In the last years, bicycles became very popular in Israel and in Jerusalem in particular (especially electric bikes because Jerusalem is very hilly) and they have been adopted as a cheap means of transportation.

The Ministry of Transportation issued numerous laws regarding driving bikes (helmets, traffic laws, etc.), but many otherwise observant Jews (adults AND kids) allow themselves to openly bypass traffic laws, such as crossing a red light before other drivers.

Imagine a central junction where tens of cars stand still and a visibly observant Jew crosses on the red light.

How serious is such a transgression and what Rabbis speak specifically about observing traffic laws even in Israel?

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    Why does it matter whether they're Haredi? What if it was a hiloni on the bike crossing the street on the red light? – ezra Jul 4 '18 at 14:50
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    @ezra chilul Hashem ? – mbloch Jul 4 '18 at 15:00
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    @ezra I guess the OP is worried about chillul Hashem. But I edited the question to reduce the anti-Charedi tone. Al Berko - you can reverse the edit if you wish. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jul 4 '18 at 15:01
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    Yes, public Hilul Hashem is one thing, but the silence of the Rabbonim is concerning me even more. And when I said דינא דמלכותא I mean they do it proudly to demonstrate that "the laws of the State do not apply to them", overlooking the Laws of the Torah. – Al Berko Jul 4 '18 at 19:48
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    Is this a question about Judaism or a statement attempting to raise awareness about a behavior pattern you've seen among Jews and oppose? – Isaac Moses Jul 5 '18 at 14:06

It is known that Rav Elyashiv ZTL & Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita and other Rabanim often refrain from giving public Proclamations regarding subjects about which they have reason to believe that many religious people will blatantly disregard. They rely on the fact that those who care enough to take heed of the Halacha will verify on their own what the proper way is, and often making it into a major proclamation by the rabanim will cause the disobedience to be an even greater chilul Hashem. Obviously, this decision, whether or not to publicize an outcry against a halachic violation has to be decided by the great halachic authorities themselves.

It can very well be that the case of obeying traffic violations may be one of those instances where the Rabanim feel that a public proclamation of issur may cause greater chilul Hashem then not doing so.

There have been seforim written on the subject of road safety which carry the haskamos of the great Rabanim of the generation.

  • I didn't understand the second paragraph, I think the opposite, that such a public condemnation would make it clear that those are offenders and they are not backed by the community. BTW what the American Rabbis say - is it more lenient among gentiles? – Al Berko Jul 5 '18 at 15:16
  • @AlBerko True, but sometimes denouncing Jewish offenders publicly can cause greater Chillul Hashem. I'm not sure whether chilul Hashem is worse among Jews or gentiles. Often things which are more severe "befarhesia" are cited as "bifney asara miyisrael. – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jul 5 '18 at 15:36
  • @ShmuelBrin It is for this reason which i added that "decision, whether or not to publicize an outcry against a halachic violation has to be decided by the great halachic authorities themselves." They decide when the pros outweigh the cons & vice verca. – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jul 5 '18 at 17:26
  • Let's be clear: these people are endangering lives. Are you saying the rationale is because chilul Hashem is yeihareig ve'al yaavor in some cases? Is this one of those cases? – Heshy Jul 5 '18 at 17:29
  • @Heshy That is not what i meant. – RibbisRabbiAndMore Jul 5 '18 at 17:32

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