Monday, November 29, 2010
Rabbi's wronged in write
An angry Brooklyn rabbi says a cop who slapped him with a jaywalking summons as he crossed Kings Highway on Friday had a lot of chutzpah for making him break his strict religious observance.
"This was the first time in my life I broke the Sabbath," Rabbi Sholom Emert, 27, said. "It was disgraceful."
The rabbi claims the "rotten cop" forced him to write his name on a piece of paper --a violation of the Jewish Sabbath -- or face arrest, since he wasn't carrying identification when they stopped him for improperly crossing Kings Highway and E. 15th Street at 5:40 p.m.
"I told him, 'I'm a Sabbath observer. I can't write today,' " the rabbi said.
"He said, 'You have to write it down, and it has to be done very neatly so I can read it. If I can't read it, I'm going to have to take you in,' " Emert recalled.
Emert, who was on his way back to his Midwood home, acquiesced to the cop's demand.
"I was forced to write down my name, and it's a transgression in Jewish law to write on the Sabbath," he explained.
"I had no choice. When someone [threatens to] put you in cuffs, you can be [detained for] 24 hours. I have a wife and four kids at home," the rabbi added.
The NYPD is looking into the matter.
Two 61st Precinct officers stopped Emert as he stood helplessly on double yellow lines between whizzing traffic, where he got caught after the traffic signal changed, the rabbi said.
One officer demanded his ID, but the rabbi explained he did not carry one on the Sabbath.
"I told him I live a half-block away. Come to my house. I'll show you my ID," he said.
That's when he said the cop ordered him to write.
The officer issued him a summons for obstructing traffic and sent him home.
"He was very inconsiderate of my beliefs and very nasty with me," the rabbi fumed. With John Doyle