Here's a story I witnessed:

Someone trying to get his car out of the public parking lot next to his building found his way out blocked by two cars parked right on the ramp out, whose owners went into the nearby Shul to pray Maariv. He went into the shul, and finding the minyan in the middle of Shma, banged on the Bimah and announced that someone was blocking the driveway and he couldn't get out. One of the drivers reponsible quickly got up and moved the car. Presumably the offending driver was embarrassed in front of the whole shul. It made me wonder if the "stuck" person had a right to do this.

My question, in a more general sense, is: If someone stole something from you (In this case, it was one's access to the street and their time.), is it permissible to embarrass the one who did it in order to rectify the situation?

  • 4
    If it were me blocking the road (it wasn't) I wouldn't be embarrassed - I would be glad they came and got me instead of sitting there and stewing. I know I did something wrong and accepted the risk, hoping that since Maariv is short it wouldn't bother anyone.
    – Ariel
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 7:36
  • Reminds me of this article about parking in a plot reserved for disabled people Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


How would you know that the responsible person would rectify the situation (and not someone else)?

See here which emphasizes the importance of not causing embarrassment.

It demonstrates the fine quality of taking the embarrassment instead of the culprit.

Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi (Rebbie) sensed a disturbing odor of garlic one day while he was lecturing and requested that the source of the offending smell leave the room. Rabbi Chiya immediately left the room and the other disciples followed suit. The next morning Rabbi Chiya was challenged by Rebbie's son Shimon for irritating his father with the garlic odor. Rabbi Chiya then explained that he would never have done so inconsiderate a thing and only walked out in order to save the real culprit from embarrassment.

This tradition of risking personal embarrassment in order to save another from shame is traced through the Talmudic generations from Rabbi Chiya to Rabbi Meir and the Sage Shmuel Hakatan all the way to Moshe Rabbeinu and Yehoshua. Sanhedrin 11a

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