JERUSALEM (Sep. 30)
A rabbi believed by his Moroccan disciples to possess supernatural powers beat a traffic ticket last Friday by implying a curse of sorts on the police officer who was writing it.
As the story unfolded, Rabbi Baruch Abuhatziera of Netivot, known to his followers as Baba Baruch, had his car stopped on the highway because his driver was not wearing the mandatory seat belt. The rabbi emerged from the car, introduced himself, and politely asked the policeman to tear up the ticket. The latter refused, whereupon Baba Baruch expressed the wish that he not return home safely.
The cop, himself of Moroccan origin, apparently had second thoughts. He contacted his superior officer by radio to explain the situation, remarking that “after all, such things happen.” The superior advised him to use his own discretion. The ticket was torn up and Baba Baruch bade the officer a jolly “Shabbat Shalom.”