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October 03, 2010

Competing Haredi Burial Societies Fight Over Dead Bodies And Crime Scenes

Black Hat Fedora 2 "Once you drop this deceased off in Lakewood, you'd better disappear," he can be heard saying, "because if I find out you're in the procession, I'm telling you right now -- I'm going to cut your balls off."


Orthodox volunteers' grisly war
By REUVEN BLAU • New York Post

The motorcyclist's body had just been carried away from the smoldering wreckage when a fight erupted a few yards away.

On one side of the yellow police tape stood green-vested volunteers from Chesed Shel Emes, a nonprofit that handles the gruesome task of collecting body parts and fluids for burial in accordance with Jewish law.

On the opposite end stood blue-vested Hasidic volunteers from Misaskim, a scrappy start-up with the same mission.

"They were screaming at us to get out of the scene," a longtime Chesed Shel Emes volunteer said of last April's late-night fight on Kings Highway and West Sixth Street in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

The police were called, and, in a rare display of unity, the two groups scanned the scene for droplets of blood and fragments of flesh and bone.

But today, they remain locked in the ultimate death match -- waiting for the next cleanup call and the race to the scene.

Misaskim leader Yanky Meyer was once recorded berating a Chesed Shel Emes volunteer who had helped transfer a body from a car crash to a New Jersey funeral home.

"Once you drop this deceased off in Lakewood, you'd better disappear," he can be heard saying, "because if I find out you're in the procession, I'm telling you right now -- I'm going to cut your balls off."

Meyer says he was just trying to get the volunteer "out of the way" so Misaskim could finish up.

On Aug. 19, both groups rushed to the Flatbush wine store where ex-hip-hop exec and converted Orthodox Jew Yosef Robinson was shot dead.

"We got there first," said a volunteer for Chesed Shel Emes (Hebrew for "true kindness"), which paid for the funeral and flew a minyan of 10 volunteers to Jamaica for the required prayer service.

Rabbi Mendy Rosenberg created Chesed Shel Emes 25 years ago. Its hundreds of volunteers handle about 300 burials and cleanups a year.

Misaskim ("helpers" in Hebrew) also monitors emergency calls on handheld radios. Its 11 delivery trucks transport special stools and prayer books for mourners sitting shiva.

Peace talks? The rivals won't even consider them.

"It's a freaking shame you and I have to talk about this," said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), who has repeatedly tried to broker a sit-down. "I have a lot of respect for both.

[Hat Tips: Story,CS; Audio, Burich.]


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Just when you thought they couldn't sink any lower...

They need to get a protocol in place. This is a problem also plaguing the tow truck business. Here is a story that illustrates this dog-eat-dog situation.

'Wreck Chasers' Clash Over Philly Towing Business

by Joel Rose
July 23, 2010

The city of Philadelphia is cracking down on so-called wreck chasers: tow-truck drivers who race to be the first to an accident scene.

A dispute between rival tow-truck operators turned bloody this week, with one driver allegedly shooting another at the scene of a car accident. The next night, 13 cars in the first driver's lot were set on fire.

Tow trucks are usually the first to respond to car accidents — before the police get there. Two or more companies show up at an accident looking for drivers with generous insurance policies, according to Rich Costello, who owns a towing service and garage in North Philadelphia.

"Everybody knows the wreck chasers usually shoot out to get there. And they seem to be there pretty quick," Costello says. "Wreck chasers probably clean up most of the good accidents — the ones that are newer cars where they can make money on 'em."

On a good job, a wreck chaser can make $100 on towing and storage, or kickbacks from body shops. Wreck chasers are no secret in Philadelphia.

But deputy police commissioner Jack Gaittens says the feud this week seems to mark a new level of violence in the industry.

"We've seen fist fights before. We've heard about threats, pushing. Maybe the display of a gun. But the level of violence we've seen ... this is unprecedented," he says.

to read more see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128717950

This begs the question, why? The answer must be gelt. Is it a mitzvah chase someone else who also wants to perform the mitzvah? I can't wait for the tzitzis with shoulder pads.

To beat the living shit out of one another over a rotting maggot infested corpses will guarantee these Hebraic-Judaic men of goht a front row seat in gan eyden when it's their turn to drop dead.

But when it comes to helped the poor and destitute amongst Kehelas Yisrooel then they all of sudden no speaky English, never heard of Hillel's words to the man standing on one leg and all they can suggest is to go to the Salvation Army for help."

Very Nice.

Moschiach Uber ALLES.

Is this the "Yanky" with the diminutive wanky who occasionally posts here?

i think if we hook up this guy with the mohel who cuts too little they could even each other out and do a kosher bris.

this recording has been floating around for some time now

Seems like some people are playing hardball in the "I am more righteous than you" game.

For some, fighting is fire that keeps them alive. Wishing everyone a good new year, Sincerly
מו"ה משה אהרן קעסטענבוים נ"י בן מו"ה הערשל וחתן מו"ה יחזקאל שרגא פריעדמאן.

In the current (Sukkot) issue of Yated Neeman published in Monsey there is an extensive interview with Mr. Meyer.

Regarding Chesed shel Emes, it should be noted that there is a longstanding organization called the Hebrew Free Burial Association that handles chesed shel emes, which predates this relatively new Hassidic organization by many years. So they didn't invent the idea. There is a tendency among some of the Hassidim to assume that they invented certain things when they are actually late arrivals to the chesed scene in the USA.

See http://www.hebrewfreeburial.org/

Kudos to all who do such mitzvos properly.

gerry feldhamer from the upper west side was the head of the hebrew free burial assoc for many years i heard that he suudenly resigned for stealing lots of money they hushed it up to soften the scandal

Chesed Shel Emes doesn't collect funds except on a per diem basis -- when it is needed for a specific case.

It is a cause the founders have been involved in, long before the organization had a name. They have purchased several cemeteries for all the many they have buried in Jewish burials.

Menachem Mendel III take note: They also give generously to many other tzedakas including Bikur Cholim, and live modestly and simply when it comes to their own needs. Some buy a new pair of shoes or updated car -- they rather fund the gasoline for the cheder schoolbus.

They do not like media attention and aren't looking for public accolades. They just do a job that needs to be done when they are called on.

I am sure Chesed Shel Emes welcomes the aid that Misaskim is willing to provide and that Misaskim is willing to carry/fund some of the burden.

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