Watch: Rabbi Mintz On Hitchhikers in Lakewood, NJ

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Living in Lakewood, New Jersey, it is not uncommon to see many young boys hitchhiking. Some people feel uncomfortable about picking them up for safety reasons. On the other hand, is it rude not to give these boys without transportation a lift? Thirdly, people who do pick up hitchhikers often block other cars and cause traffic.

Oorah’s founder, Rabbi Chaim Mintz, addressed this matter.

WATCH:

{Matzav.com}

17 COMMENTS

  1. There is an inherent danger to the hitchhiker himself that was not discussed. I would never pick up a hitchhiker, not because that I fear for myself, but to discourage the whole dangerous practice. Getting into a stranger’s car, no matter how he is dressed and how “frum” he looks should not only be discouraged but outlawed. Common sense!

    • Yes, I agree. I haven’t seen that movie in years. It brings back memories.

  2. The public should be aware that one may be ticketed for picking up hitchhikers in the middle of the road. I only pick up where there are shoulders are parking lots at which to pull over. I, personally, have had a police officer pull behind me as watch as I picked up someone, on shoulder. He then followed me until I pulled into a parking lot
    to allow my passenger to exit. As soon as he saw I was entering a lot to discharge my passenger, he drove on.

    I would suggest that all hitchhikers stand where there are shoulders to the roads or wait in parking lots so that
    those doing them a chesed don’t have to pay with a ticket.

    I would be to differ with Rabbi Mintz. It is dangerous to pick up or discharge passengers in the middle of the road (not to mention discourteous).

  3. The public should be aware that one may be ticketed for picking up hitchhikers in the middle of the road. I only pick up where there are shoulders are parking lots at which to pull over. I, personally, have had a police officer pull behind me as watch as I picked up someone, on shoulder. He then followed me until I pulled into a parking lot
    to allow my passenger to exit. As soon as he saw I was entering a lot to discharge my passenger, he drove on.

    I would suggest that all hitchhikers stand where there are shoulders to the roads or wait in parking lots so that
    those doing them a chesed don’t have to pay with a ticket.

    I would be to differ with Rabbi Mintz. It is dangerous to pick up or discharge passengers in the middle of the road (not to mention discourteous).

  4. Why not seek the input of the Lakewood Police Department?
    At minimum we luckily have Rabbi Ehrman as a volunteer liaison, he would likely weigh in if asked. Ushmartem Meod lnofsosaychim is a Torah mandate not to be taken lightly Chas vsholom.

  5. Code 39:4-59 Begging rides prohibited

    No person shall stand in a highway for the purpose of or while soliciting a ride from the operator of any vehicle other than an omnibus or a street car.

  6. I disagree with R’ Mintz on this one. Hitchhiking is dangerous to the hitchhiker & dangerous to the person picking him up. Neither one really knows whom the other really is. Nowadays, picking up or going in the car with a stranger is totally insane. The inconvenience & danger imposed on those traveling on the streets where the the hitchhikers are picked up is real. Besides, it looks so horrible to see so many frum young bochurim standing around in such a hefkerdik way. It used to be that hitchhikers were non Jews. Now we see young, able bodied Frum kids hitching when they can really walk. It doesn’t look good at all to the world at large. If it’s too far to walk it’s the parent’s responsibility to get the kids transportation to where they want to go. To those who say it’s a Chesed, I say it’s a mitzva Habba’a al yedei aveirah.

  7. If Daas Torah is relied upon to decide how many bugs is called “common” then rely on Daas Torah what is called sakana. It shouldn’t be decided by a police force.

  8. for example on a busy street that has only one lane in each direction, e.g. county line- near 4 corners. When drivers stop to pick up a hitchhiker there, why is considered a chessed for the one or two boys getting the ride, at the expense of 20 other cars full of people behind them who have to stop (and often miss the light, and then the next light…) not to mention the chilul hashem this causes when all the goyishe drivers see this and are affected by it. Please explain.

  9. I have to say that I comepltely disagree with Rabbi Mintz (in fairness to him, I don’t believe that the entire seriousness of the many hitch-hiking incidents was adequately posed to him).
    A. It is illegal to hitchhike unless done in designated (and safe) areas away from the main roads (Dina d’malchusa dina; as with all driving rules)
    B. I’ve personally been extremely inconvenienced by people who seek to do “chessed” on other peoples cheshbon. Before doing chessed, first think if you’re making others (likely in a rush) wait for you. It’s called mitzvah haba’a b’averio. To inconvenience others (not to mention endanger- when blocking part of a busy street) while doing your “chessed” is acting like a chossid shoteh.
    C. In today’s crazy world, any responsible parent should NOT allow their son to “chap a hitch” with anyone- unless he personally knows who the driver is!
    D. I’m sorry to say, but I’ve pulled over for young and able boys only to be asked to drive them a couple of short blocks away (on a warm sunny day). I’m not so sure it’s a chessed to reward entitlement and laziness. If the weather is bad, or if the hitchhiker is elderly/disabled then of course it’s a tremendous chessed. But watching young bochrim just gather at corners daily expecting to be chauffeured just doesn’t seem like the proper way to be mechanech them.
    You’re replies to my post (in agreement or otherwise) are most welcome.

  10. one isn’t allowed to stop in a manner which blocks the flow of traffic. if you have to stop then pull over in a manner which allows other cars to pass. the fact that not everyone does this doesn’t not make it right. beyond being unlawful to stop traffic it is simply rude. this has nothing to do with being nervous. maybe the person behind you is in a rush to a job or to pick up a child. it is not for us to judge. we simply have no right to block the cars behind us. pull over in a manner which allows cars to pass

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