Hebrew School

Droppin’ Hasid

My friend Steve sent me a fascinating article from Vice about a group of Hasidic Jews in New York City who’ve left the fold of their traditional community:

When I first walked into the apartment on Ridge Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I didn’t see much because the lights were off. It was a long empty room with couches lining the walls. Empty cans and bottles everywhere. At four in the morning all that was left were the remnants of a party. Nothing unusual. A Hasidic Jew was passed out on his back, yarmulke resting on the cushion next to his head. His cell phone was wildly ringing digitized klezmer music from within his wool pants. He lay totally still. I walked toward him, wondering if he was alive. The phone cycled through four more rings before he swiped at his pocket, at which point I let out a sigh of relief.

I could hear muffled singing coming from behind a closed door down the hall. I stepped over the passed-out Hasid, making my way into the next room. Inside, it was completely dark. The air was warm with the smell of bodies. Ten, maybe fifteen, naked Jews were perched, chanting in flawless harmony with one another. They stopped briefly to greet me and then resumed. I watched them speechlessly for a moment before posing the question “What’s going on?” A voice in the dark made an incomprehensible remark about LSD, and everybody broke out in bouts of electrified laughter. And then the chanting began again.

read the rest of the article >>


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After reading the first paragraph or so, I thought it might be a good article to pass on to my sociology professor, a woman who wrote this book about women who converted to Orthodoxy, then I got another few paragraphs into it…

Comment by Bro

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