Côte St. Luc, Canada – Rabbi Speeding to Bris Milah Beats Ticket


    Côte St. Luc, Canada – Quebec’s Jewish chaplain for prisons got a speeding ticket quashed after convincing a judge he’d been rushing to a medical emergency: a baby boy who was bleeding from a ritual circumcision.

    “It wasn’t like I was going 120 kilometres an hour – I was going a reasonable speed,” Jacob Lévy told Judge Alain St-Pierre in Outremont municipal court, where he contested the ticket.

    After listening to the rabbi’s story, the judge said Lévy had proven the “necessity” of why he’d been speeding, and threw out the charge.

    Lévy, who used to be grand rabbi of Geneva and also lived in France, leads the Sephardic congregation at Beth Rambam synagogue in Côte St. Luc. Trained in Jerusalem as a mohel, the Hebrew word for circumciser, Lévy has been practicing the ritual procedure for 30 years.

    His first Bris was his own son, he told St-Pierre at the Van Horne Ave. courtroom, where he’d brought along his surgical kit as proof of his trade.

    Lévy testified he’d received an emergency call from a distraught mother in Côte St. Luc whose 8-day-old boy had been recently circumcised. The bandage had come off and the boy was bleeding into his diaper.

    Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates


    1. B’h the judge was sensible. Not one of the typical anti-semite judges. May Rabbi Jacob Lévy be zoche to do many more brissim on yiddesha kinder.

    2. Anonymous Says:

      Is 120 kilometers an hour an unreasonable speed? It’s only 72 miles an hour. Was he on a side road?

      06-17-2008 – 2:40 PM


      why dont you go back and read what he said . . He said he was NOT going 120 k/m/h. Sheesh . where did u guys learn how do read an article??

    3. Mr. 3:00 P.M.

      I am not the 2:40 P.M. Anon, but you don’t make sense at all.

      Read his comment again,then the article again,then the comment again. Maybe,just Maybe, you will understand that his comment was perfectly in place!

    4. Hey we, how about you go back and read the article again “It wasn’t like I was going 120 km an hour – I was going a reasonable speed” that would mean in other words that doing 120 is not reasonable! sheesh…

    5. speed limit is 40 kph or 25 mph on most city streets in Montreal and vicinity. He was on a residential street and got caught. Lucky the judge was somewhat understanding and that Levy wasn’t driving like a maniac.

    6. UH – the family should have called Hatzolo or 911 or whatever they have in montreal.

      the mohel, who was not there should have told the family to call the ambulance

      he was putting himself and others around him driving so fast.

      yes he was doing a mitzva, but at what price?

      he could have met the baby there in the hospital, etc. just to put the band aid back on – or the er doc could have.

      if he got into an accident, who would have saved the baby from bleeding to death?

      again – you should call hatzolo, etc

    7. Isn’t it common that the Mohel looks after the baby afterward, and if there is a small problem, like a slight bleeding, or a displaced bandage, that the Mohel would come back to treat?

      It would seem that if it were an emergency they would have properly used emergency protocols, but for a non-emergency small bleed, the right approach was used, but with urgency in deference to the fact that a baby was bleeding and the mother was nervous.

      Now, how long did the ticket process take? Was the issue that at the time the rabbi explained to the police officer the need to continue on, but the police officer se-made himself judge and jury and delayed the rabbi?

      Now the rabbi and the police officer knows that the courts uphold his right to not be detained too long when his patient is waiting?

    8. This could have been a serious medical emergency. A baby’s body only holds about 350 ml of blood (less than 12 US fluid ounces), and he can lose only about a couple of tablespoons before he needs a transfusion. Modern disposable diapers can easily conceal this much. If the baby had gone into shock by the time the rabbi got there, what could he have done that the parents could not have done much earlier?

    9. If this was indeed a possible EMERGENCY situation where time is of the essence

      then he should have at least called Hatzaloh

      once he was detained. If he didn’t, then I don’t

      think he had a valid excuse for speeding. I think he was lucky the judge was lenient – maybe he saw that the Rabbi was sincere and didn’t have “attitude”.

      • For as much as I know looking after “things” is what is of the essence in these situations, but not as much as needing an ambulance etc…and yes this rabbi does not have an attitude, is a sincere and is a devoted man, and the juge was not lenient but exerted common sens.

    10. ploni: We are not discussing the health of the baby here everyone wants the baby to be healthy.

      The question is is it appropriate for a mohel to speed to service a baby that’s bleeding.

      I think that it is a debatable issue. But you are welcome to stop reading further comments on this topic anytime.

    11. I know this Rav personally he is a great confident speaker, he is very outspoken, totally his type of thing to do. he is the only rabbi to have successfully last it bet rambam for more than 2 years, with terrible pay!

    12. “…the judge was sensible. Not one of the typical anti-semite judges.”

      What a crock. What does this mean? You’re supposed to get off the hook for whatever you do? Otherwise the judge is “anti-semite?” Sorry, being Jewish doesn’t give you a free pass. Mohel or not, the man should have had to pay the ticket. What if the person was an African shamanness who had to rush to a female circumcision rite? I’d bet the judge wouldn’t be called an anti-African, anti-woman chauvinist pig for having her pay the fine.

    13. Someone earlier asked why the parents had not called paramedics or taken the boy to a hospital. I would speculate that this Rabbi told them to call him if anything went wrong, to avoid any hospital case that could’ve aroused any suspicion of negligence or malpractice on his part. As it turns out he did draw attention to the situation, but avoided suspicion as nobody official had evidence of the boy’s injuries.

      That’s just a guess; I hope it wasn’t the case. It may very well have been that the parents were scared and he was the first one they called.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here