The Matzav Shmooze: A Kiddush Hashem After All


lakewood-bus-drillDear Editor,

As a parent of children in schools in Lakewood, NJ, I joined thousands of other Lakewood parents in driving our children to school today. As per the instructions that we were given, we didn’t send our children on their regular busses and instead drove them ourselves to school.
The roads were a mess, to put it mildly. Streets and intersections were filled with vans, minivans and cars. Traffic was backed up for miles.

We do not know whether this drill will serve as a wake-up call to those who can change the situation for next year, although we certainly hope that it will.

As I sat in the standstill traffic, I had plenty of time to observe the hundreds of cars around me. And what I saw was amazing: No one was beeping. Nobody was cutting around other cars. Drivers were allowing others to pull ahead of them at intersections.

Yes, people looked frustrated, but they all sat calmly and waited patiently.

The kiddush Hashem that was displayed today was tremendous. Firstly, the fact that everyone listened to the p’sak given by the rabbonim and didn’t send their children on the busses speaks for itself. Secondly, everyone remained calm and respectful throughout the difficult carpooling.

Sometime, it’s easy to make a kiddush Hashem. This time, it was more difficult. Still, despite the challenges, Lakewood residents rose to the occasion.

In the great zechus of today’s kiddush Hashem, we daven and hope that the situation will be resolved quickly in a manner that will be beneficial to the local tzibbur.

A Lakewood Resident

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  1. I have to agree with the letter writer. Let’s remember that making a kiddush Hashem means that everyone only says nice things about us. The fact that people will still mock, complain, point fingers, doesn’t take away from the fact that we acted the way we should

  2. I don’t feel this was a kiddush Hashem at all. Yes, everyone behaved and drove like civilized people, but I don’t think others like the whole idea of this “drill.” you can see that this caused alot of resentment out there. I don’t call that a kiddush Hashem. It’s nice that we are giving ourselves a pat on the back, but is anyone outside our community doing the same?

  3. On the contrary- this is a total Chillul Hashem! It’s amazing how backwards you all think… we are in Galus, and all that this does is make the Goyim hate us more. We don’t control the government and demand entitlements.

  4. We have lowered the standards to consider not honking and driving nicely a kiddush HaShem. it was an organized event and everyone knew it.

  5. Its amazing that nobody was beeping or cutting each other off. Do understand that people who needed to go to work,kollel,teach were all given permission for this and were not in a rush. but on a normal day you get why beeping and cutting off would happen since they are either late or just want to be on time to where they got to go. hope day 2 today will be as good and this will teach a lesson to whoever is in charge of not providing bus service and will cone up with a plan

  6. #3: I must say I was very impressed. The kind of demonstration they had yesterday is exactly the way it’s supposed to be done in the US. Did it cause some resentment? Sure, but no matter what you do, some people will always be upset. Imagine if this becomes a daily occurrence! How much resentment will there be then?

    Going about it in a legal way, and acting properly (no crazy honking, cutting people off, etc.), is the best way to do it. Kol Hakavod to the participants.

  7. They are doing the town and the non-Jewish public a favor by SHOWING them the REALITY of what will be while there is still TIME to do something about it.

    It would have been irresponsible to simply accept the cuts and then, next year, when the schools re-open, everyone is in shock by the problem they caused.

    The demonstration made a lot of sense.

  8. It seems many people have a misconception of what a kiddush and chillul Hashem are. Just because someone will be upset by my actions does not mean its a chillul Hashem if what I’m doing is correct. We don’t remove our Tzitzis because others think it looks strange. The debate should be about whether this is the right thing to do. Not about what others may think of it.