Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
At this moment, in cities, towns and neighborhoods across the country, someone’s mother,
child, friend, or spouse glances impatiently at the clock, only to have flashes of mild annoyance chill into icy pricks of worry and fear. An eventual knock on the door results in a welcome surge of relief, only to cruelly dissipate as grimed faced police officers present themselves and utter words that forever annihilate the listener’s peace of mind.
Another life has been snuffed out or been seriously damaged by the self-indulgent actions of a
stranger. A beloved person has been prematurely torn away because of another person’s irresponsibility behind the wheel.
In the past, most of the avoidable carnage on the roads was caused by drunk driving. While that is still a big factor in vehicular manslaughter, an increasing danger comes from seemingly innocuous activities.
These activities include eating while driving, putting on makeup, reading newspapers or office
reports, doing homework, changing radio stations or CDs, looking at the passenger beside you or in the back seat, and speaking on a cell phone.
In my view, people who yak away while driving are just about as impaired as drunk drivers. When I say yakking – I am referring to those individuals who chat almost non-stop from the time they get into the car. Although hand held phones have been outlawed in some states, many do not have this safeguard in place. And furthermore, since when has the threat of a
ticket or fine stopped people from doing what they felt like doing? “Serial chatterers,” with cell phone in hand, heedlessly go their merry chirpy way.
I understand that sometimes people answer the phone – they do not initiate the call, and once
ascertaining that the conversation can wait – put the phone down. I also concede that sometimes there is no place to safely pull over when receiving or making an important call. These drivers’ concentration is usually interrupted for a brief moment or two, and they
quickly get back on track.
It is very disturbing to see car pool mothers, their vans full of small children, trying to negotiate
left-turns while their heads are angled and tilted as they balance the phone on their shoulder. It is distressing to see drivers who excitedly talk with their hands, intent on the sound coming from the other end of their phones, with stock market quotes or juicy gossip filling their ears. Instead of being focused on the road, their attention is absorbed by the conversation.
Their ability to drive alertly is severely compromised, and this impaired ability is self afflicted and totally preventable. One can only come to the conclusion that they do indeed have a serious “impairment,” albeit an emotional one, not physical one - a pathological selfishness that translates into a blatant disregard for the public well-being.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
This is the story of a Holocaust survivor who began her odyssey in Dej, Romania. Chanele Anne Grun Kempler was a teenager when she came to Auschwitz, almost 20 when she immigrated to Montreal and became a famous artist, and 64 when she passed away, alone in her bed, in 1994, on her chest a letter from Yad Vashem informing her that the painting she offered to the organization would be admitted and displayed.
It’s not that I think contractors, painters and tile guys are exclusively greedy, deceitful incompetent people – I think they are just poor businessmen or women!
I look into the flickering flames of the Shabbos candles and I am thankful for the warmth and light that emanates from them and illuminates our home.
Widow of world-famous nuclear scientist and human rights activist, Dr. Andre Sakharov, and an outstanding activist in her own right, Yelena Bonner was invited to speak of the suffering she endured in Stalinist Russia. Instead, the 86-year-old leader of the Russian human rights movement chose to speak about Israel and the Jews. Why?
I wonder why bullying exists in our community and in society at large? I was very surprised at a 30-year-old client’s explanation.
The rebbe had told Meir and Yehudah to take turns, but that wasn’t working out so well.
The sage Hillel summarized the entire Torah by saying, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn it.”
Sometimes it is hard to help people, and sometimes you can help people by just using whatever it is you have at the time – even an amazing fishing rod.
Musial told the taunted Jackie Robinson: “I want you to know that I’m not like many of the other guys on my team.”
Brooklyn resident David Siller, currently studying in Israel at Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah in Beit Shemesh, was awarded a trophy for finishing 3rd in his age group (14-18) in a 5-kilometer race for the benefit of the Benjamin Children’s Library of Beit Shemesh.
Let me begin by congratulating my dear machatunim, Soraya and Jay Nimaroff, on being the recipients of the Community Service Award at the Sderot Hesder Institutions 18th annual anniversary dinner.
How confusing it was growing up with conflicting messages. On the one hand, we were told, even admonished, to eat everything on our generously piled up plates (it was a sin to waste food), yet we were made to feel like we were a lower form of human being if we were overweight.
While in New York recently, I was invited to see a performance of “Waiting for Godot” – a multi-layered play on the human condition that I was introduced to in high school. What was fascinating and unique about this particular production was that this renowned play was being performed in Yiddish – with English and Russian subtitles beamed onto a screen for non-Yiddish speakers. (Staged by the New Yiddish Rep, at the Castillo Theatre, and directed by Moshe Yassur, it stars Shane Baker, David Mandelbaum, Rafael Goldwaser, Avi Hoffman and Nicholas Jenkins.)
Now and then my Bubby would open up about what she went through in the camps, of what she witnessed… From time to time she would talk about her baby sisters – twins – and how she would sew them identical dresses and braid their hair the same way challenging everyone to guess who was who.
Our community has a very different mindset – we live to have children. Each child is considered a bracha – a priceless commodity to cherish and nurture.
I read an article recently that described the fascinating phenomenon of mainstream, well-educated, responsible men and women deciding not to have children. According to the article, these people have given the matter a great deal of thought and have come to the conclusion that parenting is not for them.
Now and then you read or hear of a tragedy – typically a car accident – where those involved are suffering from life-threatening injuries or unfortunately have lost their lives. Frequently, in the initial reports, the victims remain nameless “pending notification of next of kin.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/driving-while-distracted/2004/01/14/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: