Thursday, April 17, 2008

Think twice before you honk!

So I get a call this evening from the United Hatzala* dispatcher -- they want me to shlep (transport) from Jerusalem the "Pesach (Passover) gifts" for the Hatzala EMT volunteers in my area. I don't really have the time, but I'm a volunteer EMT for Hatzala, so I really should help them out. They put me in touch with another shlepper -- the guy bringing the gifts from Jerusalem to Petach Tikva, and maybe I can meet him there. It's getting complicated.

I call him up and he says he's on his way...I say, "me too"...can I meet him somewhere on the Jerusalem-Tel-Aviv highway so I dont have to go out of my way to Petach Tikva to get the gifts? "Sure," he says, and we agree to meet at a gas station along the way.

He tells me he's driving a ZAKA** ambulance with the gifts in it; that's not really surprising -- there are many organizations like MDA, Hatzala, ZAKA, etc, that all have the same volunteers -- so it doesn't surprise me that a Hatzala volunteer is also in a ZAKA ambulance. (I'm in both MDA and Hatzala).

So we stop at this gas station along the way and I drive behind the ZAKA ambulance. I park behind him (there's hardly any spare room in the parking lot). I get out of my car and some guy starts honking. He wants to back out because a tanker truck is blocking the exit. I tell to hang on -- it will only be a minute. He doesn't care, and gets out of his car to yell at me. I tell him to chill out. He keeps yelling.

The Hatzala Pesach present this year is a large duffel bag/suitcase on wheels -- packed 4 at a time into long, gray, plastic bags.

The guy is now really yelling, and I open the back of the ZAKA ambulance and start dragging these huge "body bags" from the ambulance and throw them into my car.

The guy stops screaming at me mid-sentence and turns white as a ghost.

He stares at me holding these "body bag" lookalikes, as I'm transferring them to my car from the ZAKA ambulance. In a flash, he turns around and runs back to his car, slamming the door shut.

That should teach him not to start up with volunteers from Hatzala and ZAKA!

Chag Kasher vSameach!

Jameel @ The Muqata

*United Hatzala (“Ichud”) of Israel is a non-affiliated non-profit Emergency (EMS) Volunteer Organization that assists in responding to medical emergencies throughout Israel. The primary role of Hatzalah volunteers - trained and certified as EMTs, Paramedics and MD’s - is to provide an immediate response within 2-4 minutes from the onset of an incident.

**ZAKA is a volunteer organization that assists ambulance crews, aids in the identification of the victims of terrorism, road accidents and other disasters, and where necessary gathers body parts and spilled blood for proper burial.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Rafi G. said...

that is great! you should have gotten a picture of his face!

Esser Agaroth said...


The hatzallah guys here feel they have to respond to, and to treat Arabs, even though all of the rabbeim they hold by paskin it's assur.

They justify it because if they don't, then they'll lose their finding and thus will lessen their ability to save Jews.

Your thoughts?

I suppose Hatzalah has to have this policy otherwise it will cause them problems in hu"l and in Israel.

It sounds like a vicious cycle.

When Dr. Baruch Goldstein ztz"l hy"d went to Rav Kahane ztz"l hy"d with a question as to what he should do, Rav Kahane reminded him that the order of the IDF was to "treat" all patients, and so just give him a cup of tea.

This story could be just a legend, though.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Ben-Yehuda: Sorry, but the rabbanim of Hatzala (and mine as well) have all been posek that Arabs and Jews need to be treated alike, including on Shabbat.

Do you know that Hatzala even has Moslem and Druze volunteers/members? Last year, I remember getting an SMS message on my Hatzala radio, wishing those who it apply to, a "Happy Id-Al-Fitter".

We treat all accident victims on the roads, regardless of who they are, as does MDA, as does Hatzala, as the the Red Crescent. Granted, I don't think the Red Crescent's EMT care is as good as ours, but we work together with them civilly.

YMedad said...

Jameel, if that guy had yelled one more time, I would have, in your place, shouted out: "hey, you go in the next bag".

Esser Agaroth said...

"Sorry, but the rabbanim of Hatzala (and mine as well) have all been posek that Arabs and Jews need to be treated alike, including on Shabbat."

This does not surprise me.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

either ben-yehudah's story about Baruch Goldstein is "just a story", or the story that claims that he couldn't have murdered innocent Muslims because he always worked to save everyone's lives, including Muslims/Arabs, is "just a story". or maybe both are.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Steg: Baruch Goldstein did treat Jews and Arabs equally as doctor. (One of the reasons his actions were so baffling)

Ben-Yehuda: What doesn't surprise you? You have a problem with going out to a road accident on shabbat to save people's lives?

Commenter Abbi said...

Do you think body bags work to ward off any annoying Israeli that yells at you? I might have to consider keeping one in my trunk as well, though I don't volunteer for any emergency org.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Abbi: Now that could be a cool Muqata-brand giveaway. Instead of waffle t-shirts...large white plastic bags that say, "shut up or get in."

Esser Agaroth said...

BG's question to Rav Kahane was regarding his army service and being asked to treat Arabs in Lebanon, not the Christians who helped either.

He did treat Arabs in Hevron.

What he did or didn't do in the Ma'arath HaMachpellah was also to save lives.

There IS an opinion regardin

g the saving of a terrorist, but only to get information out of him which could save Jews. IDF Chief Rav Ronski concurs I beleive.

No, I see no compelling reasons to go out on Shabbath to save lives of enemies of the Jewish People. It is assur [save for reason above] to do so even not on Shabbath.

Rav Feinstein's rulings on these issues are related only to Hu"L.

Sorry, everybody, but the halacha DOES treat Jews and non Jews differentially.

For example, one may only save even a ger toshav on Shabath by being mehallel Shabbath midRabbanan.

Let me guess, someone's going to cite "Dina Malchuth Dina,"....which also only applies in Hu"L, and only related to taxes.

That one is my favorite.

Batya said...

Even if the presents were nothing special, the story sure is.
I wonder what story the other guy is telling everyone...

Toto said...

HAHA!! I'm surprised he didn't call the police........dontcha think it a bit suspicious to be transporting bodies from an ambulance into a regular person's car(we all know you're no regular person but this guy didn't)!! Chag Sameach Jameel!

Anonymous said...

i love your bag idea -- i'll take it with me to the supermarket and display it prominently at the meat counter... or the checkout line... or in the parking lot... forget it - maybe i'll just carry around like a purse!

Lion of Zion said...

great story!

"Do you know that Hatzala even has Moslem and Druze volunteers/members?"

there are also druze and bedouin zaka units

Commenter Abbi said...

nikki- it would probably work best with something heavy in it already, to bonk over pple's heads... but then you get into the annoying problem of assault and battery... damn.

rbtzn said...

Thats hilarious!
Chag Kasher V'Sameach to all those at the Muqata!!

DTC said...

Sorry Ben Yehuda,

Dina D'Malchusa Dina applies to more than just taxes and there is a serious discussion among the Rabbanut if it applies in E"Y as well.
(although, I will admit that it does not cover chillul shabbat.)

Anonymous said...

I hope you gave him the 'BUHAHAHAH!' grin after he got back to the car. :-}

Esser Agaroth said...

DTC, the relevant sugiyah in the Bavli is related to determining who is a Talmid Hacham, as they wanted to make him patur from taxes to the goyshe gov't.

The Yerushalmi doesn't mention it...of course.

Regarding in Eretz Yisrael? When you're under the domination of a goyshe regime, yes, you are right, but because we are anus, not because we have any obligation to follow them. Jews did the best they could and often defied the gov't and died in qidush HaShem as a result.

So, this brings us to the current situation. Are we under a goyshe gov't? An Eruv Rav Gov't? A Jewish Gov't? A theoretical Jewish gov't?

Yes, the rabbanut are talking about it:

1) Haredim: How do we negotiate with this evil gov't to do damage control and get money for Torah education so we can work on saving the Torah face of life in EY?

2) Mamlachtim: We have to deal with the gov't as the stand in for malchuth.

3) Torah Zionists: How do we walk that tight rope, and make the difficult decisions with the pasul gov't so that our children do get brainwashed by the system, nor taken away from us in the process.

Oh, there are discussions alright, how to fit things into ones hashqafah.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Esser Agaroth said...

Pronounced ah-noose.

Now I know why you have all these massive amounts of hits on your blog.

You allow anonymous commenting.

Anonymous said...

abbi --

is assault and battery actually a crime here?

chag sameach!

DTC said...

Ben Yehuda,

I see that you don't have any dealings with any corporations anywhere in the world..

I guess that you bought your house via Chazaka as well...

Dina DeMalchusa Dina can apply across Choshen Mishpat. The sugya is simply a springboard. (there are many good sefarim out there who discuss the issue...)

In terms of in E"Y, yes, the question is viewed by the Rabbanut as "since the current law of the land is not Torah law, what aspects of DDM"D apply if at all?" It's an interesting argument, with many practical issues at stake.

I'll ignore the remarks about politics as they aren't relevant here at all.

Esser Agaroth said...

DCM, I agree that it is an interesting argument. Who's talking about politics? Just sharing my experience with how things tend to work out.

I agree that politics is irrelevant. Unfortunately, you and I seem to be two of the minority in the universe you recognize this, AND try to apply it. Unfortunately, others do not always see that they are bringing politics into it.

Corporations? I have no doubt that the issue of "taxes" as expressed by Haza"l are relevant and extendable to any number of issues in Hu"L.

Anonymous said...

Dtc, see ran on nedarin 22b where he rules that dina demalchuta dina does NOT aooky in eretz yisrael.. only malchut beit david can compel you to follow laws and only when it does not go against halacha.

Reason being, because in every where else in the world, if you dont like thaw laws.. leave! but one cannot say that regarding eretz yisrael..

Rambam has a differing opinion regarding taxed and such..

There are other poskim that agree with the ran.

Gila said...

Hilarious story!

In respect to the whole "treating Arabs etc" debate--will limit my contribution to noting that a fair number of the excellent and dedicated doctors, nurses and hospital staff who treated me post-bombing, when I had cancer and in my recent round of surgeries have been Arab. And for some reason, they have not seemed to worry overmuch as to whether or not I was an enemy of their people. (Remember--this worldview runs both ways). One of them was particularly nice to my relatives, to the extent that my relatives asked me to get in touch with her and extend my thanks (which I did).

For that matter, it is entirely possible that some of the Magen David Adom personnel who helped me at the bombing scene were non-Jews.

Hag Sameach v'Kasher

Esser Agaroth said...


Post bombing in Jerusalem, the Arabs knew better to come near me.

You wouldn't expect a female rape victim to be treated by a male doctor if a woman was available, and not without her consent.

Research shows that gender in therapist-client relationship has little significance except in cases of violence when the prefered gender of therapist is the same as client.

I'm gonna hypothesize that similar reactions may be true with Arabs and Jews in bombings. You could be the exception Gila, but maybe you don't appear to be a threat to them yet.

The Arab orderly knew better and introduced himself by a Hebrew name. The Arab ENT who checked me came in stealth and really hurt me. He caught me off guard then left quickly. I couldn't do anything.

It is nothing less than piqu'ah nefesh to disallow Arabs to treat people. And there is no excuse to do so without patient consent.

Yes, I'd much rather lay there than risk being permanently mutilated by an Arab.

Gila, would you let MK Tibi deliver your baby? They say he's a pretty good OB/GYN.

Anonymous said...


1) Tibi was thrown out of his internship - does a Dr. who has not finished his training qualify as a "pretty good OB/GYN"?

2) The Ran is *not* the general view of the Poskim. The Rambam and others argue with him outright.

Esser Agaroth said...

abutor, honestly. My Tibi YSh"W comment was sarcastic. Also, I was not the one to make the Ran comment.

Anonymous said...

Incorrect, Tosefos sanhedrin 22b argues the same.

Rashba, yevamot 46a. Ritvah, bava metzia 73 argue a different point.

Rambam merely says (hilchos gezeila 5:18) that dina demalchuta dina applies only when the king is accepted by the inhabitants of the land who have placed their trust in him as their lord and consented to be his servants..

Hardly the government here today har har har

That would be skipping the argument between rav and shmuel (sandgedrin 22b) rav claims that shmuel hanavi did not actualy grant the power just it was used to scare the jews.

Fine.. anyways.. then theres a whole spanking new set of halachot in regards to evil government..

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Elchonon and Ben-Yehuda:

Look, this is my blog, these are the rabbanim that I hold by, and these are the rules I follow as a member of Magen David Adom and Hatzala. When you volunteer for these organizations, I'd be thrilled to know how to reconcile your idealogical viewpoints with MDA protocol.

And, imagine for a second if you will, a G-d forbid accident on Road 60. Would you refuse help 100% from an Arab who was offering it to you? Or a paramedic from the Red Crescent?

It's very easy to preach from where you're typing -- but when bad happens, and people are willing to help -- you accept whatever help you can get; no matter who they are. period.

Moadim LSimcha!

Esser Agaroth said...

Yes. And, I have.

Lion of Zion said...


could you please clarify: the red crescent you have been referring to, is it israeli or palestinian?

moadim le-simhah

Anonymous said...

How many bags were you trying to fit in the trunk???

Moadim l'simcha.

Anonymous said...


Let's say that you died from your injuries due to refusing help from the arab. (I'm not referring to a case in which the arab might try to hasten your death - rather, in a case that they are genuinely trying to help).

Would you be considered a "m'abed atzmo ladaas"?

The Torah teached us וחי בהם - not to find some high falutin' 'morals' that don't show up anywhere in the Torah and then see yourself as a hero.

I also don't have anything to do with the arabs - I don't shop by them, I don't fix my car by them, and I try not to have any of my money go to them. However, there are some cases in which we need to make use of what we have - and not cut off our nose in spite of our face.

Unfortunately, I know the 'hilltop settlers' very well. Some very close relatives of mine (1st degree) live on hilltops, and I've gotten to know the people. They are absolutely wonderful people who are willing to be moser nefesh for the Land of Israel. However, they are not the brightest bunch, and tend to see things in black and white. Fortunately or unfortunately, the world has lots of shades of grey.

Anonymous said...

Kol hakavod to Jameel and his fellow volunteers for their incredible efforts to save lives!!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

LoZ: could you please clarify: the red crescent you have been referring to, is it israeli or palestinian?

The Palestinian Red Credscent is the "Magen David Adom" or "Red Cross" equivalent found in Moslem countries. Resulting from the Oslo accords, the Palestinians now have the Red Crescent organization for medical emergency transport.

Israel has "MDA" which is staffed by both Jewish and Moslem (and Christian and Druze) volunteers. As I wrote earlier; even Hatzala has non-Jewish volunteers, as does ZAKA.

BTW: if you think this issue went off on a tangent, just wait till I bring up organ donations in Israel...

Esser Agaroth said...


I think Jameel should remove abutor's lashon hara.

Esser Agaroth said...

B"H Jameel, as a pragmatic matter, personally if I were to decide to volunteer to work in a particular organization, I believe I should accept upon myself its policies.

If I don't like an organization's policies, then I can choose to refrain from volunteering, of try to make a new organization.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the chizuk to my words.

Esser Agaroth said...

abutor, Is that all you can come with?

I suggest you check the definition of what lashon hara actually is.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add a clarification on my words about 'hilltop settlers'. I am *not* referring to the majority of the settlers who live in Yishuvim throughout Yesha. I am referring to the very small number of people who live on 'hilltops'.

The people who live there are some of the nicest people you will meet (provided that you are not an arab or left-winger). They really are - and I also think that they are doing something very important for Am Yisrael. We need people to settle the hilltops. They are doing a fine job of settling the land and preventing arabs from stealing it.

However, trying to discuss issues with them doesn't get too far, as they don't quite understand nuances. As I wrote, things are mostly black and white in their eyes, and sometimes they will do things "l'hachis" - to get the police, arabs and shabak riled up at them. I don't think that they are intellectuals (you can go talk to them yourself - don't take my word for it), and many of them subscribe to the idea that simple-mindedness is ideal (as they understand the teachings of R' Nachman). As such, trying to discuss the nuances of politics will get you to:
This is a "Memsheles Sh'mad" and that's it. No more discussion. Obviously, it is frustrating to talk to such people, and I've resorted to simply not discussing issues of any value with them - just telling stories and the such. They like it, I like it, and we all get along.

Obviously, I am making a generalization here, and I am sure that you will be able to find many people who are not like this who live on hilltops (OK, not too many). Additionally, you can find mental-midgets throughout the cities of Israel and Yesha as well - not only on hilltops.

Esser Agaroth said...

Jameel, this is why I don't allow anon. comments on my blog and generally speaking, I do not allow those without email addresses accessible. IOW, I don't generally allow "hit-and-runs."


משנה אבות ב,ה

הלל אומר,...ואל תאמר דבר שאי אפשר לשמוע וסופו להישמע....

The damage has been done.

What makes you such an expert? You talked to some? Oh, wow. Such an expert.

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