Acharei Mos and Jon Corzine

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The Torah portion of Acharei Mos [Leviticus 16:1-18:30] begins with an unusual description of the time chosen by G-d to give a particular Commandment: “And G-d spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aharon, when they came close before HaShem and they died.” The Commandment given was a warning to Aharon and the other Kohanim that they not go into the holiest part of the Temple whenever they pleased.

The Talmudic Sage Rebbe Elazar ben Azaryah explains: this can be compared to a doctor who warns a patient not to eat cold foods or sleep in a cold place, versus a second doctor who gives the same warning, but adding “in order that you not die like John Smith did.” The second doctor (obviously) encourages compliance more strongly than the first.

I was reminded of this passage when I learned that NJ Gov. Jon Corzine recorded an advertisement for the US Department of Transportation. Even for those not previously aware of the news story behind the ad, the text needs no further explanation. The video (to which I link, below) shows him speaking, the mangled SUV in which he was traveling… and him walking from the room, on crutches.

I’m New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead. On April 12 I was critically injured in a car accident where I lost over half my blood and broke 15 bones in 18 places. I spent 8 days in intensive care, where a ventilator was breathing for me. It took a remarkable team of doctors and a series of miracles to save my life, when all I needed was a seat belt. I have to live with my mistake; you don’t. Buckle up.

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2 Responses

  1. cvmay says:

    As a Director of Driver Education, that issues 500 completion certificates to frum teenagers yearly to begin their career in safe driving, SEAT BELTS are safety feature #1. A shoulder and waist belt will reduce injuries by 85% and fatalities by 60%, you may view videos to back these statistics on the AAA web site. The problem is, all future drivers MODEL the habits of those they drive with, if Mom & Dad “click it”, so will they.
    The responsibility is ours, YOU decide your actions and its consequences. Also we teach to avoid the 4 DDDD’s which equal DRINKING, DRUGS (legal only), DROWSY & DISTRACTIONS (cells).

  2. Avigdor M'Bawlmawr says:

    All he needed was a seat belt? Perhaps not traveling at 91 mph in a 65 zone would have helped, too. He and his entourage recklessly endangered other motorists so he could be on time to a PR event. According to what I read, their actions caused another motorist to panic and lose control of his vehicle. Please buckle up, and BTW, don’t drive like a meshugga.