When Was The Last Time You Saw Traffic Stop?

If there’s one potent symbol of the less-than-entirely-glamorous aspect of automobiles, it’s traffic. Our insistence on private transportation, though ultimately liberating, disconnects us from our fellow citizens, and pits us against each other as we madly pursue our individual lives. And once we’re in traffic, nothing, nothing can break us out of the every-man-for-himself dynamic that actually keeps traffic moving. Well, unless you happen to live in Israel.

Monday was the Israeli holiday of Yom Hashoah, a day of remembrance for those who died in the Holocaust, and to mark the occasion the entire nation halted its business at noon for a moment of reflection and prayer. At that moment, Israel roads ceased to be a battleground and became a place of community. The people who share each others traffic every day stopped everything and joined their fellow motorists in profound moment of unity. For such a relatively simple gesture, this video [via Hooniverse] proves that the sight of traffic coming to a halt creates an incredibly powerful message. Just try to watch without getting a few goosebumps.

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  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on May 12, 2011

    Why is it always referred to as The Holocaust, when there were many, many others? http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_the_Holocaust_get_its_name "Also, is this stopping legally required or could one just keep moving if one chose?" No, it is a matter of respect and conscience.

  • Dave M. Dave M. on May 12, 2011

    That was unbelievably powerful. And cool.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 13, 2011

    I've never seen anything like that; thanks for sharing such a moving video. However, that pause strikes me as a security risk for a nation which must remain eternally vigilant. Sadly, the same feelings that motivated the Nazis are now embodied in modern terrorists. I, too, am impressed with how orderly the traffic interruption was. Is there also a radio broadcast of this event, which may have tipped off the drivers before the sirens started?

    • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on May 13, 2011

      It's an annual event, though I'm sure that radio announcers mention it. It's a part of Israeli culture and there's not much need to tell people about it.

  • Friedclams Friedclams on May 13, 2011

    What an amazing video. I like how the second the siren stops, the motorcyclist jumps back on his bike hellbent for leather. Back to normal.

    • Vaujot Vaujot on May 14, 2011

      True. Within a few seconds after the siren stops, you can hear the first cars honking.