An 11th plague hit Williamsburg during Passover — a plague of parking tickets!
Hasidic residents were say that the NYPD ruined the eight-day commemmoration of Jewish slavery by ticketing and towing their cars during the holiday.
Like matzo in ancient Egypt, parking tickets rained down from the heavens onto more than a dozen cars on Bedford Avenue on the first two days of Passover — and some cars were towed.
The city suspended alternate side parking rules on April 19, 20, 25, and 26 — the first two and last two days of the holiday. But traffic agents still issued tickets for other infractions, such as parking in “No parking” zones — causing many Jewish leaders to add a fifth question to their Seders this year: why were these illegally parked cars different from last year’s illegally parked cars, which were not ticketed?
“This shows no sensitivity or common sense,” said Williamsburg community leader Isaac Abraham. “I hope at least some summonses can be dropped.”
Most of the car owners are observant Jews and could not move their cars during the holiday.
Zev Deutsch, who parked near Clymer Street, thought he could leave his car in a “No Standing Zone” because the police didn’t ticket anyone during last year’s Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Passover holidays.
But Deutsch received two $115 summonses and traffic agents towed away his car, bringing the total damage to $435.
“Some cars they left behind and some they towed. It’s like the [ticketing agent] is the angel of death,” said Deutsch, making a reference to the Biblical angel who “passed over” the Jewish homes when God allegedly unleashed the 10 plagues on Egypt to compel the release of the Jews.
A police spokesman said that cars ticketed and towed received summonses for offenses that were not suspended, but Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg) said he was “deeply troubled” that the city ticketed so many observant Jewish car owners during the holiday.
“I am working with the Department of Transportation, in partnership with the United Jewish Organization, to rectify this situation as quickly as possible,” said Levin.