Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (Parking Woes)


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yw logo7.jpgDear Yeshiva World,

Thanks for the great job.

I’d appreciate if you could print the following mailbag letter:

Being that Derech Eretz Seems to be a hot topic I have a request from all of you. Mainly in NY we all know what parking is like…..it can be a true nightmare. I’m NOT talking about the double parking though.

Did you ever think of someone else when you parked your car?

Huh, you ask?

I will explain.

When I find a parking spot, I PULL MY CAR UP ALL THE WAY!! or I back up and do my best to leave room so that another car or two can park also.

I do it every time.

Yet when I am in need of a parking spot – I can find about ten cars on one block that could have pulled up more or pulled back more to make room for others – yet I have no spot and I have to circle ten blocks till I find a place to squeeze into!!

Rabbosai… is it so hard?! Do you think you can manage to take 2 seconds to think about another person whether you know them or not!! I’m not sure, maybe I’m asking too much. If you are a person who does that…..even if nobody sees Hashem sees and you will no doubt be rewarded.

Hey you never know, if you do chesed for others, you never know when you will be the recipient from them!!!


A Proud Parker.


  1. Excuse me mt mehdi: the chofetz chaim says “what makes a person great is one who goes the extra mile”
    – dont give the excuse that you are helping people so you have the right to be selfish

  2. Attention poster #1:
    In the torah world, The ends do not justify the means. If your takeh being oisek in klal work, then all aspects of it have to be “oisgehalten.” The author is right. It is totally selfish the way some people park their car. If you needed a parking spot for your klal work and you found someone who took up 2 spaces uneccesarily, would that not upset you?
    Remember the moshol from R’ Yisroel Salanter about the shamess who belittled the the guy who is supposed to heat up the stove before selichos?

    Your taynah has zero merit.

  3. mt mehdi
    I know personally of a Great Rabbi who passed away who happened to be a mohel in the flatbush area in brooklyn. Obviously if he was a mohel his time was very important, and yet he was known to never double park, never park illegaly, and always obeyed traffic laws.
    Secondly, moving your car back for 5 seconds is NOT considered wasting time. Perhaps the person who drives down the block next is your chavrusa and now you caused yourself a bitul torah because he cant find a spot for 10 minutes.

    DERECH ERETZ KADMA LATORAH. hear it loud and clear.

  4. to be melamed zchus:
    1)sometimes there is a constant change of cars and it happens to work out to be more space.
    2) more space is better than banging again and again into someones bumper and scratching it , or worse yet, smashing a headlight or taillight.

  5. Hey Proud,
    I know EXACTLY how you feel!! I remember coming home nights (after making sure I made all my stops for the night) circling for a parking spot, sometimes for OVER AN HOUR, always agitated how many more spots there could have been, only because most people are selfish and leave lots of wiggle room for themselves (either because –‘who cares’ or because they don’t want their car getting hit, or to avoid another NY practice of ‘shoehorning’ another car in – so that when he tries to pull out he cant!)
    SO I MADE THE MOVE!!! To Lakewood that is….. AHHHHHHHH MECHAYAH!!! Finally ‘ROOM’ to live beravchus!! ‘ROOM’ for the kids to play beravchus, and of course ‘ROOM’ to park beravchus!! (most of suburbia Lakewood – not to mislead anyone)


    A Flatbush guy living in 08701

  6. This bothers me as well, but realize that when you see a car that looks like it’s taking up two spots, when that car parked it’s quite possible that it pulled up to the bumper of the car in front of it which has since left. Without lines drawn on the road, it’s impossible to know if someone parked responsibly or not.

  7. I have often thought the same thing when trying to park in a spot in Brooklyn. However, I recently came up with a great way to be “dan lekaf zechus”. You have to consider that there are many different sizes of cars, especially in a busy area such as Brooklyn. Perhaps the person who you claim didn’t leave you enough room to park was actually parked behind (or in front of a larger (or smaller) car that subsequnetly moved. With the shifting of so many cars, perhaps the lack of space is not due to inconsiderate people but to simple timing and geometry. Just a better way to look at it than screaming your head off.

  8. Proud parker: Very good point, but I think a lot of what you see is simply the result of bad driving skills and not a lack of derech eretz.

    How many times have you seen people driving that clearly don’t have a proper perception for the width and length of their vehicle?

    Looneybin: You have been fooled. Mt mehdi’s comment was obviously a joke – or rather a sarcastic swipe at the Olam Hayeshivos – and it should not have made it past the YW editors. (ie People that learn all day do not have derech eretz and view their time as more important than anyone else’s).


  9. the problem is if you leave too little space between you and the cars surrounding then you may end up getting stuck in the spot because someone else pulled up to close to you.

  10. 5,7,9 – your limud z’chus has merit except in a case where there are 2 parking spots between driveways and a parked car has taken up more than 1 spot (a very common occurrence on my block)- no limud z’chus there!

  11. “SO I MADE THE MOVE!!! To Lakewood that is…..”

    And that’s why the serene Lakewood has become another Brooklyn. More rude people, aggressive drivers, everyone out for themselves. Please keep your bad middos in Brooklyn thank you very much.

    “AHHHHHHHH MECHAYAH!!!” No Thanks!! Your tone of voice reeks of the element that is destroying Lakewood as a Mokom Torah. There is no more space, there is no more “ROOM”.

    They say a good thing can’t last forever – Lakewood has seen it’s days.
    (You sound like the guy that takes 2 parking spots & double parks.)

  12. #1 mt mehdi

    1) I am curious how much out of all your very special time do you spend on yeshiva world?
    2) ” and being oisek in other work on behalf of klal yisoel, every minute counts” does that include typing a comment in yeshiva world?
    3) if your work on behalf of klal yisrael is commenting on yeshiva world you are trying to say that if you would have helped someone with parking you would of wrote an even worse comment than the one you already wrote ( which I cannot begin to even imagine)?

  13. While the article is valid, the comments take away from learning & all you academic snobs who are so quick to quote this & that are Bitul Torah. So can we please stop wasting time on these topics? We KNOW we’re rude, ignorant, arrogant etc etc & some of us definitely possess a holier-than-thou attitude. Nothing will change.

    At my age I’m more interested in the principles of Chinuch & raising decent kids than trying to out-do each other in the “frumkeit” dept. Bashing each other’s values/Rav/derech/shita/davenning/level of learning etc does nothing to promote Ahavas Yisroel. That’s the point we should be worried about. And it’s true that considerate parking is part of Ahavas Yisroel, but I see its erosion in the lack of derech eretz for each other on so many levels. You’re not addressing the illness, just the symptom. Unless each one of us is willing to change & accept other Jews for their differences & the right to be different (Litvak, Chabadnik, Yeshivish, Chassidish & so on) these “mailbags” are useless.

  14. Derech Eretz Kodmo Letorah – but you have to be realistic – If a large car pulls out of a spot and a smaller car pulls in you end up with some extra space – you cant rearrange all the parking spots on the block everytime a car pulls out!!

  15. What is the deal with this sudden urge to give other people toichecho ? I mean noone is perfect and its been like this since the begining of mankind , people are going to iritate others. What you find annoying about a parking spot others do not, but others might find a certain trait of yours annoying.
    We could be busy all day sending letters to the editors about annoying people. Can I offer some examples?
    1. Talking during chazures hashatz
    2. People splurging on weddings
    3. People not being honest in business
    4. People not using deodrant ( thats really annoying )
    5. People going to Israeli day parades
    6. People not being koveah itim.

    I can go on and on. Lets just focus on the positive instead of focusing on the negative. I am sure the positives out weighs the negative. And leave the criticizing to either the parents or the rabonim.




  18. Rav Mechel,

    Let me add to your list with my favorite:

    7. People who read the entire “Out of the Mailbag” letter and anywhere from 1 – 150 posts about the letter and start screaming L’H, how can YW post it!!!

    any volunteers to split Rav Mechels list and start writtng?

  19. mt mehdi
    You can actually say with a straight face (pen) that you are “being oisek in other work on behalf of klal yisoel” while being selfish and not care about the rest of Klal Yisroel?
    Please, don’t ever “be oisek” for me!
    BTW: Did you ever LEARN in a yeshiva?

  20. this is something i rant about all the time!!!! its disgusting! yzg is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!!! when its a double space betwn 2 driveways there is NO EXCUSE!!!
    how about those who instead of parking btwn 2 meters they park with the meter in the middle of their car – also no excuse!!
    SELFISH SELFISH & people say that noone means bad they just DONT THINK! i am tired of that excuse – as frum yidden we are REQUIRED TO THINK ABOUT OUR ACTIONS & THE RESULTS OF THEM!!!!!!!

    my time is just as important as anyone elses yes we all do chessed as well…..#1 MUST be sarcastic!!)

    i get out 5 times if i have to until i park properly no matter what kind of rush i am in – we all are all the time

  21. 5. People going to Israeli day parades

    Is this for real?!
    You’re right (sarcasm for those who can’t detect it), supporting Israel is just like being rude and obnoxious and having no derech eretz… what must Hashem be ‘thinking’ when He sees and hears the way people talk about Eretz Yisrael…

  22. We must all realize, that although sometimes people will use 2 parking spots, (which if I’m not mistaken, Rabbi Miller zt”l said is gezel) –sometimes, due to the random nature of things, cars will pull in and out — a large car, a smaller one — this one moves in, this one out and somehow the street will be reconfigured to have a wasted spot. It’s not always this way, but maybe we could be melamed zechut on Am Yisrael just a bit…

  23. It is possible to be a mensch when parking a car. Just because society does not act properly when they are parking is not an excuse for anyone to not act like a mensch. We have proven that we can care about other people, like the people who come collecting to our doors or the various tzedakah organizations that we give to, the same thing could appll when we park our cars.

  24. MT MEHUDI: If you took an extra 10 seconds to park your car the proper way in the manner that poster requested which happens to be the right manner, then maybe next time when you are on your way to learn torah (which the basic theme is דרך ארץ)or you are in a rush to be “oisek in other work on behalf of klal yisoel” you will find a spot right away and you won’t have wast your precious time by circling ten blocks till you find a place to squeeze into!! REMEMBER: Do to others what you want others to do to you.

  25. firstly i don’t believe #1 is a real post
    its most p a teaser, anyway…
    we all missed the biggest kasha
    if he is so busy about his learning and mitzvos and cant find appropriate time to park his car why is he reading and writing on YW??????

  26. 23, there are people who have issues and are using this forum, that is, the mailbag to further awareness, or try to give tochacha in their own way. But when the 150 comments devolve into vicious lashon hara, with no to’eles in sight, or Andy Rooney type ranting, well, someone took a wrong turn somewhere.

  27. #1’s comment is so ludicrous that i have a hunch that he purposelly wrote this to stimulate the kind of responses that he recieved. i cant imagine neone in their right mind really thinking that, and if he doesnt have an extra minute what is he doing on theyeshivaworld.com??

  28. #20 you have got to be kidding with some of your points true there are a lot of other issues that have to be discussed but that does not take away from this issue!!!!!!

  29. there is just not enough room for all these cars.
    everyone with a second car should have to get a lift for parking
    EVERYONE with a third car should realize to move from brooklyn or buid underground parking
    parking solution

  30. Ya know, I agree that some people are 100% correct about the fact that other cars pulled out and they are not to blame… taka dan l’kaf zechus we all must have.

    However- I think that the point is not to point any fingers at any specific group of people. It’s more like just take this as a reminder that you would want it done for you so IF the case is that you have a wide spot available then PLEASE DO pull up so that others can fit in too!

    Wow, it would be so nice if the next time any of us on this page parks we’ll take an extra second and do our best to make room for another parker. It may not Solve the derech eretz problem but if we take a second to think- just one second to think every time we park- I would imagine it will affect our bein adam l’chavero as a whole!

    No need to argue with anyone that doesn’t agree. We all know the good feeling when we are able to park our cars and not have to circle! Anyone who says anything other wise is just in the mood of causing a little excitement. Why waste time with the arguing- you would feel stupid wasting your breath if you found out it was all a tease!

    the question to everyone should be… WHAT WILL YOU DO next time you park?!?!?! Are you going to be lazy or will you take a second to do such a MASSIVE chesed for another?? As Mt Mehdi in #1 said— he needs every minute. Can you imagine what you are making available for everyone when you give them that extra space… If you CAN?!?
    Tizke L’mitzvos!


  31. OOPS I forgot a major point!! About the concern of knocking off ppls bumpers if you are too close— let me tell you a chidush… If you take a second to pull out carefully and slowly you can softly softly tap the edge of the car and not even a drop of paint will wipe off… remember a baysoft tap… and then you are ok… but tap it as softly as you wouldnt mind yours being tapped. And if you are scared of being parked in… dont worry a few baby taps and I’ll teach ya how to get of the spot in no time! (ok maybe a few extra seconds but its worth it for the zchus!) Living in tight parking zone to begin with – enough practice teaches you how to get out of anything when done right!

    Besides, Almost all blocks have driveways so you will prob have room to back up or pull frward to get out of a spot that has a neighbor parked proudly in front or behind yours. I hear that big streets taka may be more of a parked in too tight problem but ay, You do what you can and the Aibeshter does the rest!

  32. #36 – if it is true L’H it wouldn’t be posted here on YW. If it did get posted and someone sent an email or a post to the editor, it will be removed – I have seen this happen & I have requested privately (email) that the editor review and remove a particular post – and it was removed.

    now, if I haven’t convinced you (which is fine), you (and all those who call out L’H) have a question for your Local Orthodox Rabbi regarding visiting this website and reading the posts. If you believe that it is L’H and we know that reading L’H is not permitted, you cannot view the articles and the posts – reading it and deciding on a one-by-one basis will not work b/c by definition, you will have violated the laws (according to your understanding) of L’H.

    Now with that said, should one believe what is said by each person who sends a letter or posts an entry – I would say — no. hopefully, whomever posts a story/comment is being truthful, however, as post #1 demonstrates, posts and truth are sometimes unrelated.

  33. To P.P.(‘proud parker’)Some people in NY ‘share’ parking spots. They also have each other’s car keys. When A parks,he purposely takes up more space than he needs (this is easy to do right after alternate-side is just about over for the day).then when B comes and wants to park,he double-parks next to A’s car,takes out A’s car key,and moves the car into the extra space (which was not enough space for a car. Now there is more room on the front (or back) of A’s car,enough for B to move his car into. This is neighborly “teamwork” Another wrong and illegal act is putting in coins into an almost expired meter,whether for yourself or for someone else. If you stay at the spot all day,like some shop-owners do,they just pay a small parking fee for the day,not letting others have a chance. If you put change into a meter about to expire,just because you want to save the car owner a ticket,you are also robbing another driver from a chance to park,and also taking away revenue from the city that depends on parking fines. It is a lack of derech eretz to benefit one individual(illegally) at the expense of another.
    To #1: Your Torah learning is no mitzvah if it is done at someone else’s trouble. Also,if you were such a real Torah-learner,you would not be mevatel Torah for shtus on the internet.

  34. To the first comment writer mt mehdi, You are Stam a mishuginer,michusor deiah no reason to respond to you. As far as the poster, heres a eitzah. Get bigger bumpers or push guards on your car and make yourself room. As a added bonus if the car taking up two spots could be pushed to the front of a hydrant or back into a bus stop, better yet- push him into the middle of an intersection. Trust me it works!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Don’t you all see that #1 is being funny!?! He is not serious. For some reason many NYers to not understand sarcasm. I love it, #1. Your post made me smile.


    What #7 said is very true. The cars in front of you or behind you can change, and wind up making you look bad.

    Another point, like #13 said, is that if you move up too close in front, and the car behind you leave, and the new parker behind you pulled up too close to you, you are trapped.

    I once missed a flight because of this. I parked at night, leaving just enough room for me to get out in front. But, the front car left, and a new car parked in his place and backed up almost to my bumper. I was unable to move the car at all.

    When I park in Brooklyn, I will not even take a parking place if I can’t leave enough space both in front and behind, so I can get out if one of them switches and parks on my bumper.

    That is another point. If you park too close to a car in front of you or behind you, you may be preventing him/her to move his car out. What if that car you are blocking “to make room for more parkers” is the car of a woman close to giving birth.

    LEAVE ROOM behind and ahead of you. Do NOT park on people’s bumpers, THAT is a lack of Derech Eretz.

    Also, parking too close can mean the person can’t get to his trunk, or hood, … or a tow truck can’t get him out if he is broken down.

    Derech Eretz is not necessarily trying to squeeze in as many cars as possible, but to make sure you are not blocking someone’s car from getting out.

  36. what about the people who have driveways but insist on parking on the street? Theres your answer why you will be circling for a spot at 11 pm for a while.

  37. An old NYC trick was using “Imitation fire hydrants”. During the 60’s,the novelty stores downtown sold imitation fire hydrants that looked like the real thing. The driver would ,when he left the spot at where he was parked, put that “hydrant” on the curb and then drive off. It worked so well for a while that the Traffic Dept. started painting the curb RED where the REAL hydrants were.

  38. This is a comment to #1 who said,

    “the extra time it takes to move my car in the manner that you request, is actually taking away much needed time that can be better used learning or doing work on behalf of klal yisroel”

    I think that your time would be put to better use by moving your car up a few inches rather than hanging around on Yeshiva World.