Jerusalem Stories

Rosh Hashana & Beggars in Jerusalem

Rosh Hashana is right around the corner and Jerusalem is getting ready for the upcoming holidays. A week after Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur is taking place and five days later Sukkot.
The week before Rosh Hashana is pretty busy. Work and I am trying to manage all the shopping. I am not planning on doing something big but just having regular meals and going to the Synagogue in the nearby Old City.
Israelis always go crazy before a Jewish holiday and the line ups at the supermarket tills are crazy. People buy as if there is no tomorrow. 🙂
What is really getting worse and worse in Jerusalem is the Chutzpah of many beggars. It is as if we owe them something. An entire Arab family from Bethlehem (Palestinian Authority outside Jerusalem) comes into town every Friday. Then they stream out in the Baka neighbourhood. Not every Baka resident is wealthy but the beggars still think so. They see Americans or hear American accents and automatically think that plenty of dollars are waiting for them.
The Arab family goes straight to people’s doors and ask for money. Other beggars stand in the street but last Friday I noticed an old Russian beggar who usually cruises in Baka and the German Colony also going from door to door. He only says one word: “Kesef”, meaning Money.
He has been going on my nerves for a while, as he is creepy and, if you don’t give him money, he follows you. I told him a few times to get lost but he always starts all over again. Then, last Friday, when I was coming from work, I saw him coming out of a house next to Emek Refaim Street. Almost he immediately he said “Kesef” and when I just passed him, he started cursing me. I turned around and told him that I am not giving donations to people who behave in such a creepy way.
Many beggars have this attitude that they are the great guy and they deserve our money. Everyone in Baka or on Emek Refaim is rich and we have to share our wealth. If not, we are being cursed. No wonder people are fed up and don’t give anything anymore.
Now you can argue that we should give Zedakah (charity) before Rosh Hashana but I am not willing to give anything to someone following and cursing me.

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