web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Earthly Court vs. The Heavenly Court


Lessons-logo

I served in the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for many years as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), Senior ALJ, Vice Chairman of the Appeals Board and, finally, TVB Director.

The TVB was established in 1970, when I started with DMV, to serve as NYC’s traffic courts, in place of the Criminal Court. We had growing pains in the early days as we replaced a paper system with a computerized operation. During the early years, when the local offices were not “online” with the central DMV computer files in Albany, all TVB judgments were recorded on computer tapes and the central files were updated weekly.

There were a few occasions when a day’s New York City computer entries were not entered on the central files. So, dispositions – guilty and not guilty – did not update the license files. This resulted in computer-generated suspensions of motorists’ licenses for failing to answer their traffic tickets. TVB kept paper dockets in the local offices, by date, in chronological order.

One of the “lost” days was September 29, 1971.

In early 1973, when I was the Senior ALJ in Brooklyn TVB, a motorist came in with his wife. Tzion Levi (not his real name) explained in Hebrew-accented English that he had been stopped for a traffic violation and was arrested because DMV records showed his license had been suspended at the end of October 1971, for failure to answer a summons.

After he was brought to the police precinct he was given an appearance ticket and told to go to DMV and clear up the suspension on his record before appearing in the Criminal Court on the “driving while license suspended” charge.

From his name, accent, and the fact that they were conversing in Hebrew, I deduced that they were Israelis from Edot HaMizrach (Sephardim) living in New York City.

Mr. Levi insisted that he had answered the ticket in the fall of 1971. I told him that there had been a few days’ entries at that time that had not updated DMV records. I brought out the big handwritten docket books and told him to look for his name and to tell me when he found it.

Sure enough, within a few minutes, he called out to me. I looked at the docket for September 29, 1971; a day I knew was one of those that had not been updated. The docket showed that his traffic ticket for failing to display his license had in fact been dismissed.

After I prepared all the documents to clear his record and gave him whatever he would need in the Criminal Court case against him, I said,

“Mr. Levi, that is one of the days I told you about. You had very few entries to look at because that day was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, on which we had no trials scheduled, and only a few people came in to answer tickets at all.”

When Mrs. Levi heard that, she began berating her husband: “You went to court on Yom Kippur instead of Bet Knesset!” she yelled. “That’s why they lost the records and you had all these problems,” she screamed at him.

Mr. Levi looked at his wife sheepishly and vowed that in the future, on the holidays, he would go to shul.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Earthly Court vs. The Heavenly Court”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Aerial view of Yemenite Village of HaShiloach, Old City of Jerusalem and Mt. of Olives.
Jews to Double Presence in Old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Silwan
Latest Judaism Stories
God-and the world

The creation of the world is described twice. Each description serves a unique purpose.

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Lessons-in-Emunah-new

To the surprise of our protectzia-invested acquaintances, my family has thrived in our daled amos without that amenity, b’ezras Hashem.

Business-Halacha-logo

Shimon started adjusting the branches on the roof. In doing so, a branch fell off the other side of the car and hit the side-view mirror, cracking it.

I, the one who is housed inside this body, am completely and utterly spiritual.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Shammai Did Not Follow Their Own Ruling’
(Yevamos 13b 14a)

If one hurts another human being, God is hurt; if one brings joy to another, God is more joyous.

I’m grateful to Hashem for everything; Just the same, I’d love a joyous Yom Tov without aggravation.

Bereshit: Life includes hard choices that challenge our decisions, leaving lingering complications.

Rabbi Fohrman:” Great evils are often wrought by those who are blithely unaware of the power they wield.”

The emphasis on choice, freedom and responsibility is a most distinctive features of Jewish thought.

The Torah emphasizes the joy of Sukkot, for after a season of labor, we celebrate our prosperity.

The encounter with the timeless stability of the divine occurs within the Sukkot.

Hashem created all human beings and it should sadden us when Hashem, their Father, does not see nachas from them.

More Articles from Abraham Shapiro
Lessons-logo

I have written in the past about my visits to the Israeli Misrad Harishui (Israel’s DMV) in the 1970′s and 1980′s. At that time, I served as a Senior Administrative Law Judge in the American DMV Traffic Courts, Vice-Chair of DMV’s Appeals Boards, and Director of DMV Downstate Field Operations.

Lessons-logo

I served in the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for many years as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), Senior ALJ, Vice Chairman of the Appeals Board and, finally, TVB Director.

In the early 1970′s, my father, HaRav Moshe Aharon Shapiro, z”l, served as rabbi of a kosher, shomer Shabbos hotel in the Catskills. During one of those summers, my brother-in-law invited us to use his bungalow over the July 4th weekend. On Sunday we drove from the bungalow colony to visit my parents, arriving at the hotel between Minchah and Ma’ariv.

When my wife and I were about to leave Israel after last Sukkos, our son and daughter-in-law told us they were expecting another child to be born about two weeks before Pesach. We realized immediately that it would be difficult for them to make Pesach at home.

Nathan Mark, Esq., who passed away recently, spent many years working as a civil servant for the State of New York, first with the Human Rights Division and later, with me, at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

It was in the late 1980s. Retired FBI agent Tim McCarthy, Inspector General for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, took the call in his office from Kevin Green, the head of the FBI-NYPD Inter-Agency Task Force investigating official corruption in New York State and City government.

On the 6th of Adar, 5667 (March 20, 1907) Shoshe and Rabbi Avraham Halevi Shapiro welcomed Moshe Aharon, their sixth (and last) child, into the world in the little town of Nesvizh, near Baranovich, in Russia.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/the-earthly-court-vs-the-heavenly-court/2007/10/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: