A police officer asks an Orthodox man to sign papers on Shabbat. He refuses. An observant woman trips on the sidewalk and a passing policeman offers to help her. She won’t take his hand.
The above behaviors are not intended to be disrespectful. The Orthodox do not sign papers on Shabbat. Obeying the laws of modesty, an Orthodox woman may only touch her husband, male blood relatives and women.
But what if law enforcement officials observe only the behaviors without understanding the motivation?
Earlier this month, Rabbi Tzvi Steinberg of the West Side’s Zera Abraham was one of the speakers at a diversity training session at the police academy to put any misconceptions in their proper context.