The Matzav Shmoooze: A Bochur Almost Died


hatzolahDear Editor,

Last night, I passed the scene of a terrible accident in Lakewood. I was heading west, on foot, on Seventh Street, passing over Madison Avenue near the Capitol Hotel. I asked someone what had happened, as I observed a Hatzolah ambulance and some police on the scene. A bochur, said to be in his mid-teens, was hit by a car and thrown in the air some 20 feet. [Later, I learned that bochur broke his femur bone and did damage to his lungs, kidneys and liver, among other complications.] I was shaken by the news and whispered a quiet tefillah. While I stood there for a moment taking in the terrifying scene as the bochur was being strapped to a stretcher, I observed the incident being videoed. Videoing?! I wondered. A bochur was almost killed and someone is videoing it as the bochur is being loaded into an ambulance?

Have we lost all decency? Is everything about videos and pictures? Is there any respect for the life a bochur who almost died? Where is the kavod habriyos? Does every moment have to be a YouTube one?



The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. It is a disgrace. When I see postings of a kevurah and horrific accident scenes, the same thoughts cross my mind. It is a lack of sensitivity to put it mildly.

  2. I think it is about time someone spoke up about this. Sometimes half the pictures in the local publications are of Hatzolah members at work.

    I also always wondered why people think it is right to take pictures of Gedolim while they are davening or learning. Can’t they daven in peace??

  3. You are the prime example of sensational journalism. “A Bochur almost died and your taking videos “. You are just as curious as the guy taking the video. In todays day and age everything is videod and taped no one is not being sensitive to the injured person. Just say tehilim and mind your own buisness.

  4. Right on! The article does not say how the bochur came to be hit. Was he crossing the street?

    I am concerned in my community that many (dare I say rove?) bochurim walk in the street (not on the sidewalk) at night, clothed in dark clothing that places them in danger of being struck by vehicles whose drivers cannot see them. Would it not be appropriate for a kol korei to be issued reminding these bochurim of the elementary rules of safety that they learned as youngsters apply to them equally now that they are “invicible?”

  5. I’m sorry to hear about that Bochur. May he have a refua shelaima, speedily. May he recover in body and spirit.

    So far as Video-ing, it’s not such a far step from what it has become in society, and even between ourselves. Why is the photographer the most important part of a chupah? If we make a Choson, Kallah, and all their families perform for the video, it takes away from their sincerity and completely living in the moment (and living for the generations they’re creating) that such a momentous – once in a lifetime – occasion a chuppah should be. We have to take a step back.

    It was very nice and inspiring for me to see the video before Reb Matisyahu Salomon’s schmooze after his surgery, on one hand. On the other hand, I felt the video cheapened the schmooze and the Beis Midrash

  6. How do you know who was videoing? Maybe the township to assess if there were issues with the traffic control? Maybe Hatzola to make sure their procedures were being followed correctly and the bachur was receiving the best possible care? Why do you assume it’s a voyeur who has nothing better to do?

  7. Thank You Very Much for this post.Very true today our lives have been taken over by technology.I would like to add that the same should be with gedolim and other divorim shebikdusha not everything belongs on you tube ! When the Chazon Ish was alive they wouldnt put a picture of him in the newspapers because they felt it lacked in Kavod Hatorah.Today people video rabbonim in middle of davening and upload it to you tube.Please let us keep kedusha where it belongs not on the internet

  8. Perhaps it was for medical & insurance information, so that funds will be paid through these agencies which caused the accident.

  9. I think it’s actually a good phenomenon. Perhaps this bochur will need the video evidence in the future. Perhaps something could have gone wrong with the officials helping him, or something else in the area that was crucial for the evidence. We’ve seen many officers caught on tape doing improper things. The videotaping is not for an internal pleasure, but to help this bochur once he recovers and seeks legal damages.

  10. this so true, we were allways careful about other peoples privacy, ie reading letters, windows to others houses, etc. we have gadgets
    and loosing mentsheit.

  11. i couldnt agree more. if the guy taking the video was chas vishalom the victim, I dont really think he would see it as so O.K. anymore!

  12. I completely agree. I don’t know why, by any accident or incident people stand a few feet away and stare. Why is it okay? I was in a car accident and within 2-3 minutes there were about 30 people just standing 20 feet away and watching. I wanted to crawl through the floor.


  14. i think you should take your time out not eith this bec. this wont make a difference in anyone lives
    so how about you tell everybody that they have to wear reflectors when they go out in the street at night. bec this can save peoples lives your article will only bring hatred with in our community

  15. I think writing an article about it is far worse. Because this caues a greater interest into private lives, causing others to vie to see what is happening.

    I suppose just as it is no ones business and should not be videod. So to, publicly attacking someone who videod is also no ones business.


    When i drive at night, i don’t sit back on my seat, i sit forward as if on edge to make sure i SEE all the people in black!!!!

  17. FINALY
    Thank you so much!

    Yes we lost our Mentchlichkeit and only people like you will bring back some humon scense to our children!

    What a shame!

  18. This may have been done for evidence documentation. Attorneys always say that if you are in an accident always document and, if possible, take pictures

  19. Whether or not it was used for documentation is not something we will necessarily know. What we do know is that oftentimes the pictures of the accident are posted on frum websites, sometimes the names of the victims are posted before the family even knows, and details are discussed which causes tzaar to the victim and the family.

    I think if we ever do see a picture or video posted of an accident scene (lo aleinu) then we will know for sure it is time to make a protest.
    In this case, it’s unknown.

    We can be safe with the knowledge that at least the moderators of Matzav did not use those pictures for personal gain!

  20. Firstly, a speedy Refuah Shleimah to the young bachur who was injured. Also, very much agree with this author that basic decency has been lost on the last couple of generations. The technology (really the copy of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil) is the idol of today and seems to trump basic decency and plain old common sense.

  21. 1. name is Avrohom ben Chana in case a/o is interested

    2.while the writer of this letter is to be commended for his sensitivity on videoing, standing and gawking while Hatzala carries a patient is far from Mentshlich also. Many victims who are aware have more pain from this than their injury. IT IS DISGUSTING, NON YIDDISH, BEHAVIOR.Rabbanim pls speak out on this elementary issue of decency!!

  22. pop, I’ll explain. It’s an invasion of their privacy. People have a right to privacy, it’s simple derech eretz. I am sorry it had to be explained to you, I thought it was taught in first grade.