March 15, 2018: Cops and the roads

Our readers weigh in on this week's news.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Cops and the roads
As a follow-up to reader Pessy Krausz’s excellent “‘Tshuva’ and roads” (Letters, March 13), the roads in Israel are lethal.
I recently drove to Ben-Gurion Airport. There was a massive traffic jam due to the haredi protests around Bnei Brak. It was sheer madness, with some drivers zigzagging and forcing themselves in front of others, endangering us all.
Eventually, we started moving. I was traveling in the right lane at 90 kph and a huge truck was about one meter behind me, the driver tooting his horn like mad and scaring the hell out of me. The next lane was also jammed and there was nowhere I could move. Eventually, by intimidating others, the truck managed to pass.
For more than an hour of this traffic madness, I did not see a single policeman on the roads.
I reached the airport and found the police station in Terminal 3. The policemen seemed amused at my being there. I described the traffic situation; one stopped me and told me to file a complaint. I asked him why there weren’t policemen on the road to see the outrageous traffic violations. Both continued smiling and I left.
Seriously, why are there not more police patrols on the roads rather than in offices? Patrol cars or motorcycles every 5-10 kilometers – which is not so many – could fix the problem. Police should not be in offices but in the field!
Israel and Syria
One of the most important articles on the current situation must be Joshua Block’s “Send a clear message to Iran, Hezbollah and Assad” (Comment & Features, February 18), with its conclusion that “the most effective way to prevent a future escalation with potentially catastrophic consequences for the region is to dismantle any Iranian presence along Israel’s border altogether.”
For us Jews, as worshipers of “the Universal God of justice and righteousness” (the Amida prayer), we have a moral obligation to obliterate Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog’s more recent “We must defend our values in Syria” (Observations, March 9) indicates that this is the right way to proceed, with the additional conclusion that, ultimately, American leadership is needed in “the defense of human dignity and human rights, and the defense of a rules-based global political order in Syria and beyond.”
The Passover spirit
I once spoke to my late relative, Rav Avrohom Genechovsky, before Pessah, and he told me the following insight: If you compare the words hametz and matza in Hebrew, they have almost the exact same letters. The only differentiation is a small opening between the letter he in matza as compared to the letter het in hametz. One need only extend the middle obtrusion of the letter he upwards and the result will be a het.
What’s the message? The only differentiating factor between a life of matza and one of hametz is but the smallest of protrusions. One can break through an impure life of hametz and enter the realm of the purity of matza through infinitesimal change.
Analyzing the word hametz further, my first-cousin in Otniel, Rabbi Yakov Nagen (Genack), gave over the following thought to an audience that included Dafna Meir the night before she was murdered by a terrorist in 2016. He said the key message of hametz was not to let time pass without taking advantage of every moment. He said this was how you overcame the guiles of evil inclination.
Indeed, Dafna approached my cousin after the lecture and said she was inspired by the message. Such a woman of valor left this world appreciating the greatness of each moment.
Combining the message of my two relatives, perhaps one could say that a breakthrough can be made at any time, and when the breakthrough is made, the goal is to live every moment with passion and self-awareness.
Clifton, New Jersey