November 23, 2021 9:25 am at 9:25 am #2032323
Unfortunately yet another young man is in jail. Tempted by thousands of dollars to just take a suitcase with him. Obviously illegal (hence the bribe and free tickets and obligation to keep it all secret from his family). Now the inevitable tzedoka campaign has been launched, competing with leukemia treatments and chasuna expenses for our tzedoka money. What exactly is expected? Ba’asher hu shom, give and give because it’s pidyon shevuyim? Or maybe give a token amount? Or say, as hard as it is, I’m sorry but he brought this upon himself?November 23, 2021 9:57 am at 9:57 am #2032655Yankel-der-ganefParticipant
I am not a Rov, but shevuyim does not usually mean a criminal. So I am not sure that we are obligated at all to bail him out.November 23, 2021 10:17 am at 10:17 am #2032654☕️coffee addictParticipant
Maybe it should be taught not to do these thingsNovember 23, 2021 10:18 am at 10:18 am #2032673
I would have thought that after Japan people would wake up and stop this insanity, I guess notNovember 23, 2021 10:18 am at 10:18 am #2032669ujmParticipant
It is 100% the huge mitzvah and obligation of pidyon shevuyim.November 23, 2021 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm #2032713The little I knowParticipant
Hold onto him long enough to verify who sent him. Find the drug dealer and make sure he wishes he were dead. Drug dealers have a lacha of rodef. Looking for the easy way out, giving him protection of any kind is against halacha and a threat to all.November 23, 2021 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm #2032699kollelmanParticipant
I don’t think it’s much different than gambling. Halacha holds a gambler regrets losing and is only betting because he thinks he will win (asmachta). This kid likely has no idea how the real world works and got in way over his head. He’s responsible for making a really dumb decision, but the punishment is usually way too harsh for the crime, hence the pidyon. It’s a tough call, but we all make mistakes, sometimes way bigger than we can handle and Hashem forgives us and bails us out. We should try to emulate Hashem and we will ultimately succeed. My $0.02.November 23, 2021 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm #2032700midwesternerParticipant
Why the snide comments about having to give YOUR tzedaka money for Leukemia treatments and chasuna money? Or anything else for that matter?November 23, 2021 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm #2032702Yserbius123Participant
I think it’s the lack of respect that many people have for the law that leads to things like this. The bachurim who were in prison in Japan were told that they were smuggling seforim. Similar things happened to many other people in many other less high profile cases (“I just need you to take these diamonds hidden in the lining to my parents”). People simply have a disregard for governments and don’t think about the consequences when breaking the law. We need to instill in ourselves that we are still in galus and we can’t just flaunt around pretending that goyim are only here to be tricked.
One thing I would mention to people when the Japan thing was ongoing was this. When the kids were sent to prison, the drug dealer was put into cheirim by his community and vilified as a rasha. Had the kids not been caught, and the dealer freely admitted what he had been doing, would people have been upset at him? What if he was honest, and really just trying to smuggle diamonds or seforim, would he still be in cheirim?November 23, 2021 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm #2032707
We should help to a large extent. The problem is that they make a gigantic movement out of it. And it is difficult to believe that it is all going to help release them from jail. The boys in Japan, Rubashkin, Pollard, and others, did not get much relief from the initial campaigns. The solution lies in a direct and more modest approach. The ones that avoid serious jail time, are the ones that the public does not hear much about.November 23, 2021 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm #2032718NoveltyParticipant
Of course we should be teaching our kids to not do such things. However, kids very frequently believe they are infallible. “It won’t happen to me; I won’t get caught!”
Kids think they can get away anything, not realizing that there may be severe or long-term consequences.
I guarantee you that the kid is regretting his mistake now. Let’s not be so quick to condemn.
People do stupid things. They take risks. It doesn’t make them b’etzem bad; it makes them human.
Yes, it was wrong. But at the end of the day, that kid was used as a pawn by people who were intentionally evil. It’s very sad.November 23, 2021 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm #2032665LemaysehParticipant
We know that our holy Torah stands for proper behavior, and is strongly opposed to actions like what you describe. The phenomenon of people who have engaged in improper behavior, going squarely against the teachings of our great rabbis and tradition, yet then turning around and demanding assistance from the community when they get into trouble is not new, unfortunately. Yet, just because they make a loud campaign doesn’t mean that it is in order. The question is a halachic question. Recently it was discussed at a leading Torah website, see here
sorry, no outside links
Many years ago there was a case of someone with a yarmulka who had engaged in improper business practices, causing a great chillul Hashem, and they sought to have someone connected to the Washington Heights community help him, so he shouldn’t end up in jail (something like that, I don’t recall all the details). Whereupon Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l said something like, let him stay in jail, he is a ganav!
The Torah is not a free get out of jail card for people who have engaged in improper activity. The Torah is a stay on the right side of things, protection from trouble code for those who follow its teachings and stay on the proper path.November 23, 2021 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #2032736
Of course it’s not our tzedoka money.
It’s money Hashem entrusted to us to give to worthy causes.
That was the question.
If you were president of a huge tzedoka and owed a fiduciary duty to the organization, would this be a top priority as opposed to the thousands of others competing for your attention and disbursement?
Nothing snide was intended.November 23, 2021 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #2032746
the practical situation is tragic, I donot have an opinion on what to do, but looking at the origins:
those who said “kids make mistakes” will be ight presuming parents/teachers/community did their part instilling the right values. Were they taught halakhos of honesty and business to the same degree as shabbos and kashrus? wih pictures, tests, illustrations, rishonim, shouting, pointing possible aveiros, kicking out of school those who do not comply, ec?
As said above, if people think smuggling something “innocent” “for the family” is OK, then they are prime candidates to be ewxploited for a more serious crime. This is done by mifia, KGB, etc – compromise a person with a honeypot or unpaid taxes and then you can force him to do other things.November 23, 2021 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm #2032755LemaysehParticipant
This website hosted a relevant discussion a while back.November 23, 2021 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #2032811ujmParticipant
Where is the story that the OP of this thread is referring to?November 23, 2021 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #2032810AviraDeArahParticipant
rabbi hoffman, in his otherwise very good article, seems to be unaware of the amount of sakanah in modern day jails. Preventing men from being נאנס is pikuach nefesh, and this is very common, especially when the victim is an easy target like the average orthodox jew.
I agree with his conclusion regarding lev tahor; they’re rodfim who will harm others if left free.November 23, 2021 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #2032809
If word got out from the kids who are doing time if you get caught you will do some serious time, this will stop, maybe it worth having a few sit as a deterrentNovember 23, 2021 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #2032804AviraDeArahParticipant
Just because we yidden who read the news are used to hearing stories of smugglers getting caught, has no bearing on sheltered yidden in eretz yisroel who might not have heard of the past events. Drug dealers are indeed preying on the innocence of charedi youth.
I don’t see how we have the right to be a prosecutor and decide the fate of another jew who has not been tried in a beis din. We have no concept, in most cases, of jail. We definitely don’t have an idea of jail as a punishment in halacha. Who are we to decide that another jew should rot in a jail cell to “learn his lesson”? The gemara says that jail is worse than death (im pretty sure it’s in bava metziah, I have to check it up later). We sometimes take our cues from what society around us thinks is appropriate.
Also, I’ve heard the story about rav schwab before; comparing a rov not wanting to help a dishonest businessman who got caught to a case of a young person who probably was not aware of the severity of the situation is mistaken. Helping ganovim is a chilul Hashem and that might take priority over freeing a jew from jail. It would still be our responsibility to make sure he has tefilin, etc…being a ganov doesn’t mean you’re no longer jewish, or that we have no responsibility to him anymore.November 23, 2021 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #2032836provaxxParticipant
There was a story about Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, ZT”L, who took a train on Shabbos in order to bribe an official, so a Jewish boy who was a revolutionary would be acquitted.November 23, 2021 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #2032976Shimon NodelParticipant
To the OP, if it was your son would you still be asking these questions? No one deserves to be in jail for anything except for the most severe and heinous crimes. This country’s justice system and courts are a facade. The majority of people in prison have never even gone to trial. They are intimidated and threatened into signing a plea deal.November 23, 2021 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #2033003
Of course everyone feels different when it’s personal. That’s why the Chassidic masters would go into a self imposed golus, to feel the pain and closeness to every single Jew.
I’m not on that level. If I gave to every cause as if it were my own kids, I’d run out of tzedoka funds in one day. Our fiduciary obligation is to give 10 dollars to each of 1000 meshulachim, not to gave 10,000 to one. That’s basic tzedoka halocha.November 23, 2021 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm #2033087
> Our fiduciary obligation is to give 10 dollars to each of 1000 meshulachim, not to gave 10,000 to one.
you are fiduciary for the money of the poor. this basic approach diversifies so that you don’t give to one ganav and also keeps shalom between many. Still, would you do it with your own money – spending $10 on different pursuits or do you invest your money/time in a smaller number of carefully selected projects? So, if you happen to know worthy causes, makes sense to focus mroe on them.
One word of caution: if you give $10 to everyone knocking on hyour door, do NOT give $100 to some of them. A friend gave one guy more than usual, and within a month multiple people showed up, asking for the higher amount. Apparently, not due to inflation, but via shared marketing lists between the meshulachim.November 23, 2021 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm #2033084
Avira > We definitely don’t have an idea of jail as a punishment in halacha.
right, this would be a reason to try to save someone from a punishment that is too cruel from halachik POV. for simplicity, someone steals in Saudi Arabia or in Soviet Russia – we would not turn him to police that cuts hands off or sends them to Gulag.
> has no bearing on sheltered yidden in eretz yisroel who might not have heard of the past events
Do they know that Mcdonalds are not kosher or do they unwittingly eat hazer there? Even when sheltered, you can learn not to steal and break rules directly from Gemorah. Also, same way community is protecting this kids from assimilation, they should be protecting them from other aveiros. Imagine, a tax-cheater walks in Mea Shearim and kids are running behind him shouting “geneiva, geneiva” the same way they protest shabbos violations.November 23, 2021 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #2033097Shimon NodelParticipant
You missed my point. I’m not saying you should donate all your money to these cases. But can you really say these yidden don’t deserve to be freed? I would say they should be let out of jail even if they intended to commit a crime because no one deserves to be in jail. Kal vachomer if they didn’t intend to smuggle, but if they did so intentionally they still don’t deserve to be locked upNovember 23, 2021 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm #2033109
Noone said they should be locked up.
Well, some said it but I didn’t.
It’s the huge amounts of money going to lawyers and probably to bribe people that is questionable. Political pressure usually seems the best route.
My question was strictly regarding tzedoka obligation and discretionary division of resources.November 23, 2021 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm #2033110
I can’t post the link.
The fundraising campaign isn’t on a mainstream channel and is apparently all in Hebrew. Google isn’t picking it up or I’d give you search terms.November 23, 2021 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm #2033111
Actually I may disagree.
“no one deserves to be in jail” even if they intentionally commit a crime?
That may be going too far.November 23, 2021 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm #2033115
Your assuming there kids had very little knowledge of what they were involved with.
I think you are referring to the gemara in the first chapter of b”b. That is illegal captivity. Maybe jail could be fit in there too.November 23, 2021 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm #2033116
I doubt that the major public pidyon shivuyin campaigns are about keeping yidden out of jail. But if that is really your take, I can get you lists of Jewish adolescents that are in jail or facing jail time over minor infractions.November 24, 2021 3:33 am at 3:33 am #2033152
@n0m, I doubt it, under recent CJ reform people with minor offenses and no criminal history dont do jail timeNovember 24, 2021 7:59 am at 7:59 am #2033193ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤParticipant
The real question is what does Reb Eliezer have to say about this?November 24, 2021 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm #2033285takahmamashParticipant
“It is 100% the huge mitzvah and obligation of pidyon shevuyim..”
It’s 100% a chiyuv to teach your children how the world works, and what not to do, and what not to believe.November 24, 2021 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #2033411akupermaParticipant
It seems reasonable to provide kosher food, tefillin, sefarim, etc.
We can probably offer to keep him under control (to the extent that’s legal). Depending on the country, agreeing to house arrest (in yeshiva), and full cooperation with the police, might work in more developed countries.
We also should look into whether the kid is really guilty.
Exactly what is money needed for? Was the kid arrested in a country where bribery is the accepted method of dealing with the authorities? Is it for a local lawyer? Few countries offer cash bail, and in any event, if you skip bail you lose the money and become an international fugitive.
Would our response be different if the kid were caught shoplifting or selling contraband within our own community?November 24, 2021 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm #2033508
The boy did not know what he was given to carry, so he took it to make money.November 24, 2021 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #2033518
The quoted article asking for a contribution says:
Shuki, a 17-year old Yeshiva Bachur from Israel, was convinced to take a package to France in exchange for a large sum of money. He didn’t know there were drugs inside and now he is trapped in a jail in France!November 24, 2021 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm #2033520
If one is handed lemons, help him make lemonade. As stated he was an onas by not knowing what he got himself into and should not be penalized by saying ‘rot in jail’.November 25, 2021 6:28 am at 6:28 am #2033678
@Reb E, and he thought he was being paid to carry lemons? I will bet you that is I paid him 100,000 shekel to eat in a non Kosher McDonalds he would not take it, he should know that if he takes money it more likely then not illeagal.November 25, 2021 10:08 am at 10:08 am #2033810
Can you go to a non kosher McDonalds bathroom as you can also get a kosher soda there?November 25, 2021 10:33 am at 10:33 am #2033821November 25, 2021 11:13 am at 11:13 am #2033852
I don’t think that this is similar to the Lev Tahor (misnomer) situation as mentioned above. This boy was fooled into his predicament. If he would have known the possible consequences of his actions, he
would not have done it.November 25, 2021 11:38 am at 11:38 am #2033881
@ Reb E, “fooled into his predicament” please explainNovember 25, 2021 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm #2033925
Dear Reb Eliezer,
I doubt the veracity of that specific like. I’m not sure why that would make it less pidyon shivuyim.November 25, 2021 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #2033930
It’s obvious. He was given a package and did not know what he was given to take. It was important to reach the recipient fast, so he was paid much money. If he had known he is carrying drugs, he would not have taken it. Look at the picture of the boy who looks very innocent to me.November 25, 2021 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm #2033970
Dear Reb Eliezer,
Innocent looking pictures do nothing to tell facts.November 25, 2021 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #2034022
They say that eyes are the window to the soul, as the intensions matter.November 25, 2021 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #2034092
@Reb E, there is a thing called FEXEX and DHL it get there fast and its insured, if it was legit they would have used that, people dont pay $1000s to get used clothing or books to a different country.
Mayve if enough people would do time this insanity will stop, wasnt Japan lesson enough?November 25, 2021 8:48 pm at 8:48 pm #2034156
CS, you are thinking with your mind but think with his mind. Easy money and I am going anyway there, so why not take the package along.November 25, 2021 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #2034165
Dear Reb Eliezer,
Anyone can use a picture of someone else. Or an old picture. Or photo shop his eyes. Etc.November 25, 2021 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm #2034286
@Reb E, if someone drives 85 mph on a ice slick road because he is a rush and totals his car do i have much sympathy for him? no because he did something stupid inspite of his motivation.
Same here, maybe the punishment should be 1 year in jail in France with the lowest of the low and the 3 years travling around Israel telling people in high school not to do such stupid stuff.
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