Rabbi From Israel Killed in Midwood Collision

Rabbi Mosha Adler

An 83-year-old Israeli rabbi was struck and killed by a driver in Brooklyn yesterday.

Voz Iz Neias reports that Rabbi Mosha Adler, from Jerusalem, was hit on Avenue J and East 10th Street in Midwood, and died at Lutheran Medical Center.

An NYPD spokesperson confirmed a Wednesday collision at that location, and said the victim was declared “not likely to survive,” having suffered lacerations to the head. Queries to DCPI and Brooklyn’s 66th Precinct, which we were told handled the call, yielded no further details.

The location where Rabbi Adler was mortally wounded lies in David Greenfield’s City Council district and is represented by Dov Hikind in the state Assembly. We await their video statements expressing outrage over this tragedy and the continuing loss of life on Brooklyn streets.

  • I am horrified! Just a few blocks from me. I was there just yesterday. People must watch much more when they drive! All my prayers to his family and loved ones! -f

  • This is sad.

    I hope there is justice for the deceased and measures are taken to ensure that dangerous motorists are held accountable.

  • Curly Suze

    Dare we hope that there will be a crackdown on scofflaw motorists because of this?

  • Driver

    With all due respect to the deceased Rabbi, nothing in the story indicates that this was a result of a dangerous or scofflaw motorist. Perhaps it was, perhaps it wasn’t but so far there appear to be very little facts in the story to indicate either.

  • Why hasn’t the NYPD come right out ans said whether they “suspect criminality or not”–like they do in every other traffic death? Why is this case being treated differently?

  • Just so you have a sense of the local media’s priorities (as well as Dov Hikind and Marty Markowitz) here is the story CBS 2’s Tony Aiello filed tonight, long after the tragic news of this rabbi’s death was all over the place:


    Please note the graphic with the quote that pedestrian refuges “could wind up causing serious injuries or fatalities.”

  • Condolences to the Rabbi’s family, friends and followers.

    It’s open season on NY’s pedestrians, whether they be 83-year-old Rabbis or 3-year-olds in strollers, and Tony Aiello, Marcia Kramer, Marty Markowitz, David Greenfield and Dov Hikind are railing about bike lanes and pedestrian refuge islands. Nice.

  • Curly Suze

    Can’t think of any other person-on-person activity that causes this much death/injury per year. It would be unacceptable to lower a piano to the sidewalk (or just drop it) without checking below to see if it’s safe; it’s unacceptable to discharge a firearm without checking downrange to make sure no one’s there; it would be unacceptable to open random food packages at the supermarket and add unhealthy ingredients.

    But for some strange reason it’s not illegal to lose control of one’s fast-moving multi-tonne metal box and then mow down pedestrians, knock other vehicles onto pedestrians, drive through storefronts, etc. Those deaths are simply “accidents”, with the implication being that carelessness or disregard or unawareness-of-consequence played no part.

  • J. Mork

    “With all due respect to the deceased Rabbi, nothing in the story indicates that this was a result of a dangerous or scofflaw motorist.”

    The Daily News reports he was charged with driving without a license (http://tinyurl.com/23tj4cq).

    Also, since in serious pedestrian crashes, the driver of the motor vehicle is to blame 78.5% of the time, the odds are in favor of making that assumption.

    (See , Table 1-4)

  • J. Mork
  • Curly Suze

    @ J. Mork #9 .. “The Daily News reports he was charged with driving without a license.”

    There ya go. To our legal system, the crime is driving without a license, whereas in the real world the crime is ending someone else’s life through one’s failure to pay attention to who or what is in front of a couple tonnes of moving metal. Can’t believe this isn’t considered some form of manslaughter considering how dangerous cars are.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Luban, who lives blocks away from the deadly crash, was later arrested and charged with driving without a license.”


    It’s all anecdotal evidence from reading Streetsblog, but it appears to me that a disproportionate share of the carnage is being generated by those with no licenses, or suspended licenses. The system works, to the extent it can, and someone is told they can’t drive, yet they do so anyway.

    In Brooklyn, the insurance cost of driving for those just starting out is so high that I wonder how anyone but the affluent can afford it. By fraud, evidently.

    I’ve begun the process of having my children learn to drive, since they live in the United States and will probably need to use rented vehicles even if they do not own. And I can tell you it isn’t easy or cheap. The first child got a permit, and we paid for driving lessons followed by the five hour course over holiday break.

    The instructor, an ex-cop, gets in the car and tells my daughter to go ahead. What do I do? she asked. Huh? He said he had never before had a student who had not already been driving for some time.

  • Driver

    “He crossed quickly to avoid the bus and that’s when the car hit him,” said Isaac Grossman, 47, who had just dropped the elderly man off across the street. “He didn’t see the car coming.”

    The person who was with the victim makes it sound like the Rabbi walked in front of the oncoming car. Unfortunately these kind of accidents do happen, it is not only the drivers who have to be careful and alert despite what some streetbloggers might think. We all know cars are dangerous and can easily be fatal to pedestrians, yet no one seems to want to acknowledge that there should also be some responsibility to exercise due care when in proximity of traffic. If someone walks in front of a car unexpectedly it must be the drivers fault. Sorry, I think we should have some personal responsibility for our own actions, especially when we know the consequences could be catastrophic.
    It’s likely some of the cyclists here have been in pedestrian collisions where the pedestrian didn’t look, or looked and walked anyway, and they are probably pissed at the pedestrians that caused a collision in this irresponsible manner. Well, sometimes people do the same things except with vehicular traffic. It doesn’t make it the drivers fault (even if he doesn’t have a license).

    I am sad to read of the death of the Rabbi; this was an unfortunate accident.

  • Driver,

    I agree with you in many respects–even when exercising due care accidents happen–but in this case the driver was unlicensed. He had no legal right to be behind the wheel of a car. The minute he chose to drive anyway was the minute he did something illegal. The rabbi’s death was just the violent culmination of that initial illegal choice.


    Not that licensed drivers can’t cause accidents, but defending this guy doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  • Driver

    Doug, I respectfully disagree. The rabbi’s death could have been caused by any vehicle that happened to be passing by at that moment. If this unlicensed driver had not been driving, it could have easily been another vehicle occupying that same space.
    It’s not that I am looking to defend this particular driver, or place blame on the Rabbi. What I am addressing is the attitude of many here that a pedestrian death automatically equals carelessness or recklessness on the part of the driver and demands outrage, even before any of the details are revealed, and the belief that the motorist is always to blame regardless of the circumstances.

  • ZA

    @Driver – I wager the Rabbi’s chances would have been far improved if the unfortunate collision was with a 150-250 pound human instead of a multi-ton steel vehicle.

    In the hierarchy of responsibility, the one with the greatest threat owes the most to the more vulnerable.

  • Mrbadexample

    Avenue J is a nightmarish street–far too much traffic as a result of its locus as a shopping area. The area is constantly gridlocked, especially on the day before Sabbath Eve, and there has been a backlash against any attempt to ticket motorists for bad behavior. I’m not surprised that there was a pedestrian struck down there–I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.

  • Who on earth cares about “the attitude of many here”? The point of the post and discussion is to shine some light on yet another pedestrian death that shouldn’t have happened. Whatever exactly took place (and if the past is any guide, the reports now available are all there ever will be) I am not okay with the elderly and children being run over and killed so often.

    We’re noticing unlicensed drivers like this one being involved in a disproportionate amount of the death, or else half the people out there driving have no certification to do so. Yes I think that phasing in actual consequences for breaking the law while killing a pedestrian is part of the solution, but I also support solutions that do not come down on just the unlucky chunk of careless/illegal drivers. If it makes economic sense for people to drive without a license, the enforcement is too weak or the penalties are too low. The costs are being borne in the wrong place; the people actually registered in NY and paying local insurance carry a lot of them. Where is the City Council on this issue? They are busy trying to save some motorists a few quarters a week in parking when all legal motorists are paying astonishing rates for insurance, and over a hundred pedestrians a year pay for our broken surface transportation with their lives.

  • Joe R.

    Why aren’t we doing the logical thing regarding unlicensed drivers-namely confiscating and auctioning off their vehicle? This to me seems the only reliable way to stop it. Right now, if you drive without a license, the likelihood of actually being caught is pretty close to zero unless you’re involved in a crash. And the penalties if you are caught are, relatively speaking, a slap on the wrist. The frightening part is unlicensed driving is way more prevalent than people realize. 22 years ago, when I was working in a job which involved going from site to site, I was actually asked if I wanted to drive by the boss because they didn’t have enough people with licenses available to drive the vans. I didn’t have a driver’s license ( still don’t ), and the boss knew it. Of course I told him no way. Nevertheless, it’s frightening that someone in charge of a business would knowingly let people without a license engage in commercial driving shuttling a van full of maybe 10 or 12 passengers around. Granted, I probably would have been just fine, having had ~25,000 miles of road cycling experience under my belt at the time ( actually the reason the boss asked me ). But it’s scary to think how many others in my shoes, some with little practical experience on the road even on a bike, might choose to say yes in the same circumstances purely because they need the money.

    Unlicensed driving may not have been the primary cause of the Rabbi’s death here. That still doesn’t mean we shouldn’t come down very hard on those who make the decision to operate a multiton vehicle capable of killing multiple people without having the qualifications to do so. We’re all paying for the consequences now in the form of much higher auto insurance, and also costs to public medical programs like Medicaid which must often foot the bill for injuries caused by unlicensed, uninsured drivers.

    And the City Council focusing on saving motorists a few quarters a week while all this is going on? Unbelieveable, bizarre frankly, that their priorities are this warped.


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