Assemblyman Hikind (D-Brooklyn) says that the numerous incidents involving the illegal dumping of shaimos (books or other sacred objects which can no longer be used but may not be desecrated or destroyed) has led to an outcry in the Jewish community. But other than incidents that have been exposed-such as the illegal abandonment and dumping of shaimos-one of the biggest concerns is finding out where the majority of shaimos actually goes after it has been collected. No one seems to have, or wishes to share, the answer.
“Fortunately, our many months of research into the collection and disposal of shaimos are now starting to pay off,” said Hikind. “We are getting closer to understanding the problem and that will ultimately help us craft a solution.”
In April, just days after Hikind warned the community of potentially fraudulent shaimos collection and burial operations, garbage bags filled with holy books were found illegally dumped upstate in Haverstraw, NY. “People were literally crying to think that they may have inadvertently given their holy shaimos to someone who could care less, who treated their shaimos like garbage,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “We worked to resolve that immediate problem but I’ve been warning people for years to be careful about this.
Assemblyman Hikind says that the time has come to develop a system where people can properly and respectfully dispose of their shaimos. “I am now working with the leadership of our communities-with the Daas Torah-to get to the bottom of the problem,” he said. “People don’t just eat anywhere. Neither should they just give their shaimos to just anyone.”
Assemblyman Hikind is asking anyone with knowledge of improper disposal of shaimos to contact Yehudah at his office at 718/853-9616 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.