Police broke up a Rosh HaShana service at Chabad near the University of Central Florida. Why? Because of the many illegally parked cars blocking fire hydrants and driveways in the residential area. The rabbi. Chaim Lipskar, cried foul and begged for five more minutes to finsih the service. The cops wouldn't go for it and in the ensuing fracas, a Chabad student was arrested:
…The situation started about 7:30 p.m. as an investigation into parking complaints in the subdivision, which is just north of the UCF campus. Several 911 calls were made reporting that numerous cars were parked illegally along the narrow streets that run through the middle-class neighborhood.
Since March, deputies have responded to a dozen similar complaints at the house, which Lipskar has used to hold Saturday Sabbath services.
Karen Wong, who lives a half-block from Lipskar, said the complaints from neighbors have nothing to do with Jewish services and everything to do with parking.
"They are blocking the sidewalks, blocking the fire hydrant, blocking driveways," she said.
Blue asked Wong, who called in one of the complaints Wednesday, to act as his witness while he spoke to Lipskar. Wong said she was petrified when people began pouring out of the house and challenging the deputy.
"I was called a Nazi, an anti-Semite and a racist," she said. "All I was doing was standing there with my hands behind my back."
According to Blue's account, the crowd grew disorderly after one woman in the crowd stated, "I hate the police; this is ridiculous." He approached her and told her she was being arrested for inciting a riot. When a young man tried to intervene, Blue arrested him instead.
Joshua Sebag, 22, of Palm City was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and resisting an officer without violence.…
Note the cars are moved after services each Friday night and holiday. In other words, the cars are driven by Jews on Shabbat and Yom Tov. And this happens every week the university is in session, even though driving is forbidden on Shabbat by Orthodox law.
The American Civil Liberties Union is coming in on Chabad's side, wrongly seeing this as an infringement on Chabad's right to worship. But this has nothing to do with Chabad's right to pray and everything to do with Chabad's lack of respect for it's neighbors and for the laws of the place where it is.
For His part, God is said to be siding with with police and neighborhood residents because of the principal of dina d'malchuta dina (the law of the land is the land), derech eretz (polite behavior), and Shabbat and holiday law – which Chabad allows to be violated with impunity.
I have a Chabad friend who used to regularly make his Shabbat morning minyan with men who drove to pray there. He would call around before Shabbat to ensure their attendance. Every week, these same men drove miles, parked in Chabad's parking lot and "made" that minyan. Without them, there would have been no communal prayer.
How this is different from a Jew driving to a Conservative synagogue on Shabbat? Before you answer, think hard. Is it okay to violate halakha (Jewish law) as long as there is a potential for the Jew to "do teshuva"? In other words, is driving to Chabad okay because a Jews who does so may eventually learn not to drive? And Is it therefore not okay to drive to a Conservative synagogue because the Jew will never learn it is wrong to drive there?
Before the Rebbe died, the standard was to avoid situations where Jews would drive on Shabbat. Since the Rebbe's death, that standard seems to have been drastically lowered. Why?