Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Psak Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv: "The Driver has to Pay !"


He is 101 years old but his mind hasn’t lost its sharpness. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv has announced a new rabbinic decision which sounds quite interesting. At least it may concern many car drivers and this is the reason why I am publishing his Beit Din case.

An important follower of the Litvishe Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv was driving in his car when he decided to pick up a hitchhiker. After getting on the car, the driver asked the hitchhiker to put on the seat belt. The hitchhiker delayed putting on the belt but the car owner had already started the journey. At this very moment, a policeman stopped the car. The cop gave a 500 Shekel (approx. 140 Dollar) fine to the driver for having a passenger without the required seat belt in the car. The driver, on the other hand, was terribly upset, as it was the hitchhiker’s fault and not his. Therefore, the driver asked his passenger for the 500 Shekels in return but the hitchhiker refused giving him the money.

They two went to Rabbi Eliyashiv and asked for his advice and here is his answer:

The law requests that every car passenger has to put on a seat belt and, therefore, the driver in our case should have not started his car while the hitchhiker was delaying the seat belt procedure. Because the driver didn’t wait until his passenger finally put on his seat belt but started driving off immediately, the driver has to pay the fine.

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