On Erev Shabbos Hagadol last year, a woman who is Shomer Shabbos parked in a zone that was preferential parking only for local residents in Herzliya. She was a guest and received a parking ticket for 100 NIS on Friday. When she came back to retrieve her car on Motzei Shabbos, she was shocked to find not one, but two parking tickets, the second being issued on Shabbos morning by a Jewish parking inspector.
The owner of the car issued a letter to the city of Herzliya stating that she wished to fight the second ticket in court. “I can’t move my car on Shabbos and the second ticket was written on Shabbos when the parking inspector knew full well that I couldn’t move my car,” she told Israeli media. She had paid the ticket that she received for the infraction on Friday. Thus her desire to fight the ticket was likely not financial in nature.
Attorney Eyal Reich who represented the city in court said: “The work of the parking inspectors on Shabbos is permitted according to the Labor Minister at the time the law was issued in 1961. The law was further ratified by Judge Khaled Kabub from the District Court in Tel Aviv who permitted that in certain areas across Israel work was permitted. Thus, I don’t see any reason to lessen the fines that were given.”
Judge Shlomo Eizekson, who oversees the court for local affairs in Herzliya, was amazed that parking inspectors were being employed in Herzliya on Shabbos which is a function that is not considered to be life-saving.
“I am shocked by the justification to employ Jewish parking inspectors and causing them to desecrate Shabbos just so that the city can write fines for those who parked against the law in a preferred parking space. There is no doubt that employing parking inspectors on Shabbos does not have even a smidgen of justification under the guise of life-saving. Furthermore, the employment of such inspectors goes against the requirement of employers to give their employees vacation and rest time,” added Eizekson.
At the end of the trial, the judge decreed that the woman was required to pay just 1 NIS as her fine.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)