Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Clerics’ Sermons Spread Messages of… Safe Driving

It’s one of the most politically charged subjects in Israel and the West Bank: what imams choose to preach about. The Israeli authorities have long been concerned about what they call “incitement” in sermons. But it seems that some imams aren’t only steering clear of radical politics, but are actually taking a path that rabbis could do with following.

Israelis have a reputation for being bad drivers, and last year this assumption became enshrined in official information for visitors put out by the American State Department. “Aggressive driving is a serious problem and many drivers fail to maintain safe following distances or signal before changing lanes or making turns,” says the State Department guide. “Drivers are also prone to stop suddenly on roads without warning, especially in the right lane.” Imams serving some Muslim congregations in Israel have started preaching for a change.

Some 23 clerics from the Bedouin Arab sector have been involved in special driving workshops and research, sponsored by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Israel Police, the National Center for Child Safety and Health and the Road Safety Authority. According to Haaretz they are now starting to use their sermons to spread a message of caution on the road and good will unto all drivers. “Now that the course has ended, we will start our own work in mosques, at special events, even at weddings; we will talk about the importance of road safety everywhere,” Rahat-based preacher Sheikh Abu Zargal Gam told the newspaper.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.