Ethics

For the week ending 24 July 2004 / 6 Av 5764

A 'Date' with Egged

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: I am a law student in the U.S. visiting Israel this summer to work on a law project. Since I will be doing a lot of traveling by public transportation, I purchased a monthly pass for the Jerusalem Egged buses. It states on top that it is valid for the month of July, from 12 Tammuz till 13 Av. When I boarded a bus on the night of June 30th the driver informed me that my July pass was not yet valid. With my legal training I argued that since the Hebrew date of 12 Tammuz had already been reached, I was within my rights to use the pass already. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Isnt it beautiful how Egged realizes the importance of the Jewish identity of a Jewish State and has instituted the inclusion of Hebrew dates on its tickets and cards in addition to the secular calendar dates?

If the bus drivers are instructed by the company not to honor passes before the arrival of the civil date, it is indicative that company policy is that the use of such passes is limited to that date. A legal case, however, can be made against misleading labeling and this is perhaps why some drivers will not press the issue when confronted by law students. We suggest contacting Egged and asking them to include in the many regulation on the back of the pass a clarification of this issue. But I have one question for you. What will happen on Motzei Shabbat Nachamu (the Shabbat following Tisha BAv) when the pass is still valid since it is July 31st but has expired as far as the Hebrew date is concerned? Will you be consistent and forfeit your right to use the pass that evening?

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