Monday, July 10, 2006

Y-Net: Western Wall area cleared of beggars

From Y-Net:

Western Wall area cleared of beggars

Were you harassed by beggars asking for tzedaka during your visit to the Western Wall? Not any more
Haim Levinson

Were you harassed by beggars asking for tzedaka during your visit to the Western Wall? From now on, beggars and panhandlers will be turned away when they arrive at the popular holy site.

Owing to the steep rise in the number of visitors to the Wall over the past year, the presence of beggars at the site increased considerably. Some 300 beggars settled in the area and were hassling visiting tourists.

One beggar even approached a group of tourists from Germany and hurled at them, “You killed our people, now give some money.”

The Western Wall Heritage Fund decided to put an end to the phenomenon, and with the help of police, the beggars were removed from the area.

Beggars returning to the site will be sent away by law enforcement.

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch responded to the move: “For the Jewish people, prayer and tzedaka come together. However, the way in which the beggars conducted themselves at the Wall was a desecration.”


Blogger Sabzi Aash said...

What are they talking about? This very morning I was accosted by beggars at the Kotel, and last night too, and afternoon, yesterday morning, and so on.

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Sen Agor said...

I think its getting worse from my last visit to Israel. I was walking with my wife through the Old City after dinner- we thought it would be late enough to risk a few moments for Maariv at the kotel. The crowds were sparse, but the assualt of beggars began before we even got through security. If they have gotten rid of anyone, it is the beggars with bad teeth, shabby clothes, etc. As unpleasant as they look, such men never bothered me during the Amidah! However, a student at a very well funded yeshiva had no such problems about bothering me, and telling me how serious the need was to support his Yeshiva. He was among many, many others.

2:31 AM  

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