Undercover police posing as schnorrers at the Kosel on Monday arrested suspects who allegedly were shaking down the beggars, demanding a cut of their daily earnings or pay the consequences, threatening them with bodily harm.
Police report a group of “four religious thugs” were shaking down schnorrers at the Kosel, threatening them with harsh physical violence, earning NIS tens of thousands.
The investigation began about six months ago as a result of complaints filed with police in the Old City, that beggars at the Kosel were becoming too aggressive and bothering mispalalim during davening. A relatively new law prohibits schnorrers from collecting at the Kosel itself, permitting them to seek tzedaka in the plaza areas only.
Police decided to go undercover to get a first hand look and as a result, learned of the shakedown operation which netted the extortionists handsome profits on the backs of the schnorrers. The suspects demanded 50% of the day’s collections, police report.
Arrested were Michael Levy, Omer Shuah and Chaim Avitan. A fourth suspect remains at large but police expect to apprehend him in the coming days.
The suspects deny the allegations against them and defense attorney Shaul Ezra claims his clients were physically assaulted during interrogation and he plans to file a complaint against police. Police deny any such occurrence.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)
Schnorrers have been extorting money from the Jewish community for years. At the Kosel, in shuls, at simcha halls. It’s about time somebody finally decided to take them for a ride. That said, these new extortionists should go to jail anyway. At least schmorrers were always a part of our lives and somewhat legally too.
“Schnorrer” is a derogetory (however you spell that) term and es pas nisht to call them by that term
Now we should have “scnorrer police” in our shuls too,to stop these phonies from disturbing the tefillo.Just because they dress chassidish does not make them legitimate. They drive a fancy car and stop by each shul but don’t daven.
# 1 – I am shocked and saddened by your obvious disdain to members of klal yisroel. Considering what we have been thru in the past week i find it very difficult that you would have such Sinas Chinam. if you dont want to give, dont! But please remember, these so called “Schnorers” are here for us, to elevate our nishamos, to make it possible for US to give Tzedaka. Say thank you to hashem that you are obviously on the giving end and not on the receiving end. Find it in you heart to be in achdus with everyone, not only during a Eis Tzara!!
If someone checks his dignity at the door to ask for money the least we can do is to give him something. Who knows if Hashem is sending these neshomos to settle century old debts that our neshomos owe them.
#3- how can you say that about a fellow member of klal yisrael?for your information a lot of “shnorers” are driven around by ppl who own those fancy cars. another point- you cant make a blanket statement about every person who goes out and collects money. jus because you dont see them davening doesnt mean they dont. you just cant make that assumption. i go to vasikin minyan every day where i live and i see mishulachim there every day. and to #1- i agree with #4. how can you have such blatant sinas chinam at a time like this? i just hope that noone should ever have to know what it feels like to have to go out and “shnor”
grafpatotsky, you are assuming theprof1’s carcass contains a Jewish neshama. Remember, every Jew has 3 traits: Rachmonim, Baishanim, Gomlai Chasadim. He’s missing 1 & 3 for sure.
#3- how can you say something like that. you cnat make a blanket staement about every “shnorer”. jus because you dont see them davening doesnt mean they dont. i go to vasikin minyan every day and i see meshulachim davening there everyday. and for you information those fancy cars you see them in dont belong to them they belong to the driver they have to pay to drive them around. to #1- i agree with #4 how can you have such blatant sinas chinam at a time like this? i just how that noone should have to feel the embarrasment that these people must feel haveing to knock on doors begging for money.
this is a job for Detective Belker (animal) from Hill Street Blues