Elisheva Stein Responds to Readers On Matzav Report of Passaic Handicapped Rules


handicapped-parkingMrs. Stein wrote in to comment on yesterday’s report here and readers who questioned her stance.

My name is Elisheva Stein. This story is about me and my family. I have a few answers for my fellow Jews:

1. Thank you to my friend who posted this and to all of you special people who are behind us and understanding.

2. I thought this was a place for “frum” people. To those of you who are judging me, I feel bad for your neshamos that are riddled with sinas chinom and lashon hara. This is the reason Moshiach is not here and  don’t understand how we can possibly expect him when we treat each other like this.

I’d like to clarify a few things:

1. I filed this FEDERAL lawsuit on behalf of every disabled person in Passaic, not just us. If you would take time to do research and not spend it berating me, you would know that the American with Disabilities Act covers anything done against people with disabilities. Specifically, Title II is for public entities that discriminate against disabled people, like our city, and Federal trumps State!

2. Nobody else in this city is required to pay to park near or in front of their own home; why should disabled people? It is not a privilege to be able to access to your home.

3. As a Jew, you should be concerned that this was done to us on Shabbos, when we could do nothing to move our cars, call for help, or file a complaint.

4. I invite each and every one of you who decided we are greedy to join and my son trying to maneuver or park ANYWHERE. Better yet, please spend one day of your life being unable to walk or breathe on your own and see how “easy” it is for anyone with a disability.

In addition, this is my second child confined to a wheelchair. My beautiful daughter lost her battle with a horrible disease three years ago yesterday.

Imagine having two children in wheelchairs. They cannot move without being carried from place to place. They cannot exist without multiple medications, doctors, lifesaving equipment, nurses,or being taken care of 24 hours a day with no break at all. How many of you experience one example of that? Do you appreciate every word out of your children’s mouths, every breath they take, every movement they can make on their own?

Do you have to battle schools, medical suppliers, medicaid, insurance companies, and more just so they can exist?

Then you get to have the public officials you are supposed to rely on for help discriminate against you just for this existence and to make some money. Believe me, we pay exorbitant taxes just like you do.

5. We are NOT exempt from alternate side regulations, and taking care of our son requires a regiment of people from nurses to therapists. Our street is a commuter street, with people constantly leaving their cars here an entire day, often illegally parking in the handicapped spot with no ramifications.Often, our help cannot get to our house because there is no place to park.

I’d like to add that not once have I specified names of any of the frum councilmen/assemblymen in the paper or anywhere else. That would be lashon hara.

Again, how sad that fellow Yidden have to stoop to this level of jealousy, hate, and bitterness. May Hashem have rachamim on you in the World to Come.

{Elisheva Stein-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Mrs. Stein,
    I don’t think anyone is questioning whether it’s a difficult situation to be in. It definitely is, and I don’t envy you for it. I think the main point was whether it’s discrimination or not.

    You say that others don’t have to pay to park near their houses. That is correct. Others don’t get a reserved parking spot near their house at all. My parents live on a busy street as well.When we had multiple cars, we had a problem. The driveway only fit one car. Sometimes, we’d have to park the 2nd car a few blocks away and walk home.

    Again, I am sorry for the situation you’re in. But I don’t think it’s discriminatory. If anything, they’re being helpful to you by allowing you to have a reserved spot at all. Be thankful for that. Others don’t get that much.

  2. Orthowatch, if we have established that the parking spot is a life-saving necessity, and if we recognize that maintaining the spot costs the municipality nothing, what is the basis for charging for this “privilege”? All Mrs. Stein demands is that Passaic follow federal ADA guidelines. Her lawsuit is not a privilege-it is a right and she would be irresponsible to waive her child’s rights because it makes you uncomfortable.

  3. Ms. Stein,

    First May you take chizuk from your mesirat nefesh on behalf of your children.
    As far as paying for reserved parking spot I believe charging for a reserved parking space for the disabled is a common practice. The question is whether under title II of ADA is a reserved parking spot merely a reasonable accommidation or is it something more that is not protected under ADA.
    Unfortunately not everything can be resolved by discussion and the Court need to inervine. Hopefully things will turn out well but in all candor they may well not either way may HaSHEM COMFORT YOU AND GIVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CHIZU Best wishes for a Kosher and joyous Pesach.

  4. Elisheva: I was very moved by the first post, and even more so by this one. You are quite right when you say Klal Yisroel has a problem in this generation of not being able to put oneself in another’s place. Your situation cannot be looked at through any lens other than compassion. May you be successful in your dedicated parenting to your child, and have a peaceful Pesach.

  5. #1 sorry as long as under the law there is a handicapped provision seems the city or town wasx taking advantage
    never let them step on your rights
    as for #1 sour beans get a handicapped permit

  6. To mrs stien .

    I took care of a buchor who had MS . I know what he experienced and what his daily struggles were . Nebach he was niftar . My heart bleeds for you . When I read your response my eyes were teary . I don’t know how people can be so judgemental , and not nice . Not everyone is like this , and I hope that your precious kid should have a refuah shelamiah , and that words cannot possibly confort you for the pain that you have gone through and are going through . Klal yisroel is with you , and meshiach should come bekarov and all your suffering and pain should become happiness and joy !

  7. Mrs. Stein, You are so right! One need feel bad for these neshamos that are not only riddled with sinas chinom and lashon hara, but have nothing beyter to do but sit in judgment of other people and yet take the time to “express their opinion” about it (anonymously, I might add). Mrs. Stein, please post your son’s name so that “the rest of us” can daven for him. May Hashem give you the strength to continue taking care of the Holy Neshomos you were entrusted with.

  8. Whoever came up with this idea is obviously lacking in the Brains and Heart Department. Charging handicapped people for their parking spaces? Come On! Small Town Provincial Passaic, should find a better way to cut costs or raise revenue. This is just plain stupid. This lady should not have to file a lawsuit. The idiots running the city should back down and recind this law.

  9. Eli,
    Way to go!! I am totally with you on every word you wrote. Nobody can ever understand the life you live each day and how sometimes its these little things that make our challenges so much harder! You have a good case and I hope it gets the attention it deserves…
    Do not read, listen, or think about any of the nasty comments you have gotten. They are all from bored, unemployed people.

  10. Elisheva, as always you are a pillar of inspiration and light to our community and all of Klal Yisrael. May we be zoche to have more walking kishei hashem like your family. As a teenager I regularly saw you and Barry struggling with those wheelchairs, and I will never forget your smiles, as well as the glowing smiles of your children. Thank you for continuing to be the fantastic people you are.

  11. Mrs. Stein, a lot of people are behind you. There are commenters here who are trolls and don’t bother trying to understand the complexity of a situation behind a headline. Please don’t let them distract you from your goal. Clearly they have neither a clue nor the capacity to comprehend the difficulties you face every day. May Hashem bring a refuah to your son and bring Moshiach speedily and within our days!!



  13. To #1- How dare you tell Ms. Stein to “be thankful” because “others don’t get that much”? B”H most others don’t “get” nearly as much as she’s, nebuch, “gotten”, so THEY should be thankful for THAT!

  14. Mrs. Stein,

    We feel for your plight. How much is the lawsuit costing you? How much is the fee of the special spot?

    A lawsuit makes a lot of noise. We, as well-received guests in this benevolent country, have to be careful and conscience about the noise we make.

    I wonder, was no-one willing to help with the cost of the parking spot in the same way that they’re willing to help in cost of the lawsuit? (If that’s the case, why not? Is there an ulterior motive on some peoples part? (I don’t mean, chas v’shalom, Mrs. Stein. I mean those who are helping..))

  15. Eli – you are a wonderful person and even more wonderful mother! Please try not to let these insensitive people bother you. Hopefully people can learn from your giving and non judgemental nature how to react towards others. We support you in your fight against the crooked Passaic politicians.

  16. Perhaps the fee for the spot is to discourage others who don’t really need it from “reserving” spots in front of their homes? It’s not unusual for people with lesser diagnoses to apply for a handicapped permit, and to keep one even after the need for one has passed. All too often, people take advantage of programs meant to help the truly needy. If many spots on a block are reserved for people who don’t really need them, the rest of us suffer. To those of you who think I am being cynical, have you never heard anyone boasting that they could park in a handicapped spot because they drove their mother’s/father’s/spouse’s car with a permit, even when the handicapped person was not present?

  17. I wold like to clarify that I have no hatred or any other ill feelings towards Mrs. Stein. I feel for her, and hope that her child has a refuah sheleimah b’karov. However, I don’t like when things are called something they’re not. This is not discrimination. Discrimination would be non-handicapped people receiving reserved parking without having to pay, while handicapped people had to pay.

    In this case, only handicapped people receive the reserved parking spots. Non-handicapped people have to drive around, searching for a spot. I understand that the cost bothers you. It would bother me as well. But let me ask: does it bother you when you have to pay a doctor? Does it bother you when you had to get a van with a special lift? If all these “accommodations” cost money, why should the parking spot be free?

    Like I said, I have no ill-will towards you, and I wish you the best of luck. I hope you get the spot for free. However, don’t claim discrimination when there is none.

  18. If you go public & have your story on the internet, you have to expect some comments which may not be to your liking. Let’s not reverse all the anger towards the public. Please stop judging everyone who responds to a blog! Who is the one who needs to take the chill pill?

  19. Mrs. Stein – Me and my whole family are supporting you with our whole heart every step of the way, please have the strength and courage to continue caring for your family.
    Miller Family
    Teaneck NJ

  20. There’s always the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. This comparison may seem silly, but how foolish was it when the Jewish basketball team was at first denied the request to have the game moved from a Shabbos – just on principal cuz “thems the rules.” Government officials can always stand on ceremony, but I don’t think having a little compassion and waving a fee would be illegal – just kind.

    (And honestly, I have an insane time finding parking where I live,with the one car that we own and not the “multiple” cars that poor #1 had trouble with, but I would never in a million years compare that to what this family experiences!)

    Why do they need to charge for this – is making money off of disabled people such a big source of revenue, or is it to discourage people who are really not so disabled – which is so obviously not the case here.

  21. Is Issac the boy in the wheelchair who mde a siyum last year with the Yesodei Yisroel bochurim who come to learn with him ? That boy’s smile lights up the world. As a Passaic resident i really dont mind if they use our tax money for hadicapped spots…maybe we can cut a few more cops & firefighters…i think there might be slightly more savings doing that.