Friday, July 23, 2010

Warning: False Tour Guides in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv


A Tel Aviv local paper is mentioning a problem I have been noticing for a longer period of time. Although the paper is only referring to false tour guides in Tel Aviv, I want to do the same for the haredi / chassidic world.

False tour guides are walking around in Jerusalem. Seemingly tours around the haredi / chassidic world attract many people and false guides have discovered the topic as an income source. Without any deeper knowledge about religion, without ever having studied at Yeshivot or seminaries, without ever having been part of the haredi world, totally secular tour guides offer their services. For plenty of money and I am sure that none of them is paying any taxes on that but just putting the money into one's own pocket.

Googling through Wikipedia, stealing information from this and other blogs, secular tour guides present false tours in order to cheat their listeners and make money.

In case you are planning to book such a tour:

1. Check whether the tour guide is a real historian or specialist on the subject. If he / she has recommendations, certificates, university degrees.

2. Check whether the tour guide has an official permission from the Ministry of Tourism.

3. Get receipts for the money you paid. Say that you need a receipt for the tax office.

4. If you are interested in REAL information, get in touch with some chassidic communities such as BELZ and book a tour. Stress that you want a chassidic guide from the particular group. Some haredi communities offer tours mostly for free. If you are interested in Belz, I am able to get you any further information. The same with Karlin - Stolin, Dushinsky, Toldot Aharon, Toldot Avraham Yitzchak, Rudzhin - Boyan,Vishnitz (Bnei Brak) or Kretchnif (Jerusalem).

5. Be aware because today, many unqualified people start calling themselves experts, kabbalists or historians. Most of them are not but just fakes (Cash Cows).

6. Interested in a great author on the chassidic world ? Get hold of the books wirtten by YITZCHAK ALFASSI (a Gerrer / Gur Chassid). Alfassi is THE absolute authority !!!

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday we got visited by our israeli tour guide. He confirmed that there are a lot of false and unlicensed "guides".