Prayer Shawl-Wearing Driver Fined

A man who wore both phylacteries and a prayer shawl while driving in Jerusalem convicted of endangering the welfare of other motorists.

Shlomo Pitrikovsky, Cynthia Blank ,

Man in talit and tefilin (illustration)
Man in talit and tefilin (illustration)
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

A Jewish man caught wearing phylacteries [tefillin] and a prayer shawl [talit] while driving was convicted Sunday of operating a vehicle in a manner that endangers other motorists.  

Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Sharon Larry-Bavli issued the ruling. 

The driver himself was absent from proceedings despite being summoned by the police prosecutor to the hearing. Larry-Bavli ruled that the man must be found guilty in absentia. 

Accepting the police prosecutor's charges and recommendations, Larry-Bavli sentenced the driver to a fine of NIS 1,000 ($250), a suspended license for four months, and probation for three. 

The Judge noted in her verdict that there is absolutely no doubt that driving in this manner endangers other drivers, as well as pedestrians, on the road. 

"There is no doubt that we're talking about driving in a way which endangers other commuters," she stressed. "I doubt that prayer would have helped in this case."

"There is no alternative penalty than the minimum penalty prescribed by the law," Larry-Bavli added. 



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