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These guys find me everywhere.
The shnurer is the guy that asks you for money. Traditionally, a man you can't avoid. You can't avoid them. I've tried. They pop up everywhere. Once the Jewish community knows you're Jewish, they will find you. And you shouldn't avoid the shnurer. They're making sure you give Tzedaka, to them.
With Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur coming, the organizational shnurers have figured out my address. Thus, I have collected many calendars for the 2022-23 season. Nonetheless, it's only the traditional shnurer who comes right up to you when you're eating that I respect. The shnurer who doesn't let boundaries of trespassing get in the way. The shnurer that takes your money and offers you no tax writeoff.
Here are some of the many places they've found me.
$2.50 for pizza. A buck for the shnurer. You need an extra dollar per-slice. Budgeted. That's the kosher pizza fee. And they count slices. They see you back at the seat with the second slice you weren't sure about, and they're right on you with a Rav Nachman book.
I say 'pizza shops' because they've found me in every pizza shop I ever ate at. They can sense when you're in the mood for margherita. Even when I'm in the mood for cheese sticks, they know it.
Falafel joints they don't always catch me at. I've had a couple times they didn't find me. Maybe they thought I was an Israeli eating there, and it's not worth it to waste time getting shekels.
Why these guys aren't hitting classier restaurants is an anomaly.
I was Davening. He interrupted me. I felt that was rude, and it killed my Kavanah. It's hard to have proper intent with my prayers when they guy next to me is jingling coins. Do shnurers realize how much they ruin Kavanah? It's almost impossible to focus on asking H' for a decent Parnasah, for a decent living, with this guy right there. It's rude.
I thought I was connecting to God, and then he let me know God didn't care until he got more than a dollar. He wouldn't go. I even offered to pray for him to make a good living. He didn't want that. He wanted another dollar.
And it is bothersome hearing him jingle coins, and then getting a reprimanded for giving him a quarter. If he wants a dollar, then he shouldn't jingle.
I thought they were going for a stroll too. They saw my Kippah and they knew it was time to shnur.
I think it's the Kippah. If you're wearing a Kippah outside of shul, they will get you.
I think the guy was trying to chase people away, so he could get a decent seat. He asked for money, and everybody ran from that stop.
I had already given Tzedaka to the people sitting with Tzedaka boxes. They're not shnurers. Shnurers come to you. Middle of Amidah. Right up to you. If you're moving, they follow. I was taking a drink at the water fountain. Mid-drink, I see the palm of a hand out the corner of my eye.
I feel like it's just a reflex in Jerusalem. Some people have developed a charity ask. You think it's going to be a welcoming hand shake, and then the hand flips over. Real quick, it turns from 'Shalom. Welcome to Israel,' to 'You have any Tzedaka?'
Woke up at a Park
He was right there. He saw the yarmulke.
The Kippah was covering my eyes. Any Frum Jew knows that a Kippah doubles as an eye mask. That's why the black Kippahs are very popular. They keep out the sun better.
In Line at the Airport
How he afforded the flight. That's still a question. He was a good shnurer though.
I was bothered that he's going on a trip to ask for money. Then I remembered how much vacations cost. It's expensive. No shnurer should have to stay in a hostel.
Shul At the Airport
I thought I would have one Minyin where I would be able to focus. He spent two thousand dollars on that flight to ask me for Tzedaka. He knew. He sensed I was traveling. He also found me at the airport food court. There was pizza there.
No concept of budgeting. The family's vacationing at the beach and the dad is checking sneakers to see who might have some money to give.
At My Seat
I woke up and the guy was right there, blocking the cart.
The Grocery Store
Baked goods. He was there. I pulled out money for groceries. He was there. My car. He was there. There's a fine line between harassment, stalking people, robbery and asking for charity.
He didn't want food. They wanted money. Food can't buy you and your family a trip.
My Front Door
I've stopped answering the door. They pop up there. It's either the mailwoman or this guy who somehow figured out I'm Jewish. Either way, I am losing money. It's the shnurer or a High Holiday appeal with a calendar.
I feel bad lying to them, but I do. 'Do you have money?' 'No.' That's the answer they're getting from me. How I afford rent; not the point. It's not responsible to tell them I have money. My doors open. They'll break right in. It could be a robbery. Just because the guy has a beard, doesn't make him safe. What's under his bekisha?
He was there for a while. I gave him money. I was scared.
Side Thought: I'm sure shnurers hit up nonJews when they're going door to door. The good ones must have a sale about joining Jews in heaven.
I was eating in a soup kitchen. They still asked me for money. I thought I could eat a peaceful lunch there. No.
If you have a Kippah, they will find you. Embrace it. Give some Tzedaka. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are coming up. Myself, I will keep praying for the day of redemption, where I can enjoy a peaceful slice of pizza.
If I ever find out what member of the community is letting people know I'm Jewish, I'm knocking on their door. And I will drop a pile of calendars right there.
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Wearing Israeli flags. Showing their support for Israel at the rally in DC. It would’ve been smarter if they brought coats. Based on experience, flags don’t work as good windbreakers.