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Beating A Traffic Summons With Hashgacha Pratis

Dear YWN,

Last week, my wife had a scheduled court appearance for a traffic ticket, and I was scheduled to bring her there. The problem is I was stuck baking matzoh in Williamsburg – exactly the opposite end of Brooklyn. The clock was ticking, and the traffic was crawling on the BQE. I went with local streets, managed to pick up my wife, and we arrived at the court appearance a half hour late.

As we walked in, we see the officer who issued the ticket testifying against a motorcycle rider, and the judge was giving the officer a hard time. The judge finally rules the driver not guilty, and admonishes the cop, “Officer, you should study the codes better before issuing these kinds of summons.”

The cop – who obviously takes himself very seriously, became very offended. He replied back, “Judge, I am quite familiar with the codes.” The judge gave the cop a dirty look and ordered him to act with respect – which of course made the cop even angrier.

What happened next is just unbelievable. The cop refused to testify for any further cases that came forward. As each driver came up, the cop stated his name and position, and then said he had no recollection of the case – even though he had all the tickets and his notes neatly arranged in his binder! The judge called up my wife, and again the same thing happened – the cop said he had no recollection of the matter. All this to get back at the judge that told him off earlier.

Had we arrived at the court a little earlier, she likely would have been called up before the incident. In the z’chus of baking matzos, together with a healthy dose of siyata dishmaya, the ticket was dismissed.

A very thankful Yid.

35 Responses

  1. Why is this a good story? First of all dina d’malchusa dina applies here. You should not be getting any traffic tickets. Second of all, you cannot rely on a “nes” to bail you out. If you knew you had to be somewhere LEAVE EARLIER. Just because you were baking matzos does not give you the right to cause a possible chillul Hashem. What if the judge, cop or spectators saw you come in late and said” look at what those Jews think, they own the world and don’t have any respect for anyone but themselves.”
    I really don’t think this is a good story just one that should make us think how to be better people and be responsible with ourselves and our surroundings.

  2. This has to be the most insane post I have ever read on Yeshiva World. How about following the rules of the country you live in and not receive a summons to court?

  3. B”H for your siyata d’Shmaya.
    I have personally experienced a cop lying outright about a claim of my having gone through a red light.
    When I confronted him outside the court room afterwards and asked him how he could just lie like that, he just gave me a kind of half smile and shrugged his shoulders as if to say “tuff luck!”
    And they wonder why people hate the cops.

  4. To #2 & 3 – Why do you ASSUME this fellow was guilty? Judging from MY experience there’s a very good chance he was not!

  5. Presupposing that your wife did indeed commit a traffic violation, WHOOHOO!!!
    You got away with it, you set a great example!(sarcasm)
    But in reality, if a violation was indeed committed, and you did “get away with it” why justify it under hashgasha pratis – –

  6. “Why is this a good story? First of all dina d’malchusa dina applies here. You should not be getting any traffic tickets.”

    #2: It is a good story since the woman is innocent of the charges! (And was found innocent by the court.)

  7. Number 2 and 3,
    Obviously you only have issues with the frum person,who received the ticket,
    And not the police officer who violated the law after swearing to tell the truth, repeatedly lied
    (by saying he has no recollection)
    And decided to act like a spoiled 2 year old who didn’t get a lollipop.

  8. How about some common sense here? If she was guilty of the traffic violation it would have been paid without going to court. Obviously she plead not guilty and hence the court appearance.

  9. As per #1, #3 and #6.

    As for #5 – the vast majority HAVE committed a violation and are just trying to save money. I’m not saying that is true in this specific case, but it is true for 95% of them.

  10. I don’t know how some of you missed it, but he went to “fight” the ticket. He felt he didn’t deserve the ticket. Yes dina d’malchusa sina, but what happend to dan l’kaf Zechus?

  11. outoftownjew – “First of all dina d’malchusa dina applies here.”
    That’s right and dina d’malchusa has determined that A very thankful Yid’s wife id not guilty, so have a Yiddish heart and just stay out of town.

  12. Shalom all,
    How about lightening up a bit. There’s no mitzvah in getting a ticket, but it happens to the best drivers. Remember back to Yom Kippur. We all know that we are guilty of the “violation”, but we are happy to not pay the fine. Let’s wish a fellow Jew well. I am sure that the lesson has been learned.

  13. Why attribute your unexpected luck to some divine intervention that is nothing short of miraculous? The storyteller benefited from the sheer stupidity of a careless police officer. The “very thankful Yid” should donate an equivalent of the fine he missed to a NYC charity.

  14. I compliment the ‘very thankful Yid’ for taking the time and effort to send this message. Yes, it is was chessed from Above.

    Don’t we say 3 times a day (at least) ‘v’al nisecho she’bechol yom EEMONU’. Let us wake up and recognize all the chassodim that H-shem does for us EVERY DAY.

  15. 12, B”H you’ve never been through this. There was no evidence that they were going to “fight” the ticket. For all we know they were just showing up when they were supposed to, possibly planning to offer mitigating circumstances, but not necessarily anything more. When the policeman doesn’t show up, it’s dismissed.

  16. If you showed up earlier you would have sat and waited till your turn. If they would have called your wife earlier and you weren’t there she would have been found guilty. Which means that she wasn’t called before you got there.

  17. Response to #2&3 whats wrong with you guys? A parking ticket is $115 it’s a days. It’s olny the jewish neigbor.. that get all this tickets I work in harlem no one gets tickets there you almost don’t see a traffic agent.
    And if you are so busy with the law what’s about “inisint till provin guilty”?

  18. In response to COMMENT #2, if we were to cut open your heart we would find a cross. First, your assuming that she (the guys wife) willingly broke the law which is not the case. Second, he was not relaying on a nes it just happened by divine providence, ie. G-d’s will (baruch hu u’varuch shmo). Lateness is a problem for all people and nations. Your over exaggerating your points. You have a goyish pen. It you stay quiet people will thing your smart. Good thing your from out of town so the city Jews do not have to deal with you secularism. That was a very nice story. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Wouldn’t the result have been the same if the person went to a house of ill repute? So now in the zechus of being in such a place, he was let out of the ticket. Shkoyach!

  20. Another way to be Daam Lechaf Zechus, would be to reralize that even if the authors wife was in the wrong (and we do not know, that she was, there is in fact a good chance, she was not in the wrong), who is to say she would not have done Teshuvah since then and thus H-sh-m might have easily decided she deserved to have this ticket dismissed
    in light of her sincere teshuvah?

  21. #2,3,etc. – While getting a ticket is bad, it is very common and happens to almost everybody, as most of us know from personal experience. Getting a ticket does not make you a terrible person. And why doesn’t dan likaf zchus apply just as much as dinah dmalchusa dina?

    #17 – You can’t be serious. Who do you think made the police officer act like he did?! Hashem runs this world, and everything in it. Everything that happens is a decree straight from Hashem, and He has a very good reason for everything He does. If the 10 makkos happened right now, would you attribute them to Hashem or to freak forces of nature? What will it take for you to see Hashem’s hand – a hand of fire coming down from the sky?! We are in galus, everything Hashem does is hidden. It is crucial to our emunah to always remember that Hashem is running everything behind the scenes, and all is done with a cheshbon.

    #23 – If you are so up-in-arms about #2 not being dan likaf zechus on another jew, how can you assume that he/she has a “cross in their heart”, a “goyish pen”, and that you are happy that “your from out of town so the city Jews do not have to deal with you”?! Where’s YOUR ahavas yisroel?

  22. #17 or ywn613, I guess you don’t celebrate purim either. Where was the divine intervention? The Queen interceded and the king relented. Actually, how about Pesach? Did anyone see a hand come out of heaven? Frogs appeared and animals died! Why don’t you rather celebrate the establishment of ‘The Greatest City In The World’?

  23. Wow I was reading through the comments and waiting for somebody to say it. Finally number 21 said it. Does anyone have a brain? Are you using it? Regardless of why the cop acted like that or if she should’ve gotten the ticket or blah blah blah. This part is not true “Had we arrived at the court a little earlier, she likely would have been called up before the incident.” That’s not how traffic courts work- I’ve been to 30 plus cases (only 1 was mine) in 4 diff. states. You get called up when it’s your turn if you’re not there and didn’t let the court know (and even then it depends) you are found guilty. Regardless of what time you’re supposed to be at court or what time you get show up your turn is your turn. That is determined way b/f you went matzah baking (whether that’s a mitzvah or not, just b/c somebody wants to make matzoh so he can sell them to pathmark or shoprite and they get thrown out at the end of yom tov when no one buys them did he fulfill a mitzvah? Was it even a hecsher mitzvah? How about somebody who makes all that garbage they sell in Judiaca stores, is that a mitzvah? It’s a business like any other business- it depends on what the case was here. Just b/c you’re involved with matzohs or lulavs or oil for chanukah it doesn’t mean you’re doing a mitzvah) it’s determined by the clerk of the court based on date/ last name and such. So this is not like you got on a plane and then got off at the last minute b/c… and that plane flew into the wtc. This is the fact that you’re wife’s turn was after the cop went nuts and that turn had absolutely nothing to do with your matzah baking as far as any of us know. Sorry. Try again.

    Is there a din of dinah dmalchusa dinah in this country? Call R’ Dovid Feinstein and ask him. Or R’ Belsky.

  24. Maybe she made a mistake or had a legal reason for doing what she did and really did not deserve the ticket.

    Therefore, not knowing the dynamics involved nor the actual case, it is foolish and wrong to jump to the conclusion that someone was trying to “get away with something” or to “disrespect the law”. I highly doubt that is the case here.

    Whatever the reason, it is clear as day that this was Hashgacha Pratis and Hashem obviously saved him the fine + surcharges and/or points that he/his wife would have received had they been found guilty, and he obviously hadn’t PLANNED to still be baking Matzos and, thus, make his wife late for court.

    There’s no need to jump down the guy’s throat when he’s trying to spread awareness of Hashem’s incredible Hashgacha Pratis and his Hakaras hatov to the Borei Olam for saving himself his hard-earned money when his wife very like did nothing to deserve a ticket (perhaps, only given the circumstances, but nonetheless did not deserve to have been found guilty).

    That’s not to imply anything negative about the many hard-working professionals at the NYPD. But there are 2 sides to every story, so she could well have been correct but couldn’t be sure the law would come out on her side, so she was pre-emptively spared the motions of the trial. Is that not something to be take notice of?

  25. Her turn came when it did whether tehy showed up on time or not.
    But G-d decided to run things in such a way that her turn came up after the cop stopped testifying.
    That is hashgacha protis.

    Even a leaf does not turn over in teh wind unless G-d decides it will and he decides how many times and exactly where each leaf will finally land.

    Col Vchomer for deciding when someones turn will come up in a case of a ticket in court.

    Also I remember learning that a person should not constantpy check his money in his wallet, because
    if H-sh-m wants to make a minor miracle and have him put ina few dollars extra it is far easier to make it seem like “he just forgot how much he had” rather then knowing for sure and then suddenly somehow more appeared by a miracle.

    But wait…..Wasn’t the exact amount already in the wallet, no matter what?

    But G-d decides what is and what is not.
    As long as we do not yet ‘know’ there are many possibilities and thus there can be hiden miracles.

    So too in court as long as the people did not know for sure exactly when their turn would come, G-d could have it come at any time and he could make a hidden miracle for it to come later, after the cop stopped testifying.

  26. #7, she wasn’t found not guilty, the charge was dismissed because the officer refused to speak of the incident in which she received a citation. Whether a person is or is not guilty of an offense, Hashem knows true guilt or true innocence. I am not so worried about a person trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the courts, but I am tremendously worried when a person tries to deny guilt when Hashem knows there is guilt.

  27. just because you were let off doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be driving safely and following all the traffic laws after all dinay malchusah dinah

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