Sunday, February 16, 2014

Israelis write notes to traffic cops - and it helps sometimes

PRI    Valentine’s Day isn’t widely celebrated in Israel. But Israelis do write love notes year-round — and leave them on their cars.

They’re scribbled on scraps of paper and wedged in windows. Or, they’re typed out and propped up on dashboards. [...]

Since 2011, I have been taking pictures of what I call "Love Notes to Traffic Cops." So I showed Avraham some photos in my collection to see how he would respond to the notes if he were to see them on the job.

When a driver writes “I’m dropping off my kids at kindergarten, please don’t give me a ticket,” he doesn’t. Avraham said it’s not fair to ticket a parent when everyone’s dropping off kids and taking up all the parking spots.

But there are times, he said, when people try to pull rank, writing notes like, “I’m the pharmacist at such-and-such pharmacy.” Subtext: I’m important. Don’t give me a ticket. Avraham said he does.

Then there are the kinds of notes you can only find in Israel: Honorable cop, We are sitting shiva [mourning for someone who has died] at so-and-so’s house. Here’s the address. Please don’t give us a ticket.

“In a situation like this, we do not give a ticket,” Avraham said.

Every day, parking cops get a list of where families are observing the Jewish week of mourning, Avraham said. When parking spaces run out, and visitors park illegally, they don’t get ticketed.

So, there you have it. In Israel, you can, in fact, convince parking cops not to give you a ticket. But why are Israelis prone to negotiate their traffic violations?


  1. Yeshivishe Daat Torah guyFebruary 17, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    Now that Rav Moshe Shternbuch has resigned from his position as the rosh av beis din of the Eidah Hachareidis in Yerushalayim does that minimize your influence upon Klal Yisroel? Is Your Daat Torahstill as strong?

    1. I don't know anything about RMS resigning, but I am not sure that DT gives DAasTorah in this site - ie making statements which are absolute and final. Various Deot are given from across the spectrum. If RDE happened to live in Bnei Brak and daven in one of the shuls there, he may have developed a relationship with other Gedolim. A posek can give opinons even after resigning. I am not a follower of RMS, but in some ways - independence even from a BD could lead to greater freedom.

  2. His DT influence just went up exponentially. Anyone whose Rebbe can resign in protest , shows that his Rebbe fears only the Eibishter.


  3. Dear Rabbi Eidensohn:

    As a follow up to the chilling Maharal you shared with your readers, I would also like to point out the following Peirush HaGR"A on Esther 1:7, in the "al derech remez" portion on the left. There, the Vilna Gaon writes regarding the famous Gemara in Sotah that in the days leading to Mashiach there will be an abundance of chutzpa, " בעקבות משיחא חוצפא יסגי," because the dayanim appointed will be corrupt and "einam mehuganim," therefore "nearim pney zekeynim yalbinu," the young will embarass and challenge the elders-- and the Vilna Gaon concludes that chutzpah will be so prevalent that it will exist even in the elders, "in all of them including the gedoley hador."

    דבעקבות משיחא חוצפא יסגי, והענין של החוצפא ההיא כי מעמידין דיין ופרנס שאינו הגון, ואמרו (סנהדרין ז׳) כל המעמיד דיין שאינו הגון כאילו נוטע אשירה כו׳, ובירושלמי קראם אלהי כסף ואלהי זהב (ע״ש במהרש״א) ולכך נערים פני זקנים ילבינו, אבל זקנים יעמדו מפני נערים מי הכריחן לכך, אלא שגברה החוצפא והוא אף בזקנים ובכולם גם בגדולי הדור.״

    1. thank you for your comment - but I it belongs in the post about the Maharal. I will transfer it there.

  4. So relevant to this post then...
    Rav Adin Steinsaltz, shlit"a, likes to remind people that Jews are not a religion or nation, we are a giant family. A police officer in Canada? I don't know him, I wouldn't dare try to push him on anything. A police officer in Israel? He's your distant cousin, he's family so of course you try to negotiate!


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