No Text is Worth a Life: A High Holy Day Pledge

Aug 13, 2013 by

No Text is Worth a Life: A High Holy Day Pledge

As we turn to thoughts of a new year and a new start, here is a pledge to refrain from texting while driving. Texting while driving is responsible for a quarter of all car accidents today, and is six times more dangerous than drunk driving. Please share this pledge from the High Holy Day pulpit, or make it part of your personal Rosh HaShanah spiritual preparation. Perhaps be making this verbal oath in a sacred space amidst a community of witnesses, we may contribute to saving lives.

 

Whoever destroys a single soul destroys a complete world.

Whoever preserves a single soul preserves a complete world. – Talmud Sanhedrin 37a

 At this season we ask: who by fire and who by water?

Today we also ask, who by texting while driving?

An epidemic is sweeping our country.

DWI, Driving While In-text-ified causes 1.6 million accidents a year.

Driving While In-text-ified causes 330,000 injuries per year.

Driving While In-text-ified causes 11 teen deaths every day.

75% of teens say Driving While In-text-ified is common among their friends.

Half of young drivers have seen their parents Driving While In-text-ified.

Driving While In-text-ified makes you 23 times more likely to crash.

Driving While In-text-ified slows your brake reaction speed by 18%.

Driving While In-text-ified is the source of nearly 25% of all car accidents.

Driving While In-text-ified is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.

Driving While In-text-ified is the same as driving after 4 beers.

Driving While In-text-ified is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time.

At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field completely blind.

Who by fire, who by water? Who by texting while driving? On this holy day, as we reflect on our deeds and resolve to better ourselves and the world, we invite you to put your hand on your heart and join us by repeating this sacred pledge:

 

We will not Drive While In-text-ified.

We will use only hands-free devices in the car.

No text is worth a life.

No text is worth a life.

No text is worth a life.

We will not Drive While In-text-ified.

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ. שֶׁתּוֹלִיכֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם. וְתַצְעִידֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם.וְתַדְרִיכֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם. וְתִסְמְכֵנוּ לְשָׁלוֹם.

וְתַגִּיעֵנוּ לִמְחוֹז חֶפְצֵנוּ לְחַיִּים וּלְשִׂמְחָה וּלְשָׁלוֹם

 Yehi ratzon milefanecha Adonai Eloheinu veilohei avoteinu v’imoteinu shetolicheinu leshalom vetatzideinu leshalom vetadricheinu leshalom vetismecheinu leshalom vetagi’einu limechoz cheftzeinu lechaim ulesimchah uleshalom.

May it be Your will God of our fathers and mothers that You should lead us in peace and direct our steps in peace, and guide us in peace, and support us in peace, and cause us to reach our destination in life, joy, and peace. Amen.

Rabbi Zoe Klein serves Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, CA.

1 Comment

  1. I hate to be such a pain, but I have to object to “We will use only hands-free devices in the car.”

    Studies have shown that, while safer than texting, hands-free talking is no safer than talking on the handset. A person talking on the phone, hands-free or not, is as likely to have an accident as a person with a .08 BAC, which is (just barely) legally impaired in most states.

    No text is worth a life. No phone conversation is, either.

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