Rabbi Leff Shlita: If You See A Reckless Driver, Report Him To The Authorities

speedometerAUDIO: With recent talk in a previous article about the Halacha’s requirements of wearing a seatbelt, TLS presents a response from Rabbi Zev Leff Shlita who addresses this particular issue, as well as the issue of reporting a reckless driver to police. (Submitted by a reader). He says, if someone has warned a parent about strapping their child into a car seat, or to put a helmet on a child riding a bike, and they do not adhere to the warning, they are required to go to Bais Din, and Bais Din is obligated to do something.

Furthermore he says, the Minchas Yitzchok has a Halachic ruling that if you see someone driving recklessly, or someone who endangers the life of others, and you warn him and he does not listen, you should go to the police to report him to prevent him from endangering another’s life.

Rabbi Zev Leff is one of Israel’s most popular English-speaking Torah educators. For more than 20 years, he has served as the rav (rabbi) of Moshav Matityahu, a small religious community located in central Israel adjacent to Kiryat Sefer, and just outside Modiin. In addition to the shiurim (lectures) he gives seven days a week at Matityahu, Rabbi Leff is constantly traveling to speak at schools, yeshivot, seminaries, community centers, and events throughout Israel and abroad.

A much sought-after lecturer and teacher, Rabbi Leff is often called to England, South Africa, the United States and other countries to inspire, enlighten and provide Torah guidance. He has the rare ability to bring across a subtle point of Torah learning with wit, humor and analytical brilliance. Rabbi Leff has also authored books and countless articles.

Rabbi Leff received his semicha ordination from the Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland Ohio, where he studied under Rav Mordechai Gifter, zt”l. In 1974, Rabbi Leff became the rabbi of Young Israel of North Miami Beach, where he spent the next nine years building a thriving young Torah community. Fulfilling a life-long dream, he moved with his family to Eretz Yisrael in 1983 settling in Moshav Matityahu where he continues to serve as Rav, as well as Rosh Hayeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah Matisyahu.

For more on Rabbi Leff Shlita, go to Rabbileff.net.

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  1. Thank you for this common sense ruling. It is comforting to read this report and you can be sure I will be reporting reckless driving, and parents who do not listen to warnings about using car seats.

  2. Interesting Psak. 10 or 15 years ago where a car seat or helmet was not rquired would the ruling be the same. What about places were it is not required to wear a bicycle helmet.

    Just because certain states enact a law doesn’t make it any more or less of a danger. would love to see the teshuva on this

  3. The Michas Yitzchok does not address the question of IF IT IS a danger to drive without seat-belts. He is talking about things that are CLEARLY sakonoh.

    I am not sure what the negios is here, but why wont TLS present the opposing opinions. Someone here seems to have an agenda!!

  4. #4

    If you have a she’ailah, don’t ponder it – ask it. I’m sure that Rabbi Leff would be happy to address the issue. Teshuvahs don’t arise ourt of thin air. Someone has to ask.


    I’m not sure what the opposing opinion would be, but here are some suppositions:

    1) One should never wear seat belts despite the data that exists indicating that they save lives. One should have faith that Hashem will protect you.

    2) There is no requirement within halacha to wear seat belts regardless of the safety issue.

    3) Even though there is a secular law requiring seat belts, halacha does not require you to do so despite the concept of dinah demalchutah dinah.

    Regardless, one of these opinions WAS posted in this forum yesterday with no specific references, to which Rabbi Leff’s response was cited.

    Since then, I have been able to find a document published under the auspices of the Kof-K that addresses car safety issues in the same manner. The document was compiled by R’ Moishe Dovid Lebovits and reviewed by R’ Benzion Schiffenbauer Shlita, and cites the Meir Nisivim pages 67, 136, 138, Rivevos Ephraim 8:128:7, Madanei Shlomo (Moadim) page 145, specific to the issue of seat belts and requiring one to wear them.

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