pushing the traffic button?

  1. 1,799 Posts.

    Holy yamahas this is a laugh with these poor sods taking their obsessive claptrap to the extreme. We even see that "Jewish law" ,whatever that is, also prevents people asking others to press buttons for them.

    What do people think of this absurd belief system?

    Let there be lights . . . automatic ones
    By Sean Nicholls
    September 10, 2003

    A Sydney Jewish community is seeking an unorthodox solution to what has become a very orthodox problem.

    Tired of risking their lives dodging oncoming traffic en route to the synagogue, Orthodox Jews in the eastern suburbs want traffic lights in the area reprogrammed so they don't have to press a button to activate the walk signal each time they have to cross the road.

    Pushing the traffic button, or using any other electrical device during the Sabbath, constitutes "work" and is therefore a breach of Jewish law.

    Members of the community have therefore asked Waverley Council to reprogram the lights to ensure there is an automatic pedestrian "walk" signal at relevant times of the Sabbath, which runs from sunset on Friday until one hour after sunset on Saturday.

    Following representations to the council by the federal member for Wentworth, Peter King, the council's traffic committee will weigh up the request at a meeting tomorrow night.

    Mr King wrote to the mayor of Waverley, Paul Pearce, saying it was "important that members of the Jewish community are not put at risk because of their religious observance".

    Changes to the traffic lights on at least three intersections will be considered, primarily around Old South Head Road at Bondi and Bellevue Hill, an area known as the Orthodox Jewish district.

    Rabbi Yoram Ulman, a judge in the Sydney Beth Din rabbinical court, said Jewish law also prevented people asking others to press buttons for them and that thousands of observant Jews in the eastern suburbs were affected.

    "I'm very much applauding the council for being sensitive to these issues," he said.

    A Roads and Traffic Authority spokeswoman said the idea had not been tried before and that it was possible to program traffic lights in such a manner. However, there were concerns over the impacts on traffic flow, emergency services vehicles and public transport.

    The move would not be entirely without precedent. Last year the same community built an imaginary spiritual wall, called an eruv, within which Orthodox Jews can carry parcels, push prams and exercise dogs on the Sabbath and holy days. Without the 26-kilometre boundary, which stretches from Vaucluse to Bondi Junction, Orthodox Jews would be confined to their homes.

    The Waverley councillor managing the new request, George Newhouse, said the traffic committee would approach the RTA with the proposal.

    "We'll be asking the RTA whether they can do it," he said. "If they say yes, we'll work on a plan with the community".
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