New York, NY – Tow Truck Driver Delivers Orthodox Jewish Baby

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    New York, NY – A tow truck driver from the borough that houses Yankee Stadium, delivered a baby ad hoc in East Harlem, after being flagged down by a New York couple.

    Antonio Paulino was driving his tow truck through East Harlem when a man called his attention and informed him that his wife was going into labor.

    “My wife is giving birth,” the man told Paulino, according to the New York Post.

    The couple about to receive their child was Orthodox Jewish, and the father to be informed Paulino that it was against his religion for his wife or the baby to be touched by the husband during the birth.

    “I reached in and took the baby out,” Paulino told the Post.

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    68 COMMENTS

        • I had the same thought. But if that’s true, the ‘first reason’ that came into his head should’ve been the truth: “I’m scared and need your help—my wife is giving birth!”

          …not hiding behind made-up, embarrassing halachic issues.

      • No, the new papa needs a smack upside the head. Who doesn’t know that pikuach nefesh trumps any issur of touching your wife?

        This fool’s “extra-mehadrin” behavior is nothing less than a chillul Hashem—Paulino, the hero who delivered the baby, may have been too polite to say so, but odds are he thinks we’re a bunch of morons practicing an exceedingly silly religion, if you can’t help your own wife in the proverbial hour of need.

        In fairness, maybe the husband was simply terrified at the thought of delivering a baby—fair enough, but then just say so—don’t misguidedly turn things into religious issues when they’re not.

        • No need to worry what the antonios out there think of you. You should worry what hashem thinks of you for judging unfavorably and insulting another yid berabim

    1. generally if the wife/baby are in sakona the husband may do what ever he needs in order to help his wife deliver the torah say “vchai buhem”
      this husband doesnt begin to know the basics of halacho that life takes precedence over his “far”frumkeit” of not touching his wife when she was about to deliver
      then again he may have been in schock not knowing how to handle the situation and under the circumstances did the correct thing of flagging down someone to help him

    2. I defend the husband. Clearly his ignorance of halachah was more than matched by his ignorance in medicine. The further away he was, the better off mother and baby were.

        • i disagree, just as one is supposed to stand up to defend halacha… same is when people espouse completely wrong halacha – lest others think what they are saying is correct.

          There is soo much misquotes of halacha – this would be attributed to “You shall surely rebuke your fellow man” [Kedoshim 19:17

          This is not to make fun etc of this person, rather to “set record straight” and the term of chosid shote is taken from the gemara and (i think) appropriately used

    3. 11 years ago had the same position just in my house. I called hatzolah they told me it was no problem to help my wife. lets just say I panicked is putting it mildly. the hatzolah dispatcher guided me all the way even gave position of closest member.By time the baby was delivered 1 member was my door & 4 more were pulling up.Please don’t judge the tatty he lost his head like I did only I had a DISPATCHER on the phone to make sure my wife & baby was safe I know I delivered the baby my wife says I was great but I cant remember anything mavel tov to the new mammy &tatty;

    4. One problem is that to the outside world some of our behaviors and beliefs are peculiar at best.
      Another, more worrisome problem is that so many of our community members are clueless about practicalities such as this.
      However, we should not judge the person nor the circumstances. Reporters from this particular newspaper are known to “embellish.”

      • What nonsense! When a woman is literally on the verge of giving birth you don’t stop and look for people who look like they ought to be able to dellver your baby.
        Maybe he should’ve called ECHO and asked for recommendations to an ob-gyn in the area… or perhaps some rebbe could’ve given him some segulos to do while waiting for traffic to ease up.

      • You clearly have no idea of the Halacha. He does not have to seek any passerby – anything that would DELAY taking care of a person in a situation of Sakana – is forbidden. The Sakana situation MUST be taken care of without ANY delay.

        • Ok big Talmud Chuchem,
          Let me put it this way, if there is a choice between chilul shabbos and this situation which one should we rather transgress?

          I suggest you should discuss this with you Rabbi BEFORE answering this, even though you are probably the BIGGEST torah giant of our times…

    5. why cant the baby be touched by the father????what did antonio put the baby in? hope the father offered his shirt…was the couple lost in the bronx?

      • Nice comment for a change!!

        I cant believe we went thru 26 comments without even one bothering to find out the “halachah” for himself, just take a quick peek in Y”D 195 (at the question iwhen the husband is a doctor) and see that some poskim hold (although we… don’t pasken like that) that it is “forbidden”!!!! YES!! FORBIDDEN!! for a husband to SAVE his wife’s (and vise versa) life under such circumstances, and for all you “know it all’s” out there, pikuach nefesh does NOT apply (according to these poskim) since it is deemed “abizrayei d’gilu aroyis”.

        • I was about to write that when I saw your comment. Lema’aseh the halocho is that it is muttar because it is not derech chiba and therefore not biyehoreg ve’al ya’avor. However, people make mistakes. Cut them some slack.

        • Then how could any male doctor touch any female patient? Mimo nafshoch–if it’s not derech chibah, then it’s mutar min hatorah even for husband and wife. And if it is derech chibah, then it’s ossur min hatorah (and hence avizrayhu d’arayos) even if the woman isn’t his wife!

          • even #30 confirmed we dont pasken like that. The fact that the Mechaber does, only indicates the gravity of contact with a nida. The R’MA doesn’t hold that way and I don’t think there is any need for further discussion about other shitas in this forum anyway.

            What I can’t get past is the severe dearth of common sense and dignity when discussing or deciding halachah. This story is not an indictment of this new dad as much as it is of the system that so inadequately educates our young men and women and does’t prepare them for dealing with real halacha in the real world.

          • I guess you never learned Y”D chelek bais. In short there is way more that a husband is not allowed with his wife that is completely mitter with strangers. i.e. handing over, touching (shloy bderech chibah) etc..

        • And you didn’t see ghe shach who paskens against the mechaber and claims that themechaber is following an incorrect reading of the rambam, plus the later psokim who mostly hold wigh the shach against the mechaber.

          • The Shach does not pasken against the Mechaber. He is just clarifying that the Mechaber is not talking about if she was a “chole mesukan”.

            The bechaber does not pasken that it is asur!

            • And who said I was referring to the Mechaber? All I said was “some” poskim!!

              May I suggest you study Y”D 195 B’eyun for a change? Looks like you could use some refreshing in this vital Simon!!

        • You clearly are misrepresenting what is says in Shulchan Aruch. The Mechaber says nothing remotely similar to what you write!!! You make yourself out for some lamdan, making DANGEROUS statements when in fact it is not correct.

          The Mechaber is talking about the husband performing routing chores for his wife who is sick. It does not talk about if her life is in sakana AT THIS MOMENT and the husband is the only one readily available.

          The halacha is clear: in a case of Sakana, the husband MUST do everything necessary! Until capable help arrives. To even suggest a ‘hava amina’ otherwise is sakanas nefashos.

    6. I am sure this was a cobbled together statement. Probably he said that he couldn’t hold his wife after because it’s not allowed. I am sure it was not that he couldn’t help her when she was a mesukan

    7. oy jeez… i know people panic, i get it, but I cant think of any father who would panic to the point where the baby was coming out and he would just let it drop to the floor because “he dosent know what to do”
      Therefore, his panic in having a greasy tow truck driver “touch” his wife and delivery her baby is due to this ignorance of halacha in the yeshivah world, and is utterly dispicable.

      • Baruch Hashem the “greasy” tow truck driver was willing to do what the father wouldn’t or couldn’t. He needs to name the baby “Paulino” or “Paulina”

    8. Just for the record, for all the folks who’ll be delivering their own or a neighbor’s baby in the future, you do NOT “reach in and take it out”. You just catch.

    9. #10. I know many a frum orthodox Jewish husband who delivered their baby’s in their car on the way to hospital. Pikuach nefesh Co,e first. Imagine this truck driver wouldn’t have stopped or the streets were deserted, what would this young, an do then. Let his wife and new born die???
      it’s high time the men are taught how to deal with these situations.
      He must be a real frum freshie.

    10. i would like to take this opportunity to commend paulino and if he is a married man his wife should know what a good person he is. he delivered another persons baby and both the mom and baby are well ( i assume)

    11. cut tatteh a break he was just freaking out because he was scared. dan lechaf zechus 🙂

      mazal tov to the new parents. if it’s a boy paulino should be sandek.

    12. I can just see Country Yossi’s jokes next month…
      Greasy tow truck driver takes over Greased-out Dad to deliver baby.
      “Stork” logo on his truck & uniform will feature a baby on a flatbed truck.
      Crash delivery expert.

    13. Husbands can deliver their own infant in a situation when there is noone else present to deliver and it would be considered kosher if that was the priority over letter time lapse and trying to find another if there is no one present. Health care always takes precidence over priority of fervor for sticking to the grown up laws of not using a man to deliver his own kid, but really G-d is a Great G-d and he will see fit that the trust in his ways are carried out by the trustworthy.

    14. Isn’t this the reason why the are opening the “aishas chayil” EMS, because men are not allowed to touch women even when its pekiach nefesh.
      Looks like this husband is a supporter of “Aishes Chayel”

    15. The thing is that if the person was a doctor, then it is understandable not to have husband involved. But if not a doctor, then why is it better for a strange man to touch wife which is also arayos? And there is no heter of uman lo mera umanusei, or b’umnuseihu tareed operating here since that is not his profession? Something doesn’t seem right, even aside from the danger.

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