Friday, April 12, 2013

The Holocaust survivors and the handicapped parking spot

Recently there has been  a campaign launched regarding  healthy people parking in handicapped parking spots. Many frum websites and blogs posted articles and videos vilifying people who dare to park in a designated handicapped spot. 

Here is a true story, a friend of mine drove his elderly grandparents both Holocaust survivors in their 90's to a simcha. As he arrived at the Hall it was raining and the closest spot to the entrance was the handicapped spot. This couple could not walk on their own they had walkers and had to be carried up the steps. The driver of the car helped the couple up into the simcha hall which took about ten minutes to get them inside. As he returned to his car he was met outside with nasty comments about parking illegally in a handicapped spot. He told them he had dropped off an elderly couple who are as handicapped as can be.  His words fell on deaf ears as this person continued to yell that he did not have a permit to park there in the first place. Furious the driver asked this person to come inside the shul upstairs so he can show him the handicapped passenger, he went inside the shul where his grandfather was sitting putting on tefilin he showed him the numbers on his arm and said look at these numbers are they good enough for a handicap spot???

  Yes it is a terrible thing to do and we must respect the laws of the land as well as give people with disabilities their rights and help make their life as easy as possible. However, is this really a major problem that is gripping the frum community? is this rampant that in all communities people are parking in these spots? look around most of the time these spots are empty or used legally by someone with a disability. Do we know the circumstances of the car that did park there? why cant we talk about being Dan Lkaf Zechus ?  In these days of Sefirah let us focus on our own problems lets not look at others and create more sinas chinom, and if we want to look at others lets be dan lkaf zechus.


  1. Very true. Thank you for posting this.

    People should definitely not park in the spot. That's a valid point.
    The campaign though, seems to have taken on a life for itself.

    However, we must try to understand the people who are suffering as well. It is very, very hard for them.

  2. chassidisheshechitaApril 14, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Yea, the same thing happened to my uncle who took my elderly grandparents (who need walkers, canes etc.) to a bris and he used the handicap spot. He returned to find a nasty comment written and placed under his wiper blade. He was furious to say the least. Dont people have better things to do....

  3. As having relatives who are handicapped and NEED those spots, I know the anger and frustration when people who are not legally allowed to use the spots use them. In this circumstance, that man should get a placard for his parents. They definitely qualify! But until then, he could drop them off and then find another parking spot after coming down. What happens if there was another handicapped person who needed the spot?

    1. He did go to find another spot. People have to judge L'kaf zechus. Secondly, he didn't have to move his car he could have stayed there since his passengers were Handicapped! Not having a placard is not an excuse to make 2 old people who cant walk not being able to park there

    2. Being dan l'kaf zechus is the job of those handicapped, R"L. To a degree.

      Being a mentch is the job of those not handicapped. Unfortunately, people who don't need to, use handicapped spots. It is never intended to hurt the handicapped. People who are pressed for a spot, and assume no one will needs the handicapped spot at that time, use it. OK. They are wrong. They should not use the handicapped spot, unless transporting handicapped. Period.

      Now there is a third part.
      A) Should we allow handicapped people to lose the opportunities the spots provide them (in the name of being dan l'kaf zechus, of course)? Or should we respectfully make people aware of their wrongdoing? Should we, as a community object to people using these spots unnecessarily?

      B) Should we aggressively attack anyone using a handicapped spot - if they don't have a handicapped license plate? Should we not take particular circumstances into account?

      There's probably a middle ground. But we do have to find it. We do have to seek to help our handicapped brethren R"L, in any way we can. We do have to seek to be patient in difficult circumstances.

  4. The person writing this is in the wrong. It is not a matter of whether people having walkers, having been in concentration camps etc. Disabled parking in all countries has thee same basic rule-you MUST display a valid permit to park in them. If the friends grandparents are that disabled, then rather than complain that they were hard done by he should take them to the doctor and get a permit for them. It is simple-no permit ,no park.
    I am disabled and need the disabled bays. Any car that parks here with no permit is there illegally, regardless of the situation of anyone from the vehicle. Obey the law or face the consequences. Any religion and country will tell you that. No excuses accepted.