Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A driver without a license is threat to life

VIN reports an discussion between Rav Chaim Kanievsky and a bochur who drove without a license and had an accident.

This is discussed by Rav Sternbuch in volume 1 #850. A similar conclusion that the driver is a rodef and can be reported to the police is found in Minchas Yitzchok, Tzitz Eliezar and Rav Ovadiya Yosef.

Rav Sternbuch quotes the Steipler as follows:
...(R’ Yaakov Kaniefsky was very angry with those who violated traffic laws whose purpose is to protect the lives of the members of society. I heard that someone once came to him because he was worried that he was about to receive a very severe punishment because he had violated the traffic laws. He wanted to receive a beracha that he would be free of the punishment. R’ Kaniefsky replied with a very sharp admonition and told him that in truth he deserved to be punished!) (This was even though R’ Kaniefsky was not necessarily in agreement with the secular laws in general). Therefore it would appear that if the person is considered a danger to society and since we can’t punish him ourselves, he should be reported to the police – with the permission of beis din or the rabbi of the community. This is in fact a mitzva since it is saving the community from harm and possible death.


  1. This bochur didn't hurt anyone and yet he's branded a "murderer" by one of the Gedolei Hador. Al Achas Kama Vekama, a child molester who destroys people's lives should be treated the same way. Recently a group of rabbis raised $1M in bail money for a man arrested for attacking a young girl in a Brooklyn stairwell. The man was subsequently convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. How do these rabbis justify setting this pervert free to attack other innocent children? What kind of perversion is this of the halacha of pidyon shvuyim? How can the Noveminsker Rav start a "defense fund" for a man who was responsible for an unprecedented amount of chillul hashem by the way he operated his meat plant? Are these our tzedaka priorities today? Where is the moral and financial support for sexually abused victims? Instead there is "vigorous opposition" towards legislation that would protect our children from sexual molesters and that would give the victims some legal recourse. We constantly see support being given to the criminals while the victims are consistently stifled, shunned and abandoned.

  2. Steve - those are excellent questions that I would also like answers to


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