Flatbush Abandoned Shaimos Catastrophe: A Exclusive Inside Look


shaimosBy Falsely Accused

‘Rav Shimon ben Gamliel said, “I grew up all of my days among the sages, and I have found nothing better for oneself than silence.”

As the falsly accused arranger of the Flatbush shaimos company mentioned in at least one news story about “Abandoning Shaimos Trucks,” I strongly contemplated silence.

When presented the opportunity to release my story to a publication interested in the truth and making a true kiddush Hashem, I felt that I had to tell my story.

This is a terrible scandal and Hashem’s Name has been desecrated. Any operator who did abandon their shaimos has no conscience and fear of G-d.

There were dozens of shaimos trucks collecting shaimos and clothing in the frum neighborhoods in the weeks before Pesach and the vast majority were handled properly under great pressure.

All types of scandals continue to erupt around Jewish communities worldwide. One begins to ask himself: What has gone wrong and are we truly headed towards the arrival of Moshiach?  Jewish news media on the internet has taken a turn for the worse. It is a terrible scandal. As an avid reader of these sites until recently, I truly believed these sites were under the guidance of rabbonim and run by true Torah Jews and, when confronted with the truth, would choose to disseminate it.

Let me tell you my story.

As soon as I read an article regarding an ”Abandon Shaimos Truck” in Boro Park, I was weary as to its truth, as the truck pictured are leased trucks and on a monthly rental. Lots of shaimos is collected and transporting it to burial grounds usually in upstate and in big tractor trailers can take a couple weeks after Pesach, which is the reason most operators opted for the monthly rental. I myself had a 24 foot trailer full of shaimos and was set to go for burial in the early morning hours of the night of bedikas chometz when the driver couldn’t make it.  I was left carrying the additional cost of holding the trailer over the first days of Yom Tov and burying the shaimos on Chol Hamoed.  I also had an additional truck scheduled to be buried on April 19th.

After hearing that there were scattered shaimos on train tracks, I called Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s office and offered to bury any shaimos that turned out to be ”abandoned” free of charge. An assistant called me back and thanked me for my offer, but because there was an ongoing police investigation, they would get back to me to make the arrangements.

The following day, while driving on the way to bury the last remaining shaimos in Liberty, NY, at the Beth Genizah Cemetery (which was reported about here on Matzav.com) under the rabbinical supervision of the CRC (Hisachdus Harabbonim) and the OU, my cell phone began receiving untold numbers of calls in a matter of minutes.

I quickly learned that another article was posted on a popular “frum” internet news website. Its local affiliate reported that a “Third Abandoned Shaimos Truck” was found, this one in Flatbush. The report included the printing of my phone number which had been posted on the truck throughout the entire time it was parked in front of my house.  The contents of the article described the truck as ”abandoned” with clothing in it and strongly implied that this third truck was affiliated with the two prior trucks reported earlier and found to have actual shaimos.

The story further implied that no clothing went to needy people and invited anyone who dropped off clothing at our locations to come to the open truck to take back their “moldy and smelly clothing.”

The only problem is that the story is a complete fabrication and worse. In fact, the internet site that published it knew so, because they had been told the day before that this particular truck was not abandoned.  They also admitted that while they published my phone number, they never bothered to call me directly to ask about what was going on.

While most of the clothing collected was previously donated, these remaining items had been collected during the last few days up to Pesach and were not at all “moldy and smelly.” In fact, the Bnai Raphael Chesed Organization of Flatbush was glad to take the clothing.

While I could not answer most of the calls we received after the internet article release due to the high volume, the vast majority were highly offensive calls, certainly not becoming of a “frum” audience.

The reason I tell you all this is for two reasons.

The first is that who dropped off shaimos or clothing at any of our locations – Nostrand Avenue and Avenue M, Coney Island Ave. and Avenue L, 13th Avenue and 49th Street, Coney Island Ave. and Avenue M, or previously Avenue M and East 10th – and even the last couple of latecomers who left their shaimos hanging on the truck at Avenue M and East 22nd, can feel secure that all the clothing and shaimos was taken care of properly and handled at all times according to halacha.

Secondly, while I am nobody to give mussar to anyone and I can’t say I personally have grasped this concept, I feel that I can help someone in the same shoes as me in the future.

Rav Frand in Parashas Metzora quotes famous Medrash that tells of a peddler who came into a city and inquired: “Who wants longevity?” Rav Yannai inquired of the peddler what he was selling. The peddler directed Rav Yannai to the pasuk in Tehillim: “Who is the man who desires life…? Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” Rav Yannai commented that he never understood the interpretation of this pasuk until this peddler taught him about it.

How is it that Rav Yannai never understood the interpretation of a straightforward pair of pasukim in Tehillim until a peddler explained it to him?

The Shemen HaTov explains that Rav Yannai thought that cleanliness of speech required being somewhat anti-social. Rav Yannai believed that mixing with society, having friends and engaging in conversation was a sure formula for not being able to live up to the standards of “Who is the man who desires life.”

Rav Yannai was shocked that the peddler was “selling” this verse. Peddlers are known for their ‘gift of gab’. They travel from city to city and from house to house and have plenty to tell and plenty to share and plenty to say. In classic Hebrew literature, the peddler was always portrayed as a gossip.

Rav Yannai’s revelation was not so much the interpretation of the pasuk but the teacher of the lesson: “If the peddler can tell me that a person such as he can be careful about Lashon HaRa, then my approach must change. I now realize that a person can intermix with society, talk, be sociable and still be careful not to speak Lashon HaRa.

While these internet sites are not going away and they may be more appropriate compared to secular media outlets, one can learn from this story that one can “intermix with society,” in our case read frum news online and still be careful to have the benefit of the doubt and not to speak lashon hara when the opportunity to do so arises.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Thank you for sharing this story. I recall the countless shaimos posts this letter refers to. I find it appalling that in trying to appear frum and righteous, the reports tried to demonize another Jew without doing their due diligence. This isnt the first time I’ve heard and seen this.
    Credible or not, people want hits which then translates into higher revenue via advertising. it is no different than what a tabloid newspaper does. Actually, it is worse. It is worse because these reports – sadly – represent “yiddishkeit”, and thus represent us. Often it is the same people who are the first to run to take photos of awful accidents knowing their pictures will get circulated. It all amounts to the same thing.
    Thank you for your emesdika work and thanks for representing what a true ben torah is. Sorry you had to absorb those extra costs. Hashem will repay your kindness.

  2. I personally know those involved with this truck and the story is true,he was falsely accused and all the shaimos were properly buried. Hatzlacha!

  3. Hi. I think I owe you an apology.
    I saw this phone number (yours) on a website and called to voice my outrage. However after seeing that the phone was picked up after a few short rings I hung up. I figured if you were willing to pick up the phone then obviously the story is not really the truth.
    I am glad you explained the situation and am sorry that I was “choshed b’kishairim”. Please be mochel.

  4. Thank you for writing this. I was really wondeering how a rented truck can be abandoned. The company knows who rented it.

  5. Wow. I am speechless after reading this. Nebach, this good Yid was railroaded by a false report. Mamish Motzie sheim ra! Will anything be done? Will anyone take action to restore this Yid’s reputation? Will anyone actually fight those who spread these lies? of course not. Because we are worthless, spineless, and courageless. No one has the courage to take on the matter. In the meantime, there are people out there destroying people’s lives online. What a disgrace

  6. News sites sell news. If they have no news to sell they are out of business.
    Every paper will sell you a sensational story. They don’t have time to check the facts as that will allow someone else to scoop them. Sometimes facts that interfere are ignored. When a story turns out not to be so sensational it doesn’t get mentioned. You won’t hear that the story was false. That doesn’t sell.
    If a man is accused of killing his parents you’ll hear about, but when his parents show up alive and well no mention is made.
    That’s the news business.

  7. I am so sorry for all of the comments you received. Thank you for clarifying this supposed chillul hashem as the original story left me deeply disturbed.

  8. As a former buissnes associate of the writer of this Article, I can vouch for his honesty I saw him work countless hours more then he should have due to lies accusations and other false propaganda he is probably the best in the shaimos bussines does everything down to the last paper, lefi halacha. The embarsement,time and loss of money that whoever falsey accused him will probably never be able to be repaid and what’s worse they probably will never even apoligize sounds sad but in the world we live in now that’s how things go! Also a little about the shamios buissnes that I think the world should know its like a mafia the people who you belive are god fearing talmeidi chachmim were the same people when I opened up in the bussiness a few years back calling me to tell me to get out or move my truck or they will cause seriious damagae to the truck a rental…or other threats and this is just the beggining the fact is the writer of this artcile is on of the only few real legit guys in the buissnes…

  9. i know the guy of the so called “abandoned shaimos truck” he is a true yiras shamayim he would never disrespect holy seforim which he himself learns from he understands the chashevus of seforim and also clothing that is given for tzedaka purposes ! what the news site did to him is like killing him , he is such a straight person he wouldent cheat anyone he respects all who know him. Motzei shem ra is a a tremendous aveira the news site posted his number without even bothering to call him his phone works and he has no problem to pick up a phone unlike the other rishuim who actualy did abandon their trucks full of shaimos people better ask mechila, if u called him and said words of hurt to this man ask forgivness for your own sake and and for the sake of mikadesh shem shamayim