Orthodox Jew Arrested in Jerusalem for Hiding Child from Parents

An Orthodox resident of Jerusalem was under arrest today for refusing to hand over his eight-year-old grandchild to the parents because of his fears that the boy would not receive an adequate traditional Jewish education.

Police arrested Nahman Shtarkes after reporting to the Supreme Court that the grandfather had eluded them in more than 200 house searches over a three-month period in the Orthodox Mea Shearim quarter. In asking to be relieved of the assignment, the police told the court that they feared further searches would start rioting among the Mea Shearim residents.

Yoselch Schumacher was handed over to Shtarkes by his parents when the couple arrived penniless from Eastern Europe. When the parents’ situation improved and they asked for the return of the boy, the grandfather refused. When the Schumachers obtained a court order, police undertook their unsuccessful search.

The police acted in arresting the grandfather when the Supreme Court rejected the request to be relieved of the assignment and criticized police handling of the case. The court asked police officials whether they would halt the search for a thief “if threatened by terror.”

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