Readers’ Matzav: When Are People Going to Learn?


baby-car-seatDear Editor,

I work at a store in shopping center. This afternoon, I had a customer who was in my store for about an hour, taking her┬átime, sparking conversation, etc. About halfway through her trip through the store – a big store – I noticed she had a baby with her who was not there earlier. I thought it was a little odd, but then I just blew it off, thinking maybe her husband was in another part of the store with the baby, and maybe he had brought him over or something.

After the lady checked out, she asked me to watch her cart on the sidewalk while she went to the car with the baby. As she pulled up in her minivan, I realized that there were three children in the car, one looked about 5 or 6, the others were still in car seats. The windows were tinted, which is why no one noticed the kids were alone while their mother was shopping for an hour.

I gave her a piece of my mind, and let her know that she was breaking the law. She apologized to me, and looked really ashamed. This was a 30-something-year-old mother.

It’s scary to think how often this happens. Boruch Hashem, her kids were unharmed.

What is wrong with people? I guess last minute shopping was more important than her kids. I didn’t call the cops, but maybe I should have.

When are we going to learn?

A Concerned Mother


  1. …Called the cops.

    This woman should have her children removed from her home, immediately!

    3 kids in a car, locked in.. on day when its 94┬░ outside! She might as well just let them play in traffic.

    Actually, that may be safer. At least some responsible adult could try and stop the kids from getting hit.

  2. You should of called the cops. Believe me- the lady knew not to leave her kids in the car.
    The only time someone will learn is if you call the cops on them and then trust me she will NEVER leave the kids in the car again.

  3. A Groysser Yasher Koach – a tremendous debt of thanks – to Mrs. “A Concerned Mother”! This very urgent subject cannot be stressed enough.

    I once was privileged to stay at the home of the Chabad Shaliach in Boulder, Colorado. In his home. he had a number of Torahdike children’s videos. One of them was about rules of basic safety. The presentation opened up with the following pointed statement:

    “Hi, I’m Moshe the clown!”

    “But when it comes to safety — ”


  4. you may not call the cops, that would be mesira – but you should call her Rav or Misaskim or Shomrim. that would get her straightened out without breaking Jewish Law.

  5. The following is best plan of action: (1)call chaptzem (2) call chaveirim (3) call hatzala (4) call the mother-in-law (5) call neturei karta

  6. i am sure this is a ‘real’ true story. my relative was walking on 18th avenue near a grocery store and noticed a baby alone in parked car. when he looked in for an adult he noticed the baby was dripping sweat. he broke the window, took the baby out and washed its face with water he had with him. the mother came out of the store threatening to call police because HE BROKE THE CAR WINDOW. he called police and she was cited for child endangerment. so yes, these stories happen!!!

  7. #6,
    Please cite the source that makes you claim that calling the cops is mesira. I believe you have a totally misunderstood notion of what mesirah is.

  8. Calling the police would be mesirah. Not only that, but by calling the police, you would have caused real long term trama- to all of her children. I know someone whom the police were called in for, & for months afterward, the mother could not be alone w/ her children: she could not bathe them feed them, nor put them to sleep each night. The children were taken away from her & given to another family for months! Is this how you want the mother to learn her lesseon? I DO think she needs to learn a lesson- but no daas torah would tell you to call the police. All of you people who commented to call the police- KNOW that there is DAAS TORAH, which MUST guide our EVERY actions! ANYONE who EVER is considering calling the police on another yid for ANYTING MUST consult daas torah first!!!

  9. One of the reasons why people are so lax and sloppy with these safety standards is that they think that there is no serious need to be careful; they have the assumption that no real actual danger is present. Regarding these types of concerns of locking doors and not leaving kids in cars they give arguments like:

    “Aw, this is a good neighborhood!”

    “Aw, it is the middle of the day!”

    “Aw, there are people all over here!”

    “Aw, nobody is going to do that!”

    And, of course, there is what is probably that most common of most common worn out cliches:

    “I’m just running in the store for two minutes, and I’ll be right out!!”

    Now the truth is that all of these lines ARE good totally logical reasons why there SHOULD NOT be much of a danger present.

    However, at the same time though, very tragically, there are an aweful lot of severely wicked depraved people out there. And very, very many of them are extremely skilled at being able to outwit and break through even the best setups of defensive security. And certainly, where there are any kind of “openings,” it is that much easier for them.

    So to the sick abilities of these professional criminals, a place being “a ‘safe’ neighborhood” or “a busy shopping center” or “out in the broad daylight” is not any kind of limitation!

    So, of course, we beg HaShem to protect us and keep these fiendish slimebags far away from us. At the same time though, HaShem clearly instructs us that we must do our Hishtadlus – we must exert our efforts – to at all times keep around us a solid defensive wall.

    As Moshe-The-Clown (quoted above in Comment #5) announced:

    “When it comes to safety — ”


  10. why resort to calling the cops if shomrim, hatzolah, etc. will give the woman a scare as well. they have plenty of stories to tell of parents who unfortunately did get their kids taken away. That is all she needs, to be shaken up so that she will NEVER do that again!


  11. hello….would u want to be in a car in the heat? why are her kids not dear to her??? its inhumane treatment…she needs to wake up…and i dont care about her, i care more about the kids…innocent babies that they are…they didnt ask to be born and to be abused….YES>>>masier on her

  12. She told her off very strongly, and she was really ashamed. Why do you angry people have to go all the way!? Did you people get a Yiddishe Chinuch?

  13. I work in a store in new jersey and I have people daily that leave there kids in the car once I find out I will not serve them till he or she bring the childeren into the store even if it’s just 1 min because that is usually there response

  14. As I already mentioned here in Comments #5 and #12, this children being left in cars is a terrible problem, and I thus greatly commend Mrs. “A Concerned Mother” for publishing the story and bringing it to our attention.

    I further explained in Comment #12 though, that the reason why people are lax in proper safety measures is usually NOT because, Chas V’Shalom, they are callous about their children’s safety. Rather, the reason why they are not more careful is because they think that IT IS NOT NECESSARY to be more careful. I related there in detail several explanations they often give for why they think that there is no need to start worrying about tedious safety requirements. For example:

    “Aw, this is a good neighborhood!” and “I’m just running in the store for two minutes, and I’ll be right out!!”

    In other words, they think: “This is a good neighborhood, so I do not have to take any precautions against any bad things that might happen, because in this ‘good neighborhood’ BAD THINGS DO NOT HAPPEN!”

    Similarly they think: “It IS — PERFECTLY SAFE for my kids to stay here in the car now (and I do not have to worry about any bad people trying to attack my kids in the car), because I’m just running in the store for two minutes, and I’ll be right out!! Yes, I’ll be right out long before any bad guy can even get anywhere near the car!”

    Of course though, I also pointed out there that these pieces of reasoning are really GRAVE ERRORS. For, very unfortunately, wicked criminals are all over, even in the so-called “good” neighborhoods. And these criminals know how to work even faster than the quickest policeman (and can thus steal a car or kidnap a person long before the person even knows he is being whipped off!)

    But again, the people who are not so perfect with the safety rules are not purposely being “bad”; what they are doing though is that they are making some pretty serious errors in judgement.

  15. (continuation of previous comment)

    Furthermore, the woman in this particular story had tinted windows on her van. So, in addition to the general reasoning discussed above, she probably further reasoned that the dark windows gave her children a good bit of added protection. (I.e. no bad person would be able to even see inside the van and know that some children were there. The dark glass also blocks out much of the sunlight and thus keeps out a lot of heat from the inside of the car.)

    Again, of course though, this too was a very big error. These wicked criminals certainly do have x-ray vision or something just like it, for they sure seem to know what is behind every closed up blacked out window! (And regarding the other problem of leaving a child in a car: No matter how dark the windows are, any closed up vehicle that is left standing out in the sun is still going to rapidly heat up inside to temperatures that are well into the zone of danger for a child.)

    Furthermore, when Mrs. “A Concerned Mother” at the store confronted her about all this, Mrs. “A Concerned Mother” herself relates: “She apologized to me, and looked really ashamed.” That she was thus embarrassed by what she had done, clearly shows that she was not, Chas V’Shalom, purposely being a bad woman; she was not, Chas V’Shalom, not caring about her children. What she was doing though, was like what a lot of other people do, which was exercising a lot of extremely bad judgement.

    Therefore, there certainly would have been no need whatsoever, and, there certainly would have been no justification whatsoever, to call Hatzala or Misaskim or Shomrim or any other communal organization to come over there and thus cause her horrific public humiliation.

    And certainly, certainly, certainly, there would have been no need whatsoever, and, there would have been no justification whatsoever, to call the police to come over there and thus cause her horrific of horrific public humiliation, along with — as Comment #11 from Mr. “anoymous” aptly relates — possible traumatic ruination of her very stability as a person.

    (Anyway, we need to remember that the local law enforcement agencies are stretched really thin. They have limited resources and limited manpower, and yet are faced with a virtually endless array of severely serious crimes. Therefore, it is really quite wrong to bother them to come down and get involved in every little domestic/neighborhood issue that we ourselves should be more than able to adequately take care of.)

    Instead, what needed to be done was, in a nice way, but also in a totally firm way, to explain to her and show her and make her realize herself what her terrible mistakes were.

    For example, something like this probably would have been appropriate: “Yes, Boruch HaShem, this area is a pretty good one, and we here in this center have not had any problems since as long as I can remember. However, in the mall down the road — just last week — they had two robberies! With the way crime is today, and with all the sick crazies who are out on the streets today, you just cannot ever, at any time, even for a minute, leave your kids out alone in a car!!”

    I am heartened that the brief Comment #15. from Mr. “HaLeiVi” seems to allude to this discussion.

  16. guys!as wrong as the mother was,and yes indeed it does sound very wrong but lets be don lekaf zechus i dont know this person but we haFTO REMEMBER that there might have been a deeper reason