Imagine that upon exiting a Jerusalem supermarket parking lot under video surveillance, somebody has the audacity to charge you. The supermarket clerk actually comes up to your car and asks for the money you refused to pay. So you can do one of two things. You can either pay and get on with your life, or you can leave without paying. Apparentlyâ€”and I just today discovered this â€” there’s a third option, and it’s pretty original: You can hit the clerk with your car and drive off.
Keep in mind that this is all recorded. The man in question, a Yeshiva student and the son of the chief Rabbi of a major Israeli city, was let off by circuit court judge Moshe Drori (on the right) last September with community service and a 10,000 NIS fine without being convicted. This, due to the fact that a conviction would ruin his chances of being appointed a rabbinical court judge.
Now, far be it from me to impose my own personal value of not running people over with cars on the rabbinical court system, but I guess I’m just a far-be-it-from-me kind of guy, and I really feel like imposing my value in this case. And apparently Iâ€™m not alone, because today, Israel Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy (on the left), while theatrically pounding his fist on the table, imposed that value as well, and the Yeshiva student was convicted in an appeal yesterday.
The rabbinical court system in Israel has often been accused, among other things, of misogyny, being completely out of touch with mainstream Israeli society, and judging converts by ultra strict Hareidi standards (for example, requiring a female potential convert to change her profession from policewoman to something that wouldn’t require her to wear pants). It’s too bad that these strict standards don’t apply to their judges and include forbidding running people over with your car because you don’t want to pay a bill.
Shas chairman Eli Yishai, in the traditional manner of Hareidi-pulling-for-Hareidi, put it this way in his letter to Drori last year requesting leniency:
“If a recommendation for non-conviction carries weight, then this is the time and place. Even now,” Yishai wrote of the accused, “he serves as a spiritual leader and an address for all those in need.”
Except, of course, for Noga Zoraish, the woman he ran over with his car.