Lost 'shtreimel' lands haredi man in IDF prison

22-year-old haredi man says it never crossed his mind that his missing traditional fur hat would land him in a prison cell.

Tzvi Lev,

Shtreimal fur hats
Shtreimal fur hats
Flash 90

A 22-year old haredi father ended up in a prison cell after losing his traditional shtreimel fur hat last week in the Jerusalem Central Bus station.

After the Tiberias resident returned to collect his missing hat from the lost and found, he was greeted by two policemen, who asked the man to present identification to prove that the item was indeed his. Upon scrutinizing his identification card, police realized that he was wanted for draft dodging and promptly arrested him.

The man was handed over the IDF military police, who forced him to spend the night in a holding cell. He was released the morning after, and will likely be indicted for draft dodging.

While the IDF military police attempts to arrest haredim accused of draft dodging, it often proves challenging for them to track down a suspect in the close-knit and closed-off haredi world. As a result, haredim with outstanding warrants for draft dodging are often arrested at traffic stops and other routine incidents after police demand to see identification.

For example, a pair of haredi men were arrested for draft dodging in October after police pulled them over for driving dangerously. Police had ordered the men to pull over after noticing them weaving in and out of traffic near the Dead Sea. After checking their licenses, police found that the two were wanted for draft dodging, as both had refused to report to the IDF recruitment center to receive their deferments. Police arrested them immediately and handed them over to the military police.


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