Letter: How is this Okay?

I doubt you’ll print this but I’m going to do the right thing and write it anyway.

I’m pretty new to Lakewood, having lived in a different state all my life, and I am appalled by all the drivers holding phones in their hands while driving. I actually thought for a while that maybe it was legal here because almost everyone does it!

What a chillul Hashem! Doing it openly without even trying to hide that they’re breaking the law and putting lives in danger! And then people are shocked by how many accidents happen here every day r”l! I’d bet many of them are a result of all the widespread phone usage while driving.

Seeing yeshivish men with their long beards holding phones gets me particularly upset. Makpid enough to only use a kosher phone but when it comes to chillul Hashem, breaking the law and endangering others, then we’re not so makpid? How is that okay?

In addition the driving of most of the people here is downright scary. Cutting people off, running stop signs, the rudeness, the lack of middos… it’s the one thing that really gets me angry about this area that’s otherwise so full of chesed and Torah learning.

How do people justify the hypocrisy?

I can tell you about the chillul Hashem aspect because a police officer discussed this problem with me and you can be sure the entire department along with the many non Jews living in Jersey can also see well enough, and they notice this on an ongoing basis, happening in our community. You can’t miss it.

Like I said I’m sure you won’t dare print this and risk insulting so many who are guilty of the above. But I believe it’s an urgent problem that needs to be addressed if we, as frum yidden, are honest with ourselves.

Hashem should keep us all safe, despite what’s going on.

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  1. Still waiting for someone to write an article about people putting away shopping carts. How lazy can people be? When a shopping cart drifts off and scratches or dents their car.

  2. If you have a problem with the way people drive etc that’s fine but to write your letter in a way that’s derogatory to our heiliege bnei Torah?? If seeing “Yeshivish Men with long beards” triggers the anti semite in you, you should have stayed in whatever state you came from! Our yungeleit with the long beards and kosher phones are the backbone of our community and if you can’t handle it I have one word for you: LEAVE

    • You can be disgusted and add it the many other issues we have which make you unperfect! Since when are you above reproach. So basically the writer is wrong simply because you can never be wrong. And you can prove it since you can never be wrong….. Shame on you!
      It’s just a suggestion Maybe start acting in a way which is above reproach

      • That really settles the issue, shoot the messenger! What a pathetic point of view. As if there aren’t hundreds if not thousands of people who have been in Lakewood before you (with longer beards) who don’t view you talking on the phone in the same way….. And let’s assume we’re all quiet can’t you just look in the mirror and see how wrong it is? Don’t you realize how it contributes to accidents, people getting hurt, cars getting ruined? doesn’t that mean anything to you?

    • “They are the backbone to out community… LEAVE”. So now they can do whatever dangerous thing they want and cause a chilul Hashem because they are “the backbone”?
      Using your phone while driving is dangerous and a Chilul Hashem regardless of what your Jewish stature is in the community.

    • If a person goes through a red light even when the road is empty and its not possible for him to get into a accident, that person is disobeying the law. the same applies for the phone, use your Bluetooth in the car or get a piece if your car doesn’t have Bluetooth

  3. The problem is that many people view chilul hashem as lifnim meshuras hadin or sort of extra credit. Its not. We need to teach our kids from a very young age. Chilul hashem is a deoraysa. The whole reason for our existence is to be mekadesh shem shomayim.

  4. I don’t drive like this but you should go back to where you came from and leave us alone! You shouldn’t be discussing this with cops

  5. Let me tell you all, it’s much worse than described. Chilul Hashem is a great concern, being a clear danger on the road to youreself and to others is a serious concern- clearly a פושע

  6. I agree that there is major problem with the driving in Lakewood, but let’s not pin all the blame on the frum people. There and plenty other drivers in Lakewood who drive just as bad or worse. The overall driving by both Jews and Non Jews is a major problem!

  7. Seems from your writing that you have a particular disdain for “Yeshiva Men with their long beards”
    How about Yeshiva Men with shorter beards or Yeshiva Men that are clean shaven?
    What about men that have a chasidic appearance?
    I think it’s reprehensible that you stereotype a specific group of people while engaged in a holier than thou diatribe.

  8. UMM
    U have clearly never taken a drive in Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn or any other main busy bustling city.

    This letter singles out one group, it smells very much like someone has a particular dislike.
    I would strongly suggest that you find it in yourself to learn to appreciate them because they hold up the world! If you start up with them you are starting up with Hashem…

    • I live in Brooklyn. I do not see that here . The letter writer is appalled. When someone is telling you that your conduct is appalling and shocking to an outsider, take the advice and put your mind to fixing it

      • Why the need to condescend, and being an “outsider”, doesn’t validate your contrarian view.

        The problem here is the lack of understanding. There is a real problem, there certainly is a need to address this on a larger scale. Someone is venting their frustrations because it appears no one wants to just tell it “like it is”. We can all share, appreciate another perspective, have a discussion without using Torah or Hashem’s name to slam another Person. Be respectful and if it angers you, walk away, log off the page. We are a unit and Hashem’s Children – just need to strive more listening and understand that many feel this way and others don’t or choose not to focus on it. Freedom to express without the need for hate or animosity.

  9. First, I dont believe the writer has any disdain for frum yeshivaleit, long or short beards, flip phone or otherwise. She is simply justifiably holding them to a standard. (Not even higher standard, basic standard.)
    Second, the chillul H’ already exists. Have you had your eyes open when you drive here in Lakewood? It is frightening. I thank H’ every day I get across town to work and back.
    My Dan l’kaf zchus for our yeshivaleit is they have no access to the news and therefore do not know about all the accidents and rollovers occurring each day. But don’t kid yourself, it’s a problem across the board with all stripes and types, Intown From Birth, and Newcomers To Town. (IFB’s and NTT’s) Perhaps a massive kol korei by the rabbonim in the town can bring attention to the problem and effect change.

  10. I’ve been driving here for around 2 decades. The driving issue became a problem starting 8 years ago when a lot of Brooklyn people started moving here. You are right that it’s a problem but it’s not the the old Lakewooders who are guilty. It’s the new people who decided to settle here and take over the town. I do wish Lakewood could go back to the way it used to be.

    • You do know that many yungerlite grew up not in lakewood, and what defines a old lakewooder, here from birth or older 40. also how do you know who is from brooklyn or from lakewood

  11. 100 percent agree, love it. For all you critical, yes its true the issue is by everyone but the “yeshiva man with a long beard” is held to a higher standard, fact, just like you’re Rabbi is, which the writer is pointing out the biggest hypocrisy. Just FYI almost every car has Bluetooth if not it can be installed. Great letter.

  12. As you can tell from the comments some lakewooders can’t take any criticism and face their truth about themselves. Yes I live here and am not going anywhere, its my choice but I don’t have to agree with all the hypocrisy that goes on. Enough said.

    • Please do us all a favor and go someplace. Any place just not here. We don’t need people like you coming here and amplifying negativity just like we didn’t come to your community and focus on all the (well known) negatives.

      • That is an escape from taking accountability. Why is it that when someone dares to stand up to a community, we attack in response instead of appreciating what it is being said. There’s much merit and substantial evidence to this letter, so responding in a condescending, judgeful manner is not the Torah way! Unfortunately, not much is ever done or addressed with urgency, so it just begins to fade. And, it’s not negativity if there’s merit to what’s being said! Voicing the frustration of many in the community.. There’s much merit, so corwardly responding in a condescending, juddeful manner is not the Torah way!

  13. I actually am one of those Yeshiva men with long beards, but I do agree with this writer, and the same goes for someone that walks around with the tallis kattan over his shirt, it requires a special behavior. So, even if the non yidden are also driving a certain way we have to be better.

  14. Dina demalchusa Dina!

    Makes no difference who you are.

    If however you’re dressed in obvious attire, then the associated chillul Hashem is beyond words.

    We’re supposed to be the ones setting examples. The role models. If this is what the kids saw growing up, how can we expect any different from them?

    Nuff said

  15. I agree with the writer and the commenters that support with good reason. Beards aside, tallis katan aside, being jewish aside…rachmana litzlan how will one live with onesself knowing they took someone’s child, parent, sibling…

  16. Where is your AHAVAS YISROEL that you preach about when we knock you for lack of tznius and not listening to halacha and daas torah? I guess Ahavas Yisroel goes only till the ehrilcher looking person! The Brisker Rov ZTL said if you find a person preaching about Ahavas Yisroel all the time, it is proof of 3 things, 1) he hates Yidden, 2) he hates the Torah and 3) he hates Hashem, R”L!

  17. I personally don’t single out any group but no matter who it is, Yid or not, it is a Chillul Hashem and tremendous Sakanah. I think every sheitel should come with Bluetooth.

  18. Ironically, I’ve noticed that the longer my beard is, the longer my conversations on the phone are while I’m driving. And as soon as I trim my beard, my cell phone shmoozing in the car decreases.
    It’s uncanny how my cell phone conversations in the car are commensurate to the exact size of my beard.
    For example: When by beard was 12 inches long, I would speak an average of 12 minutes on the phone per 1 hour of driving; 11 inches long, 11 minutes on the phone per 1 hour of driving etc. When I shaved off my beard completely, 0 minutes of cell phone shmoozing in the car. Moreover, during my beardless years of existence, when I shaved my beard completely, and hopped into the car, my phone went eerily mute on its own!
    And then when I shaved my head bald completely, I couldn’t even locate where my phone was while driving, no matter how hard I looked for it.
    There is some strange connection between beards, cell phones and automobiles.
    Call it a conspiracy theory, if you want, but I believe that cell phones were deliberately designed with bearded drivers in mind.
    The next step is to find out whether the cell phone creators and designers are beardless, bald individuals who choose to ride their bikes to work, rather then drive to work. The answer to that question might solve this entire mystery.

  19. Dear writer,
    Thank you for your letter. I’m a yeshivish person (in dress and I hope in action, mind and heart too!) who holds my phone to my ear too often. I appreciate the reminder and will iy’h make an effort to stop.

    I do want to say that other than that, I’m a careful, safe driver. And I know Lakewood gets so much flack for unsafe driving but I really don’t see this on the streets. Any time I see a really reckless turn or angry driving, it’s inevitably someone from outside our community. Never a long beard or short beard or clean-shaven with yarmulka either! Doesn’t anyone else notice this?

    What I do see is lots of drivers at stop signs forced to make problematic left turns because of traffic. If you’d wait for the traffic to clear, you’d wait forever, and cause a backup behind you. So I’d say the traffic is a big problem but the driving isn’t as bad as people say. Still, with all this traffic, every reminder to drive extra carefully and extra courteously is important and will save lives. So thank you for your message.

  20. im not saying its ok to talk while driving but when you spend so much time on lakewoods traffic filled streets its very tempting and almost impossible not to pick up the phone while driving….

  21. Just Maybe the yeshivaleit drive old cars that don’t come with Bluetooth or phones that don’t have Bluetooth capabilities? That just might be the reason it’s more prevalent around here. I wonder if new cars, and people’s phones didn’t automatically come with Bluetooth – how many of the clean shaven blue shirts would be talking on their handheld device.. can’t expect poor yeshivaleit to install a Bluetooth in a car which is about to hit the junkyard – yes there are headsets but it gets lost needs to charge etc..
    And btw how many people are busy texting or worse on their devices – which is way more distracting – honestly holding a phone and talking vs. talking on a Bluetooth not much of a difference…

    • Yes you can. they found the money to afford the car they should pay for the bluetooth also. Its not a excuse the headpiece gets lost and so on, somehow your phone is charged and you dont forget that.

  22. Couldn’t agree more with this letter..

    Idk about beard or not beard but everyone should just take a lesson from this letter and move on instead of getting insulted.

    It’s a tremendous issue and not only regarding kiddush hashem-
    I’m actually scared to drive or even be a passenger driving in Lakewood.

    We need to seriously be more careful on the road and maybe a little more giving as well..

  23. And when I go visit a different town(which i won’t name because it’s LASHON HARAH) drivers are passing school busses when dropping and picking up children. Yes it’s the law everywhere. And I think that’s appalling. There has to be more awareness. That’s all. Not bashing anyone specifically. I find that that’s NOT OK.

  24. the insanity displayed on this forum by people who cant read or comprehend the letter written is almost as bad as the unsafe driving that goes on in town. You cant call it ihr hatorah until people act like its ihr hatorah. drive safe. its halacha. before you tell me to leave town, please give the name of a dayan or posek that allows said misbehavior.

  25. Prescribing all the commenters with a Xanax. Free of charge. Will hand them out on route 9.
    The letter writer was just trying to bring out a point, becoming defensive is just showing that you’re part of the problem.
    Deep breaths everyone. Deep breaths.

  26. I totally agree that reckless aggressive driving makes a chillul Hashem.
    However I would like to question the idea that breaking the law makes a chillul Hashem.
    If there is a law about haveing english in School, and we don’t have it, is that a chillul Hashem?
    If Metzizah Bpeh is against the law, is it a chillul Hashem?
    If someone is eating or shaving while driving, is it not a Chillul Hashem just because it’s legal?
    The idea of what some bureaucrats decided what is legal or not defines a chillul Hashem?
    If I drive over the speed limit like most people in the world do at times, Is it a chilul Hashem?

  27. Why not (at least) put the phone down and have it on speaker, rather than holding it to the ear? Leaves both hands free to drive, which is somewhat safer.
    (Personally, I don’t like Bluetooth, because I hear other people’s phone conversations from outside their cars when they’re on Bluetooth.)

  28. i totally understand your aggravation. Please bear in mind that most yeshivish cars don’t have bluetooth, such drivers don’t enjoy the luxury of handsfree like you do!

  29. One has nothing to do with the other, stop bashing long beards, everyone does bad things why are you mixing the 2 they are great people and yo do pleanty bad als. should i start saying all “out of state’rs are bad when talk in shul??!! stop the HATE find yourself

  30. Chilul Hashem is a tremendous aveirah but not one writer has mentioned the posuk in the Torah of ‘V’nishmartem m’oed l’nafshoseichim’ which people are also transgressing. Driving whilst speaking on a phone is at least 4 times more likely to cause an accident. This is proven statistic. All the writer of the article was trying to say was that people who have a yeshivish appearance need to keep the the standard of the Torah, set by Hashem. They were not pointing fingers or disparaging any group. On the contrary, it is the group of people – who represent Hashem in this world – who need to keep his Torah! It’s not all just about kosher phones, tznius and hechsherim. Safeguarding life is also important! That’s why pikuach nefesh is docheh kol haTorah kulah (except 3 aveiros chamuros). So instead of just debating about chilul Hashem (which is also of the utmost importance) and becoming upset with people from out of town who dare to criticise the beautiful ir haTorah of Lakewood, maybe just sit up listen to some truth.

  31. “Go back to where you came from”?
    Condescension and disgust from a Frum person.
    “Our beautiful town”? What world are you living in? You just need to put others down – is that it?

    Arrogance and atrocious!

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