web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

Doing The Right Thing:  Is It Always Advisable?  

Dear Rachel,

A recent incident has left me so frazzled I feel I must warn others to be on their guard so they don’t encounter the aggravation I could have avoided. As I was getting ready to pull out of a parking space in Lakewood, New Jersey, one recent morning, I accidentally tapped the car parked behind mine.

I got out to check what if any damage I might have caused and saw that I had dented the metal grill. Not one to shirk responsibility, I promptly scribbled a note of apology with my name and cell number on a piece of paper, and secured it beneath the vehicle’s windshield wiper.

Of course I had no way of knowing whom the car belonged to (in my mind I pictured an elderly woman) but was taken aback when I received a call from its irate owner not long after arriving home. The female voice at the other end let me have it, to put it mildly. She blasted me for having the nerve to hit her car and threatened to call the cops.

You can imagine how flabbergasted I was; I could have easily just driven away but decided to do the right thing. And here I was getting yelled at for my decency. I remained composed and kept a polite tone regardless, trying to assure the woman I’d take care of the damage.

I immediately placed a call to a relative who happens to be a car mechanic, described the car and the damage, and he said he’d place an order for the part right away. In the meantime, while we were occupied with Chanukah lecht-tzinden later that night, I received a voicemail on my cell – from the police, no less!

In the end, I let all further calls from this woman go to voicemail and prevailed upon my mechanic to get in touch with her himself; he generously agreed to set up a time with her for replacing the damaged grill.

Baruch Hashem the incident is behind us now, but I am frankly rethinking my strategy. In the world we are living in today, not only may it not pay to be nice, it may get us into more trouble than it’s worth.

 

Thinking twice…  

Dear Thinking,

You are in a minority (with your niceness). I can’t count how many times over the years my car was dented or scratched while parked, and I’ve yet to discover that scribbled note identifying the guilty party. Many others, I find as I ask around, have shared the same frustrating experiences.

Another young woman I know did the same as you, when she had a sudden need to pick up an item one erev Yom Tov. The only available parking space she found was a tight one at the end of a line of a row of cars in a large parking lot.

As she maneuvered her way in, she scratched the car right next to hers. Feeling badly, she left a note with her name and number on the windshield. The car’s owner got in touch with her and said she’d be taking it in for an estimate of the repair. She called again several weeks later to claim $2000 worth of damage. The poor woman who wanted to do the right thing is a single mom who can barely sustain herself and her children.

It’s never easy to have to make a split-second decision, but if the damage is barely noticeable, it may not pay to take a chance on being taken for a ride (puns unintended). To the credit of many well-intentioned individuals, ads reading, “If it was your beige Camaro I sideswiped on [date, place] please contact me at [number]” are not uncommon in local publications.

Unfortunately, there will be times when someone seeing an opportunity to make a quick buck will try to take advantage of us. Most people are known to willingly hand over cash rather than report the incident to the police or their insurance companies (risking an increase in premium). The woman who was so nasty to you was most likely upset that she missed the opportunity for a payout.

A nearly forgotten incident from many years back came to mind as I read your letter. One windy, fall day as I was walking down a street on the outskirts of a Jewish community, an elderly Yiddish speaking man approached me and handed me a note he asked me to translate for him. He said he’d found it on his car but couldn’t decipher it. He explained that he had just returned from a short trip to a store a block away and discovered that another driver had apparently swerved into his parked car in the interim, causing heavy damage.

I was happy to oblige – until I read the obscenity. Trying my best to appear unflustered, I said the note had nothing to do with the incident and must have simply been carried to his car by the wind or placed there by some kids. I couldn’t see further agitating the poor man who was out of luck, the perpetrator having probably made a show of leaving the note to impress some eyewitness bystander.

Can’t argue with your change in attitude, but the long of it is that all things are meant to be and better to have aggravation over a car than chas v’sholom something innately more dear to us.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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 “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Gidon Saar Resignation Announcement
Minister Gidon Saar Unexpectedly Announces Resignation
Latest Sections Stories
Ganz-091214-Fifty

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-284/2013/12/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: