By Yosef Bergovoy
It is with a heavy heart that I write this op-ed, as today was a dark day in Crown Heights.
I didn’t know Gedalya personally, but I heard from people who were at the scene immediately after it occurred and to people who knew him this year.
Regardless, everyone was affected by such an unimaginable and painful loss. An only child, a person who was learning and growing and bringing light into this world, is suddenly no longer with us.
It makes no difference whose fault it was or wasn’t and we cannot bring this bright life back, however there is something that can be done. I have been itching to write about this for a while, but I have never done so since I have never felt that it was my place.
However, after what happened today we can’t afford to have another young life taken from our midst.
I am referring to the reckless driving in our community, unfortunately by our own community members. I often see Lubavitchers driving with their head down, one hand on their cell phone and either texting or using their phone WHILE driving down the street.
These are men with graying beards and hats and jackets, these are women with kids in the back seat, and these are all types of people from our community. It makes no difference what type of person is doing it, what matters is that it stops.
Put your phone in your pocket or purse, keep your eyes and ears on the road, and don’t give a car accident any type of chance.
Additionally, there are some who are simply reckless drivers, speeding through red or yellow lights, taking speedy, sharp turns and barely missing other cars or pedestrians.
This all must stop, cars are potential weapons when used incorrectly and in the wrong circumstance something bad can happen. There are many children in our community as well, and we must err on the side of caution in order to avoid any negative outcomes.
Again, I did not want to write this, but this topic is bigger than I am. Please make a hachlata / resolution that you (and anyone that you can have a positive effect on) will drive safely, will put his or her phone away, or at the very least not use it at all while operating a vehicle and will drive as safe as possible.
May Gedalya’s neshama have an aliya, and in his merit and memory I hope nothing like this will ever happen in our community again.
Please comment below with your name or initials and your hachlata / resolution in regards to safe driving and potentially saving a life.