A Brooklyn hasidic synagogue now bans beggars from collecting inside the synagogue and from collecting outside near the front door, as well. Instead, the beggars have been told to stand on the other side of the street. If they disobey and try to collect in front of the synagogue, the synagogue's administrators threatened to call police and have the beggars arrested.
Bringing Down Mercy From The Heavens By…Harassing Beggars And Depriving Them Of Donations
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
K’hal Veretzky, known more commonly as Rabbi Landau’s shul, is located on E. 9th in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Landau’s is a minyan factory, a synagogue where minyan after minyan after minyan are constantly formed from the very early hours of the morning until the wee hours of night. A prayer service takes place at Landau’s about 22 out every 24 hours every day except for Shabbat and Jewish holidays, when the number and the hours are somewhat reduced.
During the year, Landau’s won’t allow beggars to collect charity inside the building. It also won’t allow beggars to come inside to get a drink or to have a piece of cake from a kiddush sponsored by a one of the men who pray there.
So beggars stand near the synagogue door and collect there, even in the most extreme heat and cold.
But all that changed with onset of the autumn Jewish holidays.
The days leading up to Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), the days immediately following it until Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and the non-holiday days between Yom Kippur and Shmeni Atzert/Simchat Torah (for our purposes here the two concluding holiday days of Sukkot) are days when many Jews give extra charity.
But, two sources have told me that Landau’s has not only continued its ban on beggars collecting charity inside the synagogue building, it has now banned them from doing so outside in front of the building, as well.
Beggars have been told that they must stand across the street from Landau’s entrance.
If they fail to comply, Landau’s gabbaim (administrators) threatened to call police to have the beggars removed.
I’m told that this ban applies to all beggars who are not part of Landau’s clique.
But fellow hasidim approved by Rabbi Landau or the gabbaim are allegedly allowed to collect charity inside all year long and now, during the autumn holidays, as well. They can drink coffee there and eat cake, when it’s available.
But the beggars who are not part of Rabbi Landau’s clique, or who are not haredi enough or Orthodox enough, have to stand outside – and for the month surrounding the autumn Jewish holidays. they have to do that standing across the street, where they are unlikely to collect very much money.
My sources tell me that Landau’s is doing this because it wants charity that would have otherwise gone to the beggars to given to the synagogue instead.
However, the Torah states that we should not exclude the beggars:
“If there is among you a needy man, one of your brothers…you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand from your needy brother. Instead, you shall surely open your hand for him…” Devarim 15:7-8.
The Chofetz Chaim in his Sefer HaMitzvot HaKatzer (Lo Ta’aseh # 62) notes that this commandment is in force everywhere at all times for both men and women, and that is the accepted halakha – except, apparently by Rabbi Landau, his gabbaim and his hasidim.