My grandparents A”H made it out of Europe before the inferno that claimed the lives of their families. My grandmother lost those near and dear to her in a forest the Nazis ymch’sh ignited after the Jews of the village fled there. My grandfather’s family fared little better. Understandably, my mother, their only child, was adored and doted on, hardly being let out of her parents’ presence. Amazingly enough, though, for a Bais Yaakov High School and Seminary Chinuch , they sent her to a dormitory in Bnei Brak for 5 years.
If the Gemora enjoins us not to indicate the Makom Hashechita on one’s self, my mother (and most likely her parents before her) took it a step further. When we were growing up, we were never allowed to demonstrate on our selves where a friend had injured himself. The mantra was “Zindig nisht mit di reid” (Don’t sin by talking too much). And though there were no superstitious symbols in our house, our verbal expression and conduct had to be in keeping with my mother’s outlook.
We had our humorous moments too. My mother somehow knew when, for instance, a plate or a glass would fall and break. Today I know that she was not fey, but rather, her sharp instincts told her that a dish being clumsily held, or sitting on the edge of the table is likely to break. (At those times, we sometimes told her the dish broke because she was eyeing it with her all-knowing eye.)
So why all the background? Last week, outside a supermarket, a justifiably frustrated woman, driving a car with a clearly marked disabled license plate, complained that she has to fight for her right to park in the handicapped parking spaces. Speaking to me, she did not even realize what a receptive audience she had found!
Honestly, how can you even dream of parking in a handicapped spot? When legislation was proposed a few years ago to allow pregnant women or families with young children to apply for a temporary handicapped tag, there was uproar by feminist and family movements at the mere suggestion that pregnancy or children are a handicap.
So if B”H your arms are filled with of the purchases you can afford to buy, and happily your children are hanging onto your skirts and your feet are able carry you even to a farther parking spot, for Heaven’s sake! Zindig nisht! Please, don’t park in that handicapped spot and not only for the obvious reason that it is intended for those who genuinely require it.
Not even for five minutes.
Not even while your children run in to pick up a few items so that you can chat uninterrupted on the phone.
That brief period could be the exact time that someone who has a hard time walking up to the store,(or shul or school) has had to find a parking spot and make an exerted effort due to your shortsightedness or plain selfishness.
If my sentiments don’t move you, then please note:
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$ 250 MINIMUM AND/OR
UP TO 90 DAYS COMMUNITY SERVICE
TOW AWAY ZONE
The Red Band