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Melbourne, Australia - Police Regret Yom Kippur Jaywalking Ticket

Published on: October 17, 2008 11:45 AM
By: AJN
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Melbourne, Australia - Police are concerned about their relationship with Orthodox Jews after an incident at a Caulfield intersection on Yom Kippur.

A Caulfield North woman, who does not wish to be named, was crossing the street with her four children on their way to Chabad House of Glen Eira around 11.30 on Yom Kippur morning, when she became involved in a verbal altercation with police.

With no traffic close by, and no automatic cycle on the lights, the woman said she and her children were crossing Glen Eira Road at Hawthorn Road, with the lights in Hawthorn Road on green.

But the pedestrian light at the crossing was on red, and as they crossed the street, police in a car turning into the intersection began gesticulating to them.

“I was standing in the middle of the road not quite sure what to do, so they motioned for me to cross the road.”

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The woman said a female officer told her she was endangering her children’s lives and she would be given a fine.

“They asked me for my [driver’s] licence, which I didn’t have on me, so they were radioing through my information. We were standing on the side of the road Yom Kippur morning for about five to 10 minutes, so I can get my ticket.”

She was then told that if the police had not been concentrating on the road, there could have been an accident.

“While they were giving me my ticket, I asked them if they could please get out of the car and press the button for us, as we couldn’t press the button [as] it was a very special day. They said, ‘No ... you can press the button, your God will understand.”

When the woman explained she was not permitted by her religion to press the button and that her rabbi would also not press a button on Yom Kippur, the policewoman reportedly said: “We’d fine him too if we saw him doing this ... we have our own religion, we’re the ones that have to go to the accidents.’”

The woman’s seven-year-old daughter began to cry during the heated argument. After police had given her the ticket, her 11-year-old son pressed the button and the car then waited until the family had crossed the road. She arrived at shul in tears.

“I don’t think it was an anti-Semitic incident. I think it was pure stupidity and [the policewoman] was very aggressive ... it was not fair on the children,” she told The AJN.

Victoria Police acting superintendent for Moorabbin division Margaret Lewis said that it was “an extremely unfortunate situation”.

Superintendent Lewis said the female officer was not a regular with Caulfield police. “She’s just come back to work and hasn’t been party to some of the programs I’ve put into place in relation to educating the police on the Jewish culture and Jewish religion.”

She added that police are considering meeting the woman and that the ticket issued to her was subsequently withdrawn.

Local pedestrian crossings operate on an automatic cycle on Shabbat but not necessarily on high holy days. The Hawthorn-Glen Eira corner is one that does not have automatic lights on Jewish holidays, an issue police say they now intend taking up with VicRoads.

Community Security Group coordinator Gavin Queit said the high holy days period had so far been largely peaceful and that police had done a highly effective job in providing security.


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Read Comments (24)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Oct 17, 2008 at 01:15 PM Mark Levin Says:

Perhaps not anti semetic per se but quite stupid on the cop's part. What can you do? No one is perfect. The Police should drop the issue and give classes to people why not to cross in middle of the streeet.

2

 Oct 17, 2008 at 01:09 PM Ari Says:

Pleaase come on lets not scream anti-semites over every incident, this sound like such a minor incident its ridiculous .

3

 Oct 17, 2008 at 01:02 PM Traveler for Bussines Says:

The Chabad Rov in the Glen Eira shul is a tzadik a mentch

4

 Oct 17, 2008 at 02:29 PM Jew Boy Says:

"When the woman explained she was not permitted by her religion to press the button and that her rabbi would also not press a button on Yom Kippur, the policewoman reportedly said: “We’d fine him too if we saw him doing this ..."

Not anti-semitic??????????????

5

 Oct 17, 2008 at 04:29 PM Anonymous Says:

only in australia

6

 Oct 17, 2008 at 04:25 PM Milhouse Says:

Mark Levin, they were not crossing in the middle of the street, they were crossing at the lights, with a green light. But they didn't push the button to get the little green man. There was no danger at all, this cop was just asserting her "authoritie" because she could. Probably someone at the cop shop had just disrespected her, so she decided to take it out on a member of the public.

When Greg Champion sang many years ago: "Crossing at the lights when the little man is flashing/You can get arrested for that", he was joking. He obviously didn't know that you really can, at least, get a ticket for it!

7

 Oct 17, 2008 at 04:22 PM Anonymous Says:

NO, NOT anti-semitic, honest.

8

 Oct 17, 2008 at 04:06 PM Buncha dumdums Says:

Jew boy you sound like an idiot just what she was trying to say was thats its dangerous wheter or not you are a rabbi or anyone else sure she probably doesnt particularily like jews but y should she do u have sentimental feelings for everyone on the street?

9

 Oct 17, 2008 at 04:49 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #2  
Ari Says:

Pleaase come on lets not scream anti-semites over every incident, this sound like such a minor incident its ridiculous .

No one is screaming "anti-Semitism"! But it's a "minor" incident when it happens to someone else! I'm not familiar with the traffic conditions in Australia, or that particular intersection, but pedestrian crossing on red is not the biggest crime in the world. The female cop, however was acting with [extreme] insensitivity and self-importance!!! (Oh yes, she's [very] dummmbbbb!!!

10

 Oct 17, 2008 at 05:34 PM RemezMaven Says:

what about the video cameras? if your image is on a camera on shabbos then you have done the same thing as pushing the button in terms of electricity.

11

 Oct 17, 2008 at 05:33 PM buncha dumdums Says:

the cop may have been overly officious an evrething but if u are a crossing by yourself ok but with your kids besides on yo kippur its probably not smart to use up schusim oh bt you are right the cop was a jerk about it

12

 Oct 18, 2008 at 02:53 PM Anonymous Says:

remez maven
go learn some hilchos shabbos
psik reisha vlo yamus.....
for more elucidation on the subject im pretty sure you can google it

13

 Oct 18, 2008 at 09:11 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #11  
buncha dumdums Says:

the cop may have been overly officious an evrething but if u are a crossing by yourself ok but with your kids besides on yo kippur its probably not smart to use up schusim oh bt you are right the cop was a jerk about it

What zchusim are you using up? Read the article: THE LIGHT WAS GREEN. But the green pedestrian signal had not come on, because she hadn't pushed the button, so it remained red. All the green man does is give you extra time to cross.

14

 Oct 18, 2008 at 08:59 PM BunchaDumdums Says:

Good one anonymous I love bashing these silly people who come up with chumras just to show of how frum they are (sorry Remez Maven)

15

 Oct 18, 2008 at 10:20 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

remez maven
go learn some hilchos shabbos
psik reisha vlo yamus.....
for more elucidation on the subject im pretty sure you can google it

Anon. The message is correct but the quote is misplaced! (The inference of the statement (quoted by you) is the opposite of the message you meant to convey!

16

 Oct 18, 2008 at 10:17 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #14  
BunchaDumdums Says:

Good one anonymous I love bashing these silly people who come up with chumras just to show of how frum they are (sorry Remez Maven)

Rest assured, RM (#14) wasn't genuine! He was being cynical!!!

17

 Oct 18, 2008 at 10:15 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #10  
RemezMaven Says:

what about the video cameras? if your image is on a camera on shabbos then you have done the same thing as pushing the button in terms of electricity.

Not true! Only if you deliberately walk in front of a camera (i.e. To be interviewed by the media) (Sources and reasons are not relevant for this forum. Since this is a News outlet, not a Rabbinic discussion board!)

18

 Oct 19, 2008 at 12:16 AM uncle velvel Says:

the almighty sees all...a very heroic act of a kiddush hashem by this woman and 4 kids and beaurocratic blunder and a boosha for the police when you really need them they never come!!!

19

 Oct 19, 2008 at 12:10 AM Anonymous Says:

What did the lady do with the ticket? I assume it was a paper one & she couldn't have taken it & carried it? Or did the cop witch give her another one for refusing to accept it??

20

 Oct 19, 2008 at 12:28 AM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #18  
uncle velvel Says:

the almighty sees all...a very heroic act of a kiddush hashem by this woman and 4 kids and beaurocratic blunder and a boosha for the police when you really need them they never come!!!

It's BUREAUCRATIC!!!

21

 Oct 19, 2008 at 01:28 AM NY,NY Says:

It is some chutzpa for the cop to make this woman (or in this case her son) do a miktza thing on Yom Kippur. The answer that "your g-d would understand" is what makes me angry. I don't say anti semite, but she is too stupid to be in a Police uniform. Let her get a job that matches her intelligence.

22

 Oct 19, 2008 at 03:51 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

What did the lady do with the ticket? I assume it was a paper one & she couldn't have taken it & carried it? Or did the cop witch give her another one for refusing to accept it??

There's an eruv.

23

 Oct 19, 2008 at 07:32 PM formely Says:

No one rally knows if the police is an anti Semite.

However, in many places (not NYC) is taken seriously. I jay walked in some places and was stopped by the police the first time I was shocked and thought the cop was joking.

In addition, not everybody knows and or understands that pushing a button can be against anybodies religion (yes the police should know) to an outsider it does sound very strange and maybe the cop thought the woman was just making it up not to get a ticket.

This reminds me a story when i was a teenager. It was shabbos, and a two woman needed change to put a dime in the meter. They asked many people and everybody for change and everybody said no. I was just looking since I thought is was funny. The woman to her friend, are the people rude, how could it be that no one has change. Then it hit one of the woman, Oh My G-d I am so stupid it is Saturday, and orthodox Jews don't carry money.

Nor every knows our does and don't .

24

 Oct 19, 2008 at 10:58 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #15  
bigwheeel Says:

Anon. The message is correct but the quote is misplaced! (The inference of the statement (quoted by you) is the opposite of the message you meant to convey!

The "Halachic" term that you quote [as a rhetorical question] reproaches someone who commits a Melacha ("Work") on Shabbos, unwittingly! While your message to "Remez ..." is just the opposite!!!

25

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