A Lesson on Driving Lessons

Question

Does Judaism teach anything about how to drive?

1 month

Answers

  1. Yes! We are taught to be extremely careful to always act in a safe and responsible manner. The Torah states, “And you will watch yourselves very well.” (Deut. 4:9, 15) In Judaism, life has the highest level of sanctity and needs guarding with the utmost of care.

    Regarding the specifics of how to drive, we are taught to obey “the laws of the land,” which means to follow all laws of the place where we live or visit. This includes strictly obeying motor vehicle codes.

    And besides the safety aspect of driving carefully, there is another important matter to consider. Operation of a motor vehicle carries the potential to inflict property damage and monetary loss if an accident occurs, even a fender-bender. Causing a financial loss to someone is considered a serious matter and a guilty party must always make complete restitution and even seek forgiveness from the person whose property was damaged. It is said that this topic of “damages” is so vital for a righteous environment that yeshiva students are taught to place great emphasis in their studies on the field of property damages.

    A person should treat the property of another with the same regard and importance as he treats his own property. Therefore, someone who causes minor damage while parking shouldn’t just drive off even if no one sees. I mention this point because it seems to happen all too often, at least in certain societies.

    And remember: although a person should be diligent to fix any damage he may cause to another’s vehicle, he doesn’t need to “go crazy” about every little scratch on his own car. I once heard a wise Rabbi say to a new car owner who was closely looking at his car’s first scratch: “I also hope you examine your own actions and soul to see if there is any ‘scratch’ or blemish to fix.” At least he said it with a smile.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team