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Aug 26, 2013

import chumus, not pashkevilim

One of the great cultural differences between living in Israel, specifically for a religious Jew in religious neighborhoods, and between living in America is the culture of the pashkevilim - the posters on the walls and the flyers scattered through the streets. It does not exist in America.

It is littering to toss thousands of flyers in the street, and any city with a city council and mayor worth a lick would not such a thing happen, and would levy a serious fine on anyone who tried. In Israel it is a major part of the culture, it is how news is spread, how announcements are made, it is part of the scenery, and some even say the glue of the posters on the walls actually hold up some of the old walls in Jerusalem!

Recently some in New York have decided to import the Israeli pashkevilim and spread them around the streets of Boro Park and Williamsburg. The pashkevilim were decrying the uprooting of graves at the Goloventzitz site in Bet Shemesh.

As a result of the littering the city streets with thousands of flyers, the City of New York fined store-owners and homeowners where the streets and sidewalks were littered. Even though these people did not toss the flyers and litter the streets, they are responsible for the cleanliness of the sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses, and therefore had to pay fines for the mess on the property they are responsible for.

NY City Councilman David Greenfield has turned to the Sanitation Department and is encouraging them to levy heavy fines on the people responsible for the flyers. Greenfield said "It is illegal and quite frankly irresponsible to dump thousands of fliers throughout the neighborhood regardless of what the message is. If you don’t like someone our Constitution protects your right to stand on a street corner and yell, but you have no right to litter that same street corner. This is a fair warning. I will work closely with the Sanitation Department and other government authorities to find those responsible for littering our streets and hold them accountable. If you do this, you will be caught and held accountable."
(sources: Bechadrei and Matzav)

Greenfield also tweeted his frustration about the flyers with the following tweet:

and Greenfield posted the following picture of the pashkevil to which he was referring:

Some of his constituents might not like it, but Greenfield is making a good move to quell this before it becomes a trend and gets out of hand... In the end, the majority of the pashkevilim are religious Jews attacking other religious Jews for following "other" rabbonim... better not to import that part of Israeli culture to America. Stick to importing chumus rather than pashkevilim.

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1 comment:

  1. Maybe they can import the Brooklynites asap to register and vote in the Bet Shemesh elections.


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