Ethics

For the week ending 29 July 2006 / 4 Av 5766

Telling Him Off!

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: A reckless driver makes a dangerous turn to pass my car but we end up side by side at a red traffic light. I am really upset by his behavior and am sorely tempted to tell him off. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Anger is at least as dangerous as passing on the road. Shouting through your window at the other guy is not only a serious violation of the prohibition against losing one’s temper, but also presents a danger both to you and the object of your outburst. Such a temperamental explosion can cause a disorientation, which creates difficulties for safe driving.

If you feel that the offending driver must somehow be reprimanded so that he will not repeat his misbehavior, you need only wave a scolding finger at him. This will achieve the purpose of calling his attention to his offense without paying the price of a lost temper.

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