. I stuck it under the wiper blade & waited at a bus stop across the street.

    A few minutes later (I was lucky) a young girl came up, got in the car, saw the note, got out & read it. I could see her face go pale & then red. She was very embarrassed & looked around to see if she could see the writer. I didn’t acknowledge her so I don’t know if she realized I’d written it. She drove off quickly & I hope she learned her lesson.

    Try that response. It’s better than breaking windows or letting air out of tires. And as we see here, writing things down relieves stress!!

  18. JustMyOpinion: Don’t tell the police dispacher that there are children locked in the car simply to get their attention. That will get you into more trouble than a 10 minute wait.

  19. to just my opinion:youre right it is just your opinion.thats got to be be from the dumbest things ive ever heard to let out the air of the tires of the car which is blocking you.lets see if you can figure out why.

  20. I am not saying the woman was right


    they double park in paris
    they double park in Iran
    they double park in Usa

    Dont make this into a jewish problem

  21. Here’s a suggestion.

    Eventually you will get a parking ticket. Before you pay it, make a good duplicate. Use your printer to make a reasonable facsimile of the ticket. Next time you have a problem with a bad parker, stick the fake ticket on their windshield. Make sure it states a nice fine, and have the return address either to yourself or to a nice mosad that deserves our support. And have the driver pay with their credit card. So either you will get a nice consolation prize, or at least you will give the person that moment of shock and dismay at seeing the ticket on the car.

  22. Terrible, terrible, terrible!!
    Terrible, terrible, terrible!!

    The lady will no doubt have a box seat in G’henim! Possibly her kapora will be that she will be “sentenced” for “X” time and someone will be placed next to her for “x+y” time thus not allowing her to leave!!!

    What a Rashanta! I would have called the police.

  23. The much larger issue here, even bigger than rudeness, is too many cars. Walk on your errands, even with a much maligned bubby cart, and you won’t get parked in or forced to park blocks away. Wak to shul, you do it on Shabbos anyway.

  24. Last Erev Sukkos, I slid in to a parking space just as somebody pulled out in front of a large Mehadrin supermarket in Yerushalayim. As I locked the cardoors, I found myself surrounded by a shrieking woman, whom, together with her husband and two twenty-something sons, pushed me against the car door. Until I understood what they were yelling about took a few moments. They had been waiting on the other side of the median for another parking space to open up, and seemed to have gone ballistic that I had found one so easily. The men were all wearing Yarmulkas and the woman had her hair covered- and if I tell you that they not only yelled at me, but also shoved me against the door, pulled my hair (which thank goodness stayed firmly attached to my head…), and smacked me across the face- not ONE word here is exaggerated! I got back in to the car as if I was capitulating, and called my husband (until HE understood my incoherence took a while also-), and pretended that I was calling the police and writing down their licence plate number. After they finally parked somewhere else, I sat there shaking for about 20 minutes- and the irony is, of course, that I never did my shopping; I just drove home and cried all the way.

  25. Everything that happens to you in life is your own test. When Hashem sends you a very rude and annoying person and tests your limits, make sure to do just the right thing. Not to avenge yourself, not to embarrass her, nothing that lowers you or her. For whatever reason, this person is offensive and rude and has made you wait. There will always be rude people out there, even among us. You have to find a way either to communicate calmly and softly that you need her to move your car, or, humble yourself and realize she has problems, and wait those 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes might be a lot of schar for you in olam haba. Many of the above comments include revenge, embarrassment, ego, impatience, anger, etc. Of course, it is easy to take a moment now while it’s not happening and determine the right move, but if we picture the better response, we may be able to do that next time.

  26. This has been discussd many times before.
    There is only solution for these sorry excuses for a human being. The only thing these people can remember from school is bishvili nivrah haoilam. If someone does this to you, take a picture of their car and of them. Post it online and let them know that all of their friends at shul, their mechuitanim, their children’s rebbeim and the people they do care about faking mentchlachkeit to know what misserabl beings they really are. It is the only way they will stop.

  27. askun said:

    they double park in paris
    they double park in Iran
    they double park in Usa

    Dont make this into a jewish problem
    True but we were given the Torah they weren’t.

    AND there is a pervasive arrogance issue amongst us.

    Sure its crazy to give shiurim on common sense





  28. #26 It’s not only the double parking. How many times have you been about to back into a parking spot when someone zips in head-first into the spot, and tells you, “Well, I pulled in first”?

    While the woman who blocked seems to be over on Gezel Zman – the case above needs a psak halacha. Im not so sure the “zipper” is wrong. Riah (seening a hefker item) is NOT a kinyan and antone else is entitled to grab it first. It may be “Uni hamihapech b’charara” but not gezel. What do our lamdunim think?

  29. re: #20 – when in the parking lot of a heimishe business and I see a Yid parking in a handicapped spot without the tag or special license plates, I say something. most move their cars others don’t – when someone tells me that they are only going in for a minute, I tell them that a handicapped person may also need to go in for only a minute and now, they can’t. I end by giving them a brocha that they should never need the handicapped spot!

  30. In regards to the handicapped spots, I believe the whole system is a racket. The fact is the truly handicapped don’t drive, and many of the handicapped permit holders are using someone elses name, who they are not even driving, to get hold of the permit and use it as a “free parking” card.

    On top of that you always see far too many handicapped spots. When the entire parking lot is full, you see the vast majority of the handicapped spots sitting there empty.

    Therefore it is no wonder that ineligable people often park in those spots.

  31. and how about my old father who was crossing the street in b.p. and the streets were iccccy so he was croosing slowly and all the people just beep and are mad, what happened to all? is there any respect left???????????????

  32. By letting out the air of someone’s tires, breaking their window, and the like, only lower yourself to the level of the one that annoyed you. In that case, you are no better. C’mon, deal with it maturely, not like kids in a playground, “You hit me, I hit you back!”
    I liked bestbubby’s idea! (#22)

  33. enough……….. enough………………….. of everyone trying to grab everything from everyone
    a) good deals
    b) jobs
    c) parking spots
    d) summer homes
    e) etc….
    let’s be happy what hashem planed for us , of course we need hishtadlus , but but without stepping on everyone else.

  34. TO #42: You obviously do not go out into the world. “The Truly Handicapped do not drive”???!!! I work in a center for people with disabilities, my boss 100% disabled from polio, writes,paints & dials the phone with her mouth – is taking driving lessons, other co-workers: 1 can only move 2 fingers of one hand – he drives, one can only turn her head – she drives, another 5 or 6 can use their arms but not their legs – we all are wheelchair users and we all drive. Do you want to know how many times I have, with great difficulty and agmas nephesh gotten myself out of the house to do some shopping only to find some &*^(%^( person has parked in the disabled spot so I am forced to drive the 40 minutes back to my house crying all the way.

    But I guess you don’t care.

  35. ujm: (#42) you do not have to like the law, you do not have to agree with the law, but if as a yid you live in this country, you have to (according to halacha) follow the law. I would hate to see what other laws you determine are not worthy that are broken.

  36. –#18 said extremely well.

    –#21 “LOVES TO DEBATE” -i disagree with your comment for the following reason. Since the same amount of yechidim who drive “fancy” cars and act like that, there are the equivalent amount of the regular class who when driving have their nose high (fact.)

    –#36 also speaks a very true point, which should definetely be thought upon.

    –#41 that really is nice. Thanks for the idea.

    May it never enter our minds to do something that will irritate another!! Chag Sameach!!

  37. unfortunately the behavior i have witnessed this type of behavior too often in orthodox areas. it seems to me that rabbonim should be addressing these issues in their weekly sermons. perhaps the lesson will finally sink in. what a chillul hashem to see frum prople act this way.

  38. I fully agree with your complaint but I don’t think you can start making such general statements from one incident. Even if people do double park (which I’m sure even the author does on occasion) they generally are courteous to the parked vehicles.

  39. wouldn’t you know it. I stopped by a heimishe store after Maariv to get some more potatoes. when I left the store, the car next to me was so close, I could not get into my car. I went back in to announce that someone should move to their car. when whe finished shopping she came out only about 5 minutes after I finished. She told me she had no choice b/c the car on the other side of her was crooked. I pointed to the other side of the lot and showed her that it was mostly empty and it was that way when I came in she should have parked there. as in east of the hudson, here west of the hudson, the offender didn’t care.

  40. her behavior is just par for the course how low our bein adom lechavairo has sunk.
    davenning in a small shule Friday night I have tried for the past few years to train my 12 year old to give up his seat to an older person who might come late. In all those years I have yet to see an older bochur even offer to give up his seat. The attitude of bnei torah that they are superior to everyone else has got to stop

  41. Wow you met a crazy lady move on!
    Someone cuts you off on the road ,do you write a letter to the editor? Tomorrow when you daven have more kavana when you say viharchikaynu mayodom ra !

  42. My area is mixed. Yidden and non-yidden. When there is a car parked on the wrong side of the street making it almost impossible for people to travel down the street…100% of the time yidden.

    When you are out pushing your stroller and have to go off the sidewalk into the street because the sidewalk is covered in bikes and other outdoor toys…100% of the time that’s in front of a frum family’s house.

    I hear my neighbors complain about “those other people” in the neighborhood, using of course pejorative racial terms, but it was a young frum boy who was throwing things at cars as they drove by on my block one day, it’s the frum kids I see dropping litter on the sidewalk. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  43. With the permission of yeshiva world I would submit pictures called “one day in NYC”. Pictures would consist of idiots making illegal U turns,while on the cell phone during the morning and afternoon rush hour in places where you just can’t make the turn even if you had an hour to try!
    Eg: 15th Ave by Korns bakery!

    Pictures of people driving through red lights, talking on cell phones, people going through stop signs, (not rolling through but driving through stop signs….)

    How about the mishagoyim that honk their horns on 18th and 53 (visnitz) all night long picking up people. Gezel shinuy apply in boro park?

    How about people going to visnitz and having the chutzpah to park in driveways that do not belong to them! I witnessed an incident this past July where a chasunah goer parked in a private driveway on Visnitz block and the owner came out screaming – MOVE YOUR CAR and the other guy walked off and turned around telling the owner to calm down I will only be 10 minutes!

    I have many of these things captured on video and in pictures. I wold love to put it on you tube but still editing the faces so I don’t get sued. The chutzpah level is very high in our communities and it creates a tremendous chillul hashem.

    How about the people who think they can fit their house, I mean SUV into a tight spot and bust the other guys bumper in front and back and squeeze you in so you can’t get out?

    How about the lady going 3 miles per hour because she is looking for a parking spot and you just can’t get around her because your on a one way street!

    How about the people dropping off a couple of people (not senior citizens) and blocking traffic for 7 minutes when there is also a spot just ONE house away. Go–d forbid for these people to unlazy themselves for others.

    How about the people trying to back out of a block that has a sanitation truck on the block and you have 7 cars behind you and the guy in front of you is yelling and honking at you while screaming would you move back! Now where on 7897 does the guy want me to do? Our cars do not come equipt with wings.

    How about the school bus driver that has to wait for the mother that first waits for the bus to come and THEN gets the kid ready and then shmoozes with the bus driver…..another 7 minutes of waste.

    If every parent would just save 30 seconds and have some decency- there just might be one lucky kid who gets home 30 minutes earlier than expected and would also save the yeshivas thousands of dollars and hours collectively in wasted time, & gas expenses for idling.

    How about the woman who slams on her brakes because she just happened to see a guy sitting in a car and hopes the guy will be moving the car soon but the problem is the crazy woman in front of you did not use blinkers and you had no idea she wants to back up without letting the guy able to get out of the spot because she is double parked in front instead of the back like they teach in driving school.

    Last but not least, this past summer in Boro Park while waiting at a light a frum person collapsed in front of my car (heat exhaustion) and i called hatzolah immediatley and got out of my car to help this fellow yid.

    People behind me started honking like mishagoyim and I gave the benefit of the doubt that the people behind me did not realize that there was almost a dead person lying right in front of my bumper. I went over to a couple of drivers and explained the situation and two frum people actually had the chutpah to tell me move my car and go around the patient!

    The sickness does not get any worse than my last story. I can deal with almost any drivers attitude. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes in life but if anyone can actually not care about a human being that is dying and lying on the road what have we come to?

  44. WAIT!!! Now how many of you have been in the LADY’s position?????

    Needing desperately a spot, kids waiting for you at home, you circled our wonderful fully packed with yidden Baruch Hashem streets and realized that you had only 10 more minutes or less to get that shopping done or you’ll have a kid dropped off at your house with nobody to recieve him and let him in the house. Your husband wont answer his phone and the neighbors are all not home. And so you pull along side a car and run in the store for a few minutes oblivious to the fact that you are inconveniencing others. You really dont mean it to be rude or chutzpadik but you cant even think straight after you circled within 10 blocks 3 times and found no spot!!

    DONT worry.. I am not this person I hope who blocked you when you had to get out because personally I feel it is not fair to do such a thing.
    BUT I have been that frustrated person that needs a spot in dear NY and I can sit there till all my hair is white and not get anywhere…
    I think its wrong but I wouldnt judge someone who was at eits end after not finding any spot. WE all know how impossibly aggravating it is when there is no parking. Sometimes want to just park on the sidewalk epsecially when its cold out.

    And alternate side only helps matters!!!!!!!!! (NY residents can sympathize.) So please both sides have rachmanus- if you see ppl need a spot hurry out of yours so they dont have to wait. And if you need to double park- dont do it in a place where someone will be stuck, its not fair.

    End of discussion. We all agree. Screaming will get us no where. Anger will get us nowhere. Just mentchlechkeit and dont do to others what you dont want done to you.

    Afrelichen Chanuka and a guten choidesh.
    Shkoyach! 🙂

  45. I am pleased to see that 55 people (that’s 100%) who replied here all feel that there is a major problem with what this woman did.
    I also assume then that this is something that not one of you have ever consider doing (and if I am wrong hopefully after reading the article you have changed your mind.
    So the world does not look so bad after all.
    there will always be crzy people and that’s a fact of life we need to live with. As long as the majority of society refrains from such behavior including parking in spots reserved for the disabled, and we all teach our children to follo-suit slowly the world will look much better.
    However, let us be aware that the soton often blinds us when we are under pressure and we find ourselves giving heterim for all kind of things which all border on isurei deoraiso of vehavto lereacho komocho and onoas devorim etc…
    So all of us reading this may be shocked but let us take a positive lesson (which I believe was the reason this was posted) and make an extra effort (even if you will be late..) to avoid causing others distress for your own conveniences.
    This will generate more Ahavas Chinam which is the ingredient that we need to end this painful galus.

  46. I love it the way everyone who has posted so far is commenting how terrible this woman is, and she deserves all kinds of punishments….Haven’t any of you gone around someone who is going too slow in front of you? Or by a red light to wait next the car in front of you so that when the light turns green you can speed ahead of them? Stop acting like such heroes and realize that we as individuals need to look at ourselves and realize that we all have problems and issues. Stop blaming it on the woman who double parked. Before we know it, it might be us who are double parking or stealing parking spots – stop yelling at everyone else, and just try to be menche.

  47. I believe that the problem of lack of civility in Brooklyn, stems, at least in part, from the fact that people feel that they have fulfilled their “bain adam lachaveiro” obligations by being involved in one or more of the many chesed organizations, tehillim groups and etc.

    While being involved in these organizational activites is commendable, people must not forget their obligations on a personal level to each and every individual. Is it so terrible to let someone pull out of a parking spot in front of you while your driving down the avenue? Maybe you can hold a door open in store for someone having trouble with kids or packages? Treat the hard working person behind hte pizza counter with some respect instead of yelling at him because something is missing from your order. Greet people and guests with a smile – not just your circle of friends.

    If we are “vatranim” (be forgiving and go a little out of our way for others) then G-d will respond to us likewise.

  48. To # 1
    ??? Since when does a women learn Torah???
    I dont know if you live in Taliban land, but my wife/daughter and sisters all learn Toarh.

  49. Amazing
    everyone is so concerned that everyone else should be a mentch ,all of you may have legitimate points just stop wasting your time with this story and look in the mirror.

  50. they sell something called a “car dolly” — it lets u slide it under the tires and roll the car where you want. i never used one, but i sure have come across MANY situations where i wish i had some of them — double parkers, parking spot wasters, driveway blockers — u know the drill

  51. #11 JustMyOpinion said: “I would have called 911 and reported that there is a double parked car and there are children locked in the car, that would get the police response quick, and they will ticket this person OR better yet, let out the air of their car tires and let them waist their time by needing to refill the air. Good Luck!”

    Telling the police a lie to get them to come faster is a chillul hashem and sheker.
    Besides, this makes you no worse than the offender. The offender is wasting your time by blocking you in and you are wasting the police’s time by having them respond to an “emergency” that isn’t one. The “me first” mentality has spread to you and you think that your 5 minute wait for this person to move is more important than a real emergency that the police might otherwise be responding to. There is a number, 311, for non-emergency police calls. Use that number to report the incident and save 911 for a real emergency.

  52. WOW! SO MANY COMMENTS! and I hope I can put in mine and have it read without boring you. I was parked at a meter in front of a frum-owned grocery store in Derech-Eretz Land (Washington Heights) but not shopping in that store. The mter was almost up and I had 2 doctors’ appointments to go to. I sat in the car,started it and hoped the other driver would come by and move his car. I did not know whose car it was or where the driver was shopping. (BTW,I have difficulty walking) I called the store with my cell phone,and after the owner answered ,he told the driver,who WAS in his store about my need to leave and that his car,double-parked,was blocking mine. The man’s son came out and told me to just wait a minute,his father is almost finished with his purchase. Well,I waited 20 minutes and when I arrived late for my appointment,had to wait 1-1/2 hours extra to be seen,and then altogether missed the next appointment. I happen to know this driver personally very well and it really hurt to be treated like that by a ben-Torah ,a person I’ve known well for years.(” I am more important than you or anyone else when ‘I’want something. I can learn better than you,so you do not deserve my respect or courtesy.”) This is worse among our own than among the goyim. Mussar is old-fashioned,Pirkei Avos is no longer part of Shas. I could say more,but everyone’s said so much . Let’s learn to abide by the rules of the Torah that we learn.

  53. Take down the license plate # of the offending vehicle,its description,the time and location,the date, and then take the offender to a din-Torah or /and call the police and MV dept. Take pictures if you can. Try to get justice for the wrong done to you.TRY!

  54. its more right to think about other people before yourself but maybe this lady had a very highly respected unexpected guest and was not able to think straigt because she was under a lot of pressure we should judge her favorabely

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