The Shmooze

Memo to Rubberneckers: Pray, Don’t Look

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share
Jim Champion via Wikimedia Commons

It is an international problem, only accentuated here by Israeli curiosity — or what in America is called nosiness. Whenever there is a road accident, traffic slows as people peer to see what’s going on. Everyone knows deep down that it’s unhelpful, but everyone just wants to know what is happening. And nobody has found a way to reprogram people not to look… until now.

The Israeli medical service Hatzolah has come to the realization that if you give would-be rubberneckers a responsibility for the injured, it will keep them busy and away from the scene. What role can you give them that keeps them away? Tell them that they are with the injured in a spiritual sense!

The Orthodox-run organization has printed 100,000 credit card-sized handouts that ask people to request divine help for the injured when they see an accident. They are asked to recite Psalm 121 — the one which asks “from where does my help come?” — as a way of petitioning for God’s intervention. “Help us save lives. Please keep away from the area and say this chapter of Psalms,” plead the cards, which include the text of the Psalm and will be distributed at public events.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Hatzolah, Rubbernecking, Traffic Accidents

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.