Sunday, August 29, 2010

Traffic Jams and the Jewish problem

Last week I reposted an article about the Monster Traffic Jam in China where cars were (and still are) stuck for several days.

While writing, I couldn’t help but wonder what a frum Jew would do in a similar situation, well as if on cue, Erev Shabbat there was a large traffic jam in the Shomron, leaving dozens of motorists stranded right before Shabbat.

In contrast to the situation in China where local residents sold supplies to the motorists at inflated prices, the residents of the town Adam came out to help the stranded motorists and provided food and accommodation for Shabbat.

Here’s the story as reported in Arutz 7:

This Shabbat, dozens of Jewish families were stranded in a traffic jam as Shabbat came in and were hosted in the town of Adam (Geva Binyamin).

The traffic jam was caused by an accident between an Israeli and Palestinian car between the Hizme and Adam junctions, northeast of Jerusalem. Several Jews and Arabs were injured in the accident, which occurred at 6 PM on Friday evening, and police forces arrived on the scene soon afterwards.

By 7 PM, when Shabbat was coming in, traffic was at a near standstill, catching many drivers on their way home before sundown. As driving on the Shabbat is forbidden by Torah law, many Jewish drivers parked their cars on the side of the road, took their belongings, and walked, some of them more than a kilometer, until they reached the Jewish town of Adam. Some even continued to the towns of Pesagot and Kochav Yaakov, which are several kilometers further down the road.
The first small groups arrived on foot as the Jews of Adam were beginning their Friday night prayers in the synagogue. "There was a giant traffic jam on the road," said the walkers, breathless. "The sun was setting. We realized we weren't going to make it," they explained, setting down their backpacks and belongings.
The word spread like wildfire. Once the townspeople understood the situation, they mobilized immediately, sending several runners to help the stragglers enter the town, alerting the security apparatus, and quickly allocating stranded families to the Adam residents for Shabbat meals and places to sleep.


Hat Tip: Life in Israel and Joe Settler

Interestingly enough, Heshy at Frum Satire also was stranded Erev Shabbat, but with a little Hashacha Pratit he managed to make it to a Beit Chabad minutes before Shkia.

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