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December 24, 2020 10:54 am

New York Sanitation Workers Help Brooklyn Jewish Group Find Lost Tefillin

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Volunteers from the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn and the New York City Sanitation Department are seen with the retrieved tefillin. Photo: United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn.

New York City Sanitation Department employees helped a group of Brooklyn residents search for hours through heaps of garbage to find a pair of tefillin that were accidentally thrown in the trash, NBC New York reported on Tuesday.

After the religious items were mistakenly thrown away on Dec. 17, their owner, a rabbi in Williamsburg, contacted United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn to help track down the phylacteries.

The Jewish group reviewed security footage and saw that a New York City Sanitation truck picked up the trash on Monday. It immediately contacted the Sanitation Department’s Brooklyn North Chief Jarrit Scotti, who isolated the truck’s garbage from the other trash and told them that the truck was kept at the Varick Avenue transfer station.

The volunteers then sported protective gear and spent hours on Monday night searching through trash with the help of Sanitation employees until they found the tefillin, wrapped in a plastic bag.

Tefillin contain small scrolls of parchment inscribed with Torah verses, and therefore must to be disposed of by burial, similar to other holy objects.

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