Hacham Yom Tov Yedid Last Chief Rabbi of Halab
A neighbor of mine has a beat-up automobile parked right in front of my home.
I keep my home and property so nice and clean, as do the surrounding homeowners on the block, and so the sight of this car on the block is such an eye-sore.
I mentioned in a joking manner to my neighbor that I would pay to have the car junked and towed, but he just laughed it off. The car has been idle for months and it does not seem like my neighbor intends to get rid of it anytime soon. Every morning, when I leave my home, this is the first sight I see. This is really bothering me and I don’t know what to do.
I don’t want to confront him because I want to remain on good terms, so I’m thinking of contacting the police department. I believe that it is illegal to leave an idle car on the street for over a month. What do you think?
Driving Me Crazy
Dear Driving Me Crazy,
As the famous expression goes, some people see the glass half full, and some see it as half empty. I would venture to say that the first reaction from most of the people reading your question would be, “Wow! How lucky he is – no Alternate!” Enjoy the fact that you don’t have to move your car twice a week so the streets can be cleaned!
The same is true about your neighbor’s car being an eye-sore. Rather than focus on the jalopy, try taking in the beauty of your neighbors’ homes, the trees, the flowers, the sunshine, and the rest of Hashem’s gifts. We should never let one rotten apple spoil our appreciation of everything else around it.
Yourpoint about the illegality of an idle parked is indeed correct, though this may depend on where you live. The official website of the City of New York states, “Unless a posted sign says otherwise, you may not leave a vehicle parked in the same spot for more than seven days in a row.” It does not appear, however, that New Jersey has a similar law in Monmouth County.
If you live in New York, then, I would suggest that instead of going ahead and calling the police, you might want to respectfully point out to your neighbor that leaving an idle car parked on the street is illegal, and some overzealous meter-maid might one day decide to track the parking habits of cars on your block. While this might not be very likely to happen, it could happen, especially if someone gets fed up with the view and decides to turn in his neighbor. (Of course, Judaism has a name for people who do such things, but we won’t get into that.)
In the meantime, enjoy Gd’s world – it’s a beautiful place to be parked.