Wednesday, November 23, 2011



May I "jaywalk", crossing a street against the light or outside of a crosswalk?

There is great debate as to the power of civil government within the principle of dina d'malchuta dina. Some authorities contend this is limited to financial matters, while others include all civil issues in their legislative powers. [Of course, no one assigns the government authority to require violation of Torah.] Therefore, the inclusion of jaywalking prohibitions in dina d'malchuta is debatable.

However, all authorities acknowledge the mitzvah of v'nishmartem m'od l'nafshoteichem, requiring that a Jew guard his life; we are stricter regarding possible loss of life than regarding possible violation of Jewish law. Therefore, one is obligated to refrain from crossing a street in a situation which might possibly involve danger. Further, one must be particularly careful around children, lest one teach them a behaviour which they might emulate in an unsafe situation.

(Dina d'Malchuta: Bava Kama 60b, 113a; Bava Batra 8b; Rashi to Gittin 9a chutz; Ran Nedarim 28a; Hilchot Zechiyah uMatanah 1:15; Ramban to Bereishit 34:13; Danger: Chullin 10a; Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 116; She'eilat Shlomo 2:413;

Have a great day,

No comments:

Post a Comment