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Letter: When there’s no Mitzvah to give a hitch

Dear readers,

I’m sure I’m not the first driver to witness this:

Traffic is flowing when it suddenly comes to a full stop, with lots of honking. No, it wasn’t because someone stopped for a deer crossing the road. It was because a driver decided to stop in middle of the road to give a pedestrian a ride.

I’m all for helping others and doing Mitzvos, however, though I’m no Rabbi, I’m quite certain there is no Mitzvah to inconvenience dozens of drivers to give someone a ride, and potentially making a Chillul Hashem in the process.

Please, if you want to do a Mitzvah, please find a safe and legal place to pull over so it doesn’t interfere with traffic.

And Bachurim and others: If you’re looking for a ride, please don’t stand in a dangerous place or in a place where drivers would need to obstruct traffic to pick you up.

Thank you.

A local driver.

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There are 33 Comments to "Letter: When there’s no Mitzvah to give a hitch"

  • lkwd mom says:

    Agreed 100%

  • Dave says:

    Agreed %1000

  • Lakewood Driver says:

    Agree 100%

  • Eli g says:

    Agreed. I will not pick you up If you are standing in middle of county line rd with no shoulder. I don’t know what these boys are thinking! Drivers if you stop you are flat out selfish!

  • yanky car driver says:

    if its an older man 60+ then i do not agree but for younger i 1000% agree

  • My Take says:

    ditto!

  • Wondering says:

    I wake up very early to drive my mesivta bochur.
    Do parents stay in bed and tell their boys to hitch a ride?
    I don’t stop because I feel that it’s a parents job to drive their own children as hard as it may be. If the bochrim have a hard time hitching I’m hoping they will tell their parents who will realize that transporting their children is really their responsibility.
    I also enjoy the few quiet minutes alone with my son.

    • yossi says:

      It’s great that you can take your son but don’t be so quick judge other parents what they should do, when there can be a number of reasons why they don’t or can’t. The point was boys should hitch from a responsible place and I agree 100%

  • SR says:

    Yes totally agree! Everyday I pass by bochurim hitching in a certain spot on James Street. I feel guilty passing them every time, but they stand in an area with absolutely no room to pull over. Please use common sense when hitching. If you can walk a block or so to where there is a shoulder, then do so.

  • Fakewooder says:

    Shame on the selfish people Lakewood was built on chesed.
    Ask the drivers to pull over there’s nothing more chashuv than a yeshiva bochur.

    • Get Over It says:

      I agree with this letter, but then I’m against hitching in general. I DO NOT think picking up a hitchiker is a chessed. First of all because of the inconvenience to other drivers as mentioned in this letter. And also because it is so dangerous, especially in today’s world. The driver pulling over doesn’t know whom he is picking up and the person who’s hitching doesn’t know who the driver is. How can we trust people we don’t know after all the horror stories we hear? Do we need an actual incident to put an end to this risk taking? I believe it is the parents’ responsibility to get their children to school. When my children were young, it was too hard to drive my son so I found him a ride with a neighbor. Solutions can be found if you you decide that hitching is not an option. Besides, we see girls walking to and from school all the time from great distances. How come they can do it and boys can’t?

      • A bochur says:

        Please say tehillim for all the boys who were kidnapped and drivers who were mugged this week….

        Oh, my bad. there weren’t any?! So then what did you mean by dangerous? And which horror stories were you referring to, the Uber driver stories in which everything was arranged legally? that’s why I hitch and don’t take Ubers, because I compared the safety records!

        Maybe you should open a free taxi company to solve the hitching problem. Unless that’s not either a chesed?

        • Get Over It says:

          I personally know of a woman who picked up a bochur, who didn’t want to get out of the car. She got him to leave eventually but that was awkward and scary. This story didn’t make the news. Maybe there are other stories. The point is to avoid these stories altogether! Use a reputable car service if Uber is risky. (Unless this is all about saving $$) When I was growing up, you never saw a Jewish person hitching. That was for the low lives. When did this become OK for Choshova Yeshiva bochurim ??

          • dave says:

            not all buchrim carry phones and every ride u need to get down the block its not worth to pay or wait for a car service idk about u but most buchrim do not work

      • dave says:

        tell ur girls to hitch

  • not lazy says:

    To Wondering: I totally agree with you. It may be just a few more years when the result of these boys being ignored by their parents and Mesivta will come full circle.

  • Ty says:

    I also drive my boys but don’t judge those that don’t. My husband isn’t home. It means I must wake 2 babies at 7 am and take in car In freezing weather. Also wake elementary age younger girls so aren’t sleeping alone in the house.
    I’m happy to drive my son also. But I realize it’s not so easy for everyone.

  • Avi says:

    I give hitches all the time. Never to a kid who stands in dangerous and stupid places. Agreed 100%*

  • Chaim says:

    If in a dangerous place, it’s Asur and illegal.
    If in safe place, there’s what to talk about. I don’t think it’s the best but I get it’s hard. Yeshiva’s have buses, parents can drive. Parents shouldn’t promote an autitude of “ just get to school, work it out, wave your thumb at every car. And if someone that you don’t consider appropriate, then what? Where’s the 20 years if chinuch?
    It’s a bidieved. Treat it as such

  • Annon says:

    Agreed 100%. Being that the boys hitch it would be beneficial for the mesivtas to instruct them on rules of hitching. Like only safe places, before getting into a car check who the driver is etc.

  • Lakewood,NJ says:

    Did everyone forget about the Millions of Taxpayer dollars that are spent to provide busses for these Hitching young men? Besides for the actual cost of the transportation, we need to consider the amount of taxes the community has been leveraged to agree to in order to preserve the bus service we desire. The discussions about loading sleeping children in a freezing car are truly heart jerking but why cant this young man take the bus that is provided? It may be less convinient than having his mom drive him or maybe not exactly in front of his house but lets not make believe that these poor poor bochurim have no way to getto and from Yeshiva. And for those who occasionally miss the bus, there is always lakeway.

  • Chaya says:

    Its called chessed!! Something we yidden survive on!! If its a dangerous place, dont pick up. But many many places are safe to stop!! How sad that people are so self righteous and convince themselves that its wrong to give someone a ride.

  • Moty says:

    Doing Chesed is beautiful as long it’s not at the expense of other people. it’s not even called “Chesed” when you would do problems to other people that need to get to their destination. and maybe they’re in a hurry.

  • a bocher who hitches says:

    whoever doesnt pick someone up whos hitching or against bochrim hitching totally selfish and obviously was never in that situation bec i was lots of times on those cold brutal days so next time you see so next time you someone hitcing please pick them up

  • salomonF says:

    Hitchiking is illegal in NJ
    39:4-5
    Dina de malchusa;
    I do feel bad for the boys, but they should find a diff. way

  • Bill Hitchenberg says:

    This may be a contrarian view, but here’s my take on the matter: There are a lot of older bachurim who are looking to get hitched. They have not found their barshert yet because people refuse to help them get hitched. So, I feel it is a big mitzvah to get them hitched. Feel free to disagree. But this is what I believe.

  • Mk says:

    Seems like the person that wrote this does not believe in chessed when it’s inconvenient. They obviously missed th boat in (Jewish)life. The main problem mentioned is the “inconveniencing”. Obviously when dangerous we should not stop to pick up hitchers but “inconvenience” seems to be the main focus here which obviously means they have a lot of work to do and they were never taught what it means to help another person.

  • perplexed says:

    How is it a chessed to the people stuck behind the driver? Maybe they’re in a rush? Maybe they’re going to a job where they get paid by the hour and by stopping, you’re making them late for work? Or someone misses an appointment bc they had to wait multiple times? Or you’re causing a mother to be late to her child’s bus?

    I can come ip with many scenarios. Is it really chessed when it’s at someone else’s expense? Cana you steal money to give tzedaka?

  • concerned parent says:

    inconvinencing drivers? Safety issues? excuse me. We are zoche to many wild and inconsiderate drivers in Lakewood. Blowing past stop signs, passing school busses with red lights, driving wild, being rude and cutting off people and THIS chesed you pick on?? Many fine , safe drivers in town who want to help these boys, how about bashing the wild animals who tear up the roads with their BAD middos instead of those who wish to do chesed. Your premise and title are disturbing my DNA.

  • Safe Hitchhiker says:

    1-A lot of times when this conversation comes up, people say I dont give hitches because its dangerous to hitch because a murderer/kidnapper/terrorist/smartphone might pick them up so I dont pick them up because I am against hitching. What are you trying to say? That you dont give hitches because someone else might kidnap them? So basically by you not picking them up, you are leaving them for kidnappers.

    2- Sometimes a bochur wakes up late and cant make it to his ride. Sounds like some people are saying he should walk over an hour across town to get to yeshiva because girls do it. BOYS ARE NOT GIRLS (As far as I know, maybe your boys are)

  • Merry says:

    I’m don’t understand why this is even being discussed: Hitchhiking is illegal in NJ. For everyone. In every town.

  • Matt says:

    Is it a chessed to the driver two or three cars back who rear ends someone because of the sudden stop ?

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