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September 08, 2011

The Haredi Mafia

Haredim Sicariim In Beit Shemesh 9-6-11 Businesses in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhoods of Mea Shearim and Geulah, and in Beit Shemesh are struggling against a wave of attacks by a haredi group called the Sikrikim who are known as the "mafia" of Mea Shearim.

  Haredim Sicariim In Beit Shemesh 9-6-11
Sicariim in Beit Shemesh 9-6-11

Mea She’arim ‘mafia’ harasses, vandalizes businesses
‘Sicarii’ break windows, throw human excrement at stores they deem to promote immodesty, including bookstore popular with Anglo residents.
By MELANIE LIDMAN • Jerusalem Post
 
A bookstore in the capital’s ultra-Orthodox Mea She’arim neighborhood is struggling against a wave of attacks by a haredi group called Sikrikim (“Sicarii”) that other business-owners have called the “mafia of Mea Sha’arim.”

Since the bookstore, known as Or Hachaim/Manny’s, opened in March 2010, men have smashed its windows several times, glued its locks shut, thrown tar and fish oil, and dumped bags of human excrement inside.

Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger was harassed and had stones thrown at him while leaving the store last year.

The bookstore, located on Mea She’arim Street, is popular with Anglo residents and tourists and carries many English- language holy books and Judaica items in addition to Hebrew books. The harassment stems from the bookstore’s refusal to accept demands made by the neighborhood extremist group, which would require all businesses to observe specific “modesty standards.”

At Or Hachaim, the Sikrikim’s demands include putting up a sign asking customers to dress modestly, removing all English-language books, signs and advertisements, and closing its website, which is in English, all so as not to attract tourists, who are not dressed modestly, said Marlene Samuels, one of the three managers of the bookstore, along with her husband, Manny, and Meir Dombey. Manny Samuels previously ran Manny’s Bookstore, which was well-known in the Anglo community.

“These people are very extreme; they terrorize lots of people here, and they are a very insular group,” Marlene Samuels said. She added that despite filing four complaints with the police and providing surveillance footage that clearly identified four of the men who have been vandalizing their shop, the police has not gotten involved.

“In the last few weeks, the police said they just don’t want to get involved in this neighborhood,” she said.

Jerusalem police said they had only received one report of a violent incident from the bookstore that was filed on Sunday. Deputy police spokeswoman Shlomit Bajshi said that an investigation was opened into the incident but thus far there are no suspects.

She added the police had no other complaints filed about vandalism in the neighborhood attributed to the Sikrikim.

Bajshi denied the allegation by business-owners in the area that the police did not want to get involved in incidents in Mea Sha’arim because of the threat of violence to policemen or widespread rioting.

“We get involved with every incident that people report to us,” she said.

The same group of Sikrikim has also targeted an ice cream store in the Geula neighborhood because they thought licking ice cream cones in public was immodest, Samuels said. Haredi media reported last year that Sikrikim in Beit Shemesh have targeted shoe stores in ultra- Orthodox neighborhoods that refuse to remove heeled shoes from their selection.

Most businesses along Mea She’arim Street display a laminated sign on their doorways requesting that only modestly dressed customers enter their stores, one of the demands by the Sikrikim.

“They asked me to put it up, so I did,” said Shlomo, the owner of a nearby bookstore.

“I don’t look for problems, if I hadn’t put it up there could have been problems.”

The Feldheim Superstore, a large establishment near Or Hachaim that also has large English-language signs outside and many English books, said it negotiated an agreement with a member of the Sikrikim soon after opening a year ago. “We sat and talked with him, and there were a few books they had problems with from specific rabbis,” said an employee who requested anonymity. The store also displays the modesty sign at the entrance. “We came to an agreement, we respect them and they respect us,” he said.

“It’s like the Beduin [cartels] in Beersheba or the mafia in Tel Aviv... you need to deal with what there is, and this is the situation.”

He declined to say whether the store would continue to abide by requests from the Sikrikim if they made more demands about the store’s inventory.

Last Wednesday, the owners of Or Hachaim sat down with Sikrikim representatives to hear their demands, but decided not to accept them.

Two days later, on Friday afternoon 10 minutes before Shabbat, someone smashed all of the windows, sending the managers scrambling to find someone to guard the store over Shabbat.

Samuels said she knew of one storeowner in the area who had trouble with vandalism from Sikrikim in the past and hired someone to beat up the man who had been vandalizing the store, ending the problems. She said that she did not believe she and her partners would resort to this type of vigilante justice, but that they were increasingly discouraged by the inaction of the police.

The Sikrikim are the most extremist splinter sect associated with anti-Zionist haredim. They are estimated to be no larger than 60-100 people, but their influence and thug tactics reverberate throughout the neighborhood.

They are also related to the extremist group causing issues at the Orot Banot national-religious school in Beit Shemesh.

“They attack haredim in their own neighborhood,” said David Rotenberg, an employee at Or Hachaim. “If you’re not their type of haredim, they’ll attack you.”

The name “Sikrikim” comes from the Latin “Sicarii,” a term applied, in the decades immediately preceding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, to an extremist splinter group of the Zealots who tried to expel the Romans and their partisans from Judea using concealed daggers.

No, Melanie, what they did was MURDER anyone who opposed them, from people who wanted to compromise with Rome to people who thought the Sicariim were doing the wrong thing, even though they, too wanted to fight the Romans.

At any rate, note that the polce have done nothing to protect this store, its managers, employees and customers – or the other stores and their owners, managers, employees and customers.

Also note that Feldheim and other store owners gave into the threats of the Sicariim, while Ohr HaChaim has not. (Feldheim also gave into censorship pressure several years ago related to the books of Rabbi Natan Slifkin. But that censorship pressure was non-violent.)

And then note again that police have done nothing.

[Hat Tip: Moishy.]

Comments

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This is terrible behaviour by the Sikrikim. It must stop.

These sick-ariki work for the police and Shabak. That is why they get away with it.

If the Israeli Police refuse to deal with criminal activity in Mea Shearim -- declaring the area outside of the law like a Favela in Rio -- then the country will accelerate towards third-world status.

In the absence of any Police action, it is inevitable that drug dealing and other illicit activities will flourish in these frum neighborhoods.

It is mainly Toldot that controls Mea Shearim.
But in any case Danny is right that the police always refuse to deal with mean shearim at all.

They are the Kosher Nostra-not the Mafia-Here is a serious question-

Does anyone have any hard evidence or actual contempoary reports as to how hassidic villages in Eastern Europe dealt with outsiders-surely they didn't stone Coassacks who rode their horse through town on Shabbat? And how did they deal with members of the community who might not conform to the village norms? Is this miltancy somethingn which has only in Israel since the founding of the state? Did it occur pre-1948-And did the fraud cheating and New Square like activity exist here in the US pre-war?

I;m not looking to argue-I just want to know.

Finally while I tend to refer to the frumma with a broad brush how many distinctive groups can people describe-ie

Hassidim, Modern Orthodox (Are they considered frumma?) Relgious Zionists, Anti Zionist Hassidim-etc? And if you add them all together what percent of the population t do they represent

Feldheim decided to negotiate with the terrorists. No big surprise.

well these people are from the same group Judas Ishcariot belonged to literally resurrected...Ish Sikkarim..yep except now with the find of his gospel his story is rather different

Bottom line again: Aggression will eventually meet with aggression. These Sicarim get away with it because they think they can. The police do not want to get involved. A businessman must protect himself, and this will escalate until one or another is badly hurt.

What will the Sicarim do if one of them is badly injured? What will they do when the businessman retaliates by dumping a load of manure into one of their shuls or homes?

What will the Sicarim do if one of them is badly injured? What will they do when the businessman retaliates by dumping a load of manure into one of their shuls or homes?

Posted by: Alter Kocker | September 08, 2011 at 08:29 AM

you know when it suites their needs they run the the secular authorities

that is no secret

Posted by: norm | September 08, 2011 at 06:06 AM

most of the time when people say frummas they do not mean all frum people

just the ones who are ultra Orthodox and herdeim

frankly you have a point they should called Jewish cult member or something like that since

frum they are not, religious they are not, following Jewish tradition no they are not

that leave gentile or Jewish cult or pagan

The silence of the other herdie groups is very telling and agree wuth the Sikrikim 100%

just do not want to say it publicly and use these guys to do there dirty work

like lamas has two divisions the political and the militants

so do the herdeim

Giving in to them is so foolish. They will only be strengthened when they see that their tactics work. Then they will start making more and more demands.

I used to like to walk around Meah Shearim but I won't do it anymore. Frankly it sounds more like a dangerous ethnic ghetto.

I used to like to walk around Meah Shearim but I won't do it anymore. Frankly it sounds more like a dangerous ethnic ghetto.

Posted by: [email protected] | September 08, 2011 at 09:10 AM


That's probably what they wanted in the first place, that outsiders shouldn't enter their ghetto. And thanks to people like you, their wish came true.

Calling the Sicari Shabak is likely conspiracy talk … but if the Israeli government does look the other way … Someone has to treat the Hareidim the way they treat everybody else. See, it’s not nice when people impose their views on you. With brute physical force, it’s the most blatant, but EVERY frum community uses its own methods of imposing their views on anyone they can. I see little difference between the Sicari and the Lubavitcher BT who forces his new views on his family. I see little difference between the Sicari and the people who riot over graves, “modesty” or driving on Saturday. Do unto others as you would like them to do onto you. Don’t enforce your OCD religious views on anyone, including your kids.

Here is a link for a bunch of mafia in Washington State.

And the police did nothing.

Nobody was arrested.

http://news.yahoo.com/longshoremen-storm-wash-state-port-damage-rr-144921214.html

Time for the OU to put the edah hecharedi into herem. If the edah has no problem with groups violating halacha by harassing Jews in Geula and Beit Shemesh, the OU shouldn't be sharing a hekhsher with them.

Conversely, by certifying along with edah, they're showing they don't really have any halachic problems with what the edah is doing.

israel has let its core democratic principles be trampled on by these terrorist jewliban. the police inaction will soon lead to serious injuries and deaths. i just hope they are all on the terrorists side.

Jewish stormtroopers...learn from the past ha... All they do is bring shame to the Jewish people

israel has let its core democratic principles be trampled on by these terrorist jewliban. the police inaction will soon lead to serious injuries and deaths. i just hope they are all on the terrorists side.

Posted by: ah-pee-chorus | September 08, 2011 at 01:16 PM


I couldn't agree with you more. The scary thing is that it is happening right here in the sates as well.

Check this out:

http://news.yahoo.com/longshoremen-storm-wash-state-port-damage-rr-144921214.html


I couldn't agree with you more. The scary thing is that it is happening right here in the sates as well.

Check this out:

http://news.yahoo.com/longshoremen-storm-wash-state-port-damage-rr-144921214.html


Posted by: Guest | September 08, 2011 at 01:56 PM

Please.

To compare a labor dispute – no matter how badly one side is acting – with intentionally stoning children, assaulting children and making terroristic threats against children is disgusting.

You're a sick individual.

Past that, what you're doing is squatting and trying to hijack comments threads.

It stops now.

If it doesn't, I'll ban you and delete your comments.

Why condemn terrorism by Arabs and anti-Israel scum when these so-called Jews get off scot free?

It is interesting that the store owner who hired a thug to beat them up is no longer bothered by them.

If the cops refuse to get involved then why not bring in some other criminals to break their heads, smash their faces, tear off their beards and peyos?

I guarantee you that no one will stand up for them; they are hated by all.

they are going to have to eventually bring in the Shin Bet and/or Mossad and blow up a few gates over there, the stinking jeanies is way out of the bottle. Only massive use of military force will work, also resettle them in Antwerp or Paris, let them fight street arabs over there.

If it was Palestinian he will be shot to death or beat up good by the police, Shin Bet and Mossad, all in that order and considered a terrorist attack. Some deal you got with these idiots, some deal. I will rather fry here in summer in Arizona than make Aliya to that good for nothing, double standard, double crossing country.

Posted by: Shmarya | September 08, 2011 at 03:47 PM

I wasn't trying to hijack comment threads. All I do is point out that the very same things done that are done by hareidis are done by others as well, and no one gives a damn.

I am pointing out the double standard.

If you notice, the comment thread never gets hijacked, because in fact I never intended to hijack.

Please let me know:

Do you allow posting of links to videos?
Do you allow posting of links to articles?
If yes, does it only have to be a video/link portraying hareidis in negative light, or even in a positive light.
Also, if I feel that it is relevant to show how others do the same and don't get called on it, would you allow me to post the link.

Please let me know, because in no way is it my intention to hijack a comment thread.

Thanks.

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