An open letter to Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz’s community
I’m sending one of my own, draft of which appears below:
Rabbi Richard Toban, Rebbitzen Sharon Toban, Rabbi Yehoshua Pinkus, Rabbi Yitzchak Goldman, Rebbitzen Sara Pesha Goldman, Rabbi Shragie Gestetner, Rebbitzen Rivka Gestetner, Rabbi Binyomin Edelstone, Rabbi Avrohom David, Rebbitzen Rooksie David
The Seattle Kollel
5305 52nd Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98118
I write in response to the recent deferred sentence of your colleague and friend Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz. I ask you to look at the Rabbi’s history of automobile accidents and I beg you to please find a way to help him meet his rabbinical and family obligations without driving himself.
I look at the two most recent incidents where he injured or killed someone, once when he crossed the center line and hit a cyclist on the other side of the road, and more recently when he killed Tatsuo Nakata but was unaware he had struck someone until he got out of his car.
These are not the habits of a careful, responsible driver. Whatever Rabbi Schwartz’s gifts may be, attentive driving isn’t one of them. I find it hard to accept that his faith community can continue to enable this behavior. What are we to think when we learn that some of his congregants have gone so far as to buy him a car [http://tinyurl.com/3cxvts]. Does no one see a problem with this? How will you or the good people who contributed to this feel if someone else is injured or worse? Why take that chance?
His record of irresponsible driving extends back to before his time here in Seattle, but his record here is bad enough that if the state cannot lift his license, I ask you as leaders in his faith community to help him before someone else gets hurt.
You may not think it fair but as we would look to a family to help a troubled family member and would be disappointed if they refused, so we look to you to help Rabbi Schwartz.
Thanks for your time.