Call for Pidyon Shevuyim as Criminal Case against Shomrim Goes to Trial

One calamity after another has befallen the Chabad community at large. Young lives have been taken from us, Jews are facing prosecution, and others already sit in prison.

Most Crown Heights residents wave their hands dismissively when the case against six Shomrim members is brought up. “It’s just politics,” they say. Despite the fact that these are fellow Jews, the young men standing trial on Wednesday are also the volunteers who altruistically aid the community daily, in countless ways. It would be commendable of the community to now actively take a stand for fellow Jews and give support to those who have been on-call 24/7 to serve others.

It is no longer merely politics. The case, which until now many have been dismissive of, has reached and crossed the threshold of trial by jury. Six Shomrim volunteers are facing years of real jail time if convicted.

“This is no longer politics,” says Aron Hershkop, a Shomrim coordinator. “This is now a Pidyon Shvuim matter, and we need the community’s help.”

In a prepared statement, Shomrim said that while serving the community for more than a decade, they requested no monetary contributions, yet with the trial just one day away, they are now looking to the community for support.

A statement by Shomrim:

For over 15 years, Shomrim, under its current leadership, has been gladly helping the Crown Heights community – from assisting a crime victim in filing a police report, to helping someone with a flat tire – without ever once asking for anything in return.

Unfortunately, the situation has changed and six of our volunteers are facing serious criminal charges stemming from an incident in which they were called for assistance.

Each of the six volunteers has a lawyer and the costs of going to trial are too great for them to be able to individually bear. Tens of thousands of dollars have already been spent, and with the trial just one day away, we ask for the community we so generously help to return that kindness and help us cover our costs.

Various Rabbonim including Rabbis Schwei, Osdoba and Segal have expressed support verbally, while Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky has written the following letter:

7 Mar Chesvhan, 5770
October 26, 2009

To kindhearted brethren of Klal Yisrorel; Sheyichyu

Greetings and blessing,

Torah rule dictates that Jewish people should bring their disputes, arguments and grievances against a fellow Jew to a Beis Din. Going to the civil court system is a heinous iniquity and a blatant contemptuous behavior against Torah.

Unfortunately, due to the laxity of some in this regard, a group of people are now in court defending themselves against a possible seven year incarceration and a lawsuit of 150 million dollars, G-d forbid.

These men are family heads who have altruistically given much time for the enhancement of the security and wellbeing of the Crown Heights neighborhood.

While there are good chances, IY”H, that they will be vindicated, nevertheless, large sums of money have already been expended for their defense and much more is immediately needed.

This is a bona-fide case of PIDYOM SHEVUYIM which is one of the most prominent forms of tzedoko.

I urge you to extend your benevolent generosity to this most worthy cause and well-deserving members of K’lal Yisroel,

May we speedily witness the elevating of the Torah banner and the ultimate redemption. With profuse advance thanks and blessings to merit Divine rewards, I remain,

Sincerely Yours,
Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky

Court will be reconvening tomorrow, Wednesday, where jury selection will begin, followed by the trial, in which the District Attorney will be presenting their case to the court in hopes of securing a conviction.

For those who would like to attend the trial proceedings and show support, you are welcome to. The trial is taking place at 320 Jay Street which is the New York State Supreme Court on the second floor in the Ceremonial 1 court room, starting at 10:00am on Wednesday October 28th.

Contributions can be mailed to Shomrim office at:

537 East New York Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225

Or you can call the Shomrim hotline (718) 774-3333 after 6:00pm and we will send a member to pick up your contribution.

You may also contribute by Credit Card at the Shomrim Defense Fund website, Click Here.


  • 1. stop feeding this terorists wrote:

    How many sifrei torah could be written with the money?
    How many hungry Jews could feed for this money?
    But god has his ways and we all have to suffer from a few
    Community members who support terror and feed and clothes
    Terrorists and even some community members paid the airline tickets to
    Bring terrorist to testify in court .

  • 2. MAD wrote:

    This is not pidyon shevuyim. Pidyon Shevuyim is when jewish people are treated more hashly then the non jewish community. Sorry to say these are not captives, rather the judicial system working is thing is this land that YOU live in. You dont like it LEAVE!
    Dina dmalchusa Dina

  • 4. a recipiant of shomrims help wrote:

    mad, are you seriuse? to display such ignorance publicly? are you a rov who is paskening that this is not pidyon shvurim, contrary to what rabbi bogomislky writes?

    i for one stand in solidarity with shomrim and contributed $18, which is what i can afford. i hope it does its part in helping you at trial.

    good luck.

  • 5. antimesira wrote:

    To MAD:
    You smarter then Rabbi Bogomilsky?
    If they don’t have money to properly defend themselvs then it will be a 100% situation of Pidyon Shevuyim.

    Must we wait till it reaches that point!

    Either your giving or not, nobody asked you opinion (Mossier)!

  • 6. NCFJE wrote:

    Where is the NCFJE and ‘Rabbi’ Shea Hecht in all this? Aren’t they the front runners for Pidyon Shvuim with the whole Rubashkin case? I heard Shea on the radio saying that they will help anyone that needs it.

    Why don’t we see them in support of Shomrim?

    Has politics infected the cause for Pidyon Shvuim too? Or is there not enough publicity in this for him?

  • 7. Blood Liable and Mesira wrote:

    I was shocked to learn that this young man is one of the Defendants fighting for his life…


    Are they kidding me?
    What is this?
    When and with whom will this stop?

    I pledge.
    It’s really sad that we have to give money to protect Yidden against other Yidden!

  • 8. Orur Avigdor Asher Bikesh wrote:

    remember that the alter rebbe was mosserd by a jew


  • 9. Milhouse wrote:

    MAD, you are an am hooretz, an apikores, or both. You are certainly “megaleh ponim batorah shelo kehalocho”, and have no portion in the Next World.

    Where on earth did you get the idea that “Pidyon Shevuyim is when jewish people are treated more hashly then the non jewish community”? Think of all those pidyon shvuyim stories on which we were brought up; in NONE of them were the Jewish captives treated more harshly than they would have been had they been goyim. Nor was that the case in ANY of the pidyon shvuyim stories in the gemoro, or in general Jewish history. So where did you get such a cockamamie idea? You didn’t get it anywhere, you made it up.

    You show your amhoratzus or dishonesty again when you cite “dina demalchusa dina” as if it were IN ANY WAY relevant to this story. The editors of should really delete your comment, but apparently they’ve decided to let the whole world know what kind of people exist in it.

  • 10. To -NCFJE- wrote:

    Who are you to ask what NCFJE is doing? maybe they are helping, and even so, they help because people give them money to help others, do you support NCFJE so they have money to help these guys?

  • 11. ATT: Dina Dmalchusa Dina wrote:

    OK your highness,

    it seems as if you have not read the article at all. The judicial system is carrying through what other Jews have massered.

    So yes, this is now a matter of pidyon shvuim.

  • 12. FED UP WITH THIS COMMUNITY !! wrote:

    Everyone is busy is asking where is this guy where is that guy ? WHERE ARE YOU ?? HOW CAN YOU LET THIS HAPPEN TO FELLOW YIDDEN ?? You all call yourselves CHASSIDIM of THE REBBE, whether you are from the tzfatim, meshichits, or not. You hold of the REBBE“S teachings.

    THE REBBE”S NUMBER 1 PRIORITY was V’ahavta L’raicha K’mocha !

    What happened was a disgracefull incident, that is behind us and cannot change. But how can WE as CHASSIDIM allow this to happen to MEMBERS of OUR or ANY KEHILLA ??

    Have you no SHAME !? Have all these years of fighting made you forget the term CHILLUL HASHEM !?

    It used to be a Lubavitvher Chosid was proud to be associated with Lubavitch. However the actions that have constantly made waves since Gimmel Tamuz. The day the REBBE left us, make it harder and harder with every passing day.

    As the famous english saying goes CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG ?

  • 13. A bochur wrote:

    There seem to be a lot of Lubavitchers on criminal trial these days. Is anyone else bothered by this? Are all these cases mesira or is there a general disregard for the law in Lubavitch? At least most of them are going in for non-violent crimes … restores some of my faith in this communit.

  • 14. angered wrote:

    If you don’t have anything nice to say DON’T say it at all theses are young men who need help if you don’t want to help then KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!!!

  • 15. me myself and i wrote:

    Why is it that we wait for ppl to get locked up before helping them.

    What would happan if all the money for the ezagui defence fund was given before hand and helped settle the case before court

    What would of happaned if rubashkin raised the prices of meat and went with the unions

    What would happan if we helped the poor divorsed father with some money to give his non frum ex. (That’s all she wants)

    What would happan if we gave the people pushing and currupting the shomrim members the money that we their after in there civil suit.

    Due to all of us standing by shaking our head and hand saying I’m not getting involved the following is happaning.

    Ezagui spending our money for his defence. No matter how it ends our dear naibors still won’t have ownership of their homes

    Rubashkin isnow using our money for his defence facing hard time and our meat prices are up anyway.

    The poor father is using our money for a defence fund and his non frum wife may get costody of the kids and home.

    6 shomrim members now have to use our money for there defence fund and we the people they help our possobly going to be with them.

    Intresting how the lawyers always win.

    The people involved are always so nice and kind and we. OUR comunity are the LOOSERS

    Ezagui he built offordable homes and chabad houses

    Rubashkin he helped thousands worldwide

    The dad had a open house and never said no to anyone who needed help

    Shomrim. We all know what they not only kept us safe but got us into our accidently locked home and car. Or carried your grandfather up 5 flight of steps when he visited bc the building had no elevator.

    Or how about just knowing that they are there up all night watching looking out for you.
    Why is it that we need to wait till its at the point ofno return.
    And why is it that the doers get attacked by the talkers.

  • 16. to MAD wrote:

    Thanks for expressing your ignorance of Torah and limitless hatred in public. It must be hard living on the very bottom of the moral ladder. I wonder what it feels like to look in the mirror and see one of society’s worst specimens….

  • 17. a member of the CH wrote:

    Don’t hate. Appreciate. These guys are just trying to help the community and they are getting in trouble. For what? For nothing. I agree with angered. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

  • 18. Kollel yungerman who-s very very sad wrote:

    It’s sad that there are mosrim in this community that cause young good people to have these legal nightmares. I am a kollel yungerman and I gave $50 that I scraped together to this cause. I guess it’s a zchus to give for pidyon shvuyim, but why do people in this community put poor people in this community like myself in a position that we have to help save yidden from their ‘fellow’ Yidden (al taamod al dam royecha also applies with your money)? Chassidim ain mishpocho died, sadly. Boruch Dayan Emes.

    If these mosrim/Mishichistin really believed in the Rebbe, and that he is with us, chai vkayum etc. they would never do this. Who would do such a thing before gimmel taamuz? Can you imagine if one of these mosrim went in to line during Dollars to ask for a brocha for success in masering on Shomrim? Our community needs lots of siyaata dishmaya and ‘our Rabbonim’ (let’s give Rabbi Bogomilsky credit though) are sadly missing in action.

  • 19. Peace Maker wrote:

    Just for the Record.
    I know this for a fact for I and many others in the community
    were involved.
    Shomrim and its members tried time after time to no avial to reach out and to work things out.
    Shomrim Coodinators arranged meeting with people in the community from every party association possible, they meet with people who claim to be mushpah on mishichistim, they meet will Gavirim, they meet with community peace makers, whom not etc…

    Unfortunately, sadly, this mesira has nothing to do with the Bochrim and what happend that night in 749. there are people (no secret by now), whom have their own agenda and its not one of peace, its not one of Achdus. Those people are behind this Mesira 100%.
    When we where in negotiations, they did not try to hide the fact that they indeed are the orchestrater’s of this Mesira.

    I give Shomrim all credit for doing all that they can to resolve this in a peaceful manner. I will be pledging and praying for a speedy victory!

  • 21. willing and able wrote:

    how many are willing as glen beck says “come out of the wood work” and help

  • 22. Yosef wrote:

    Enough $36, done. Join in with as much as you can; I would give $360 if I could.

  • 23. send all mashchisim to afganistan wrote:

    this is a great community .
    the mashchitim and the poeple who feed them are the evil.
    and where are the letters from the “rabbis”
    of this community is there a rabbi name schwai ? or osdaba ?
    or any other names ?
    shame on you that you let a bunch of hoodlooms from india and palastine to do here all this .

  • 24. In the Dark wrote:

    Can someone please explain what they are being charged for? What is the case? What did they do?

    The vagueness on this topic is fishy.

    Did I miss something?

    A link to a previous story would be helpful.

  • 26. stop the witnesses wrote:

    “Its not polotics”

    When exatcly does polotics end and pidyon shvuyin start.

    Once the DA takes over can such a thing be stopped.

    “I don’t know what they want from me. There is nothing I can do at this point.” -Y.S.

    YES ofcourse you can do somthing. There is plenty you can do. U just goto wana.

  • 28. You make me sick wrote:

    This is why I left the Crown Heights community a bunch of phonIes
    Why do you tell me to put on tefilin keep shobos and think it is OK
    to let a JEW rot in a cell. You should help a Jew not because they
    a good person or you agree with there actions. YOU HELP A JEW

  • 29. Feivel wrote:

    This is all because of those idiotic “tzatifm” who have destroyed 770and bring shame to Anash and Crown Heights? Maybe the CHJCC/Vaad can’t do much with the court system, but Chanina should certainly use his extensive powers to rid us of these horrible predators, even if they claim to be Jewish, They should learn Tanya, and start acting like who they pretend to be.

  • 30. moshe z wrote:

    If you pay attention to the details of whats happening you come to the conclusion that there is zero leadership in our Shchuna. Hershkop said that most Rabonim agree verbally and only Moshe Bogimilsky writes a letter when he’s not even a official Rav here (a nice guy yes).
    what are we telling our kids that don’t see a Rebbe and see the Rabbonim killing each other with Pashkvilin all day!
    I’m 23 grew up in this community and when I hear the word rav I think uf hate and worse, when I hear the word a working person I have respect cause it means somebody that at least fights less then the rabbonim.
    when kids leave the Derech (half my grade) and people ask where is the community leadership the answer is IN COURT KILLING EACH OTHER.
    if the situation doe’s not change then people might AL PI DIN BE M’CHYAV TO TAKE THIER FAMILIES AND MOVE ELSWHERE -see rambam bnogaya mokum sheusur lugur and the Kessef mishne al asar-.

  • 31. Looking for clarification wrote:

    I just read the above posted link to the story from December 2007. But I don’t understand, what are the charges the shomrim members are facing?

  • 32. Mrs. Z. wrote:

    I don’t understand. We have all the rabbonim supporting this. All of them. What do you people know that the rabbonim don’t know?

    It’s very sad that even when all the rabbonim are on the same page we, as a klal, are not able to listen to our rabbonim. I thought we were frum yidden.

  • 33. shomrim member wrote:

    I was sitting in central booking. And to my surprize another lubab gets brought in.
    He sat next to me. We chatted. And before even asking me why I was there the conversation turned into shomrim and shmira.

    The guy said. “Oh I hear shomrim are a bunch of mosrim” I look at him in disbalief and ask. Do you know who I am. He said “no”

    I said I’m a shomrim member. And I’m sitting next to you in prisen.

    Who’s a moiser.

    Yeh he was speachless.

    Monday I was in court I arrived back to crown heights and somone come to me and asked.

    Why don’t you guys make peace? Why is it that you maaser on the shmira and get their vehicles tickets.

    I looked at him. and asked
    Why don’t you ask were I just came from? Do you know how many years I could be facing. Do you know how many tickets our cars got in the past year (illigit ones)

  • 34. serel maness wrote:

    l hate to say it-but we were warned again and again and again
    the level of tznius in crown height is terrible and we know that tznius protects. of course we need to daven to hashem,improved in quality of mitzvahs.

  • 35. get the facts right wrote:

    i was the won who called shomrim and the police becouse i came to see my cousins room the yes the moschstim started hiting me and my brother and when the shomrim came thay did not come with brass knokul it was a winter day and 1 member was werering winter gloves

    the moschstim were the one hitting and it shows it on the video thay took and edeted to try to show that we hit them but are bloody faces just happend by it selff or we came that way thats what thay say so befor you come to jugemint check your facts out

  • 36. ayl wrote:

    i just donated $54 i wish i had more.
    Chaim the bus driver is a hero. i cant believe this stuff its disgusting. oilom hasheker

  • 38. publicize mosrim please! wrote:

    the mosrim must be publicized so we all know , please say names, its important to know who is evil.

  • 39. ATT: You make me sick wrote:

    You make me sick.
    I thought we’re all Jews here.
    And just because you hear about the bad, doesn’t mean there isn’t good.

    – Someone who can see both sides of the grass.

    Btw, I love you man.

  • 40. ROIDFIM wrote:

    guy i think we all missing the point
    there are people in this community with money who fund this
    mossrim and thy ARE RODFIM bacouse if you bring to Crown Heights this mosrim YOU ARE THE ROIDEF.
    if all the yefai hanefesh stop funding the animels ….

  • 41. Meshichisim are Disease wrote:

    it is so sad to see on the palastine sites the hate
    but nothing is new . the gemoreh said am hooretz shoneh the talmid chochem. the bur hates the lerned one.
    this hate is not a jewish sign.
    the story in front of us is about six JEWS on trial by
    a goyishe court selecting jury of goyim to decide who is guilty. in the JEWISH world the mosrim are mosrim but
    all this who support the mosrim are acording to jewish law
    worse than the mosrim .
    and without YOUR support the mosser would not be here.
    so remember that you support a mosser you are on a lower
    level than the mosser.
    and the chiyuv of pidion shvuyim is on us jewish people.


  • 42. DISGUSTED wrote:



  • 43. to Milhouse wrote:

    Milhouse , think about what you just said to “mad”. o s/he may be wrong, but to say he has no portion in the world to come, thats for hashem to decided not you. you know, some poeple would say YOU have no share becasue of what you said. Think about it.


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