Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jew in the hood

One of the places on Pacific that was empty for the longest time got rented out recently. Close to Chinatown, with mostly Chinese neighbors.

It's now a Chabad house. Sweet Buddha, we have become an annex of Brooklyn.

Wikipedia says this about Chabad:
Chabad-Lubavitch is a Hasidic movement in Orthodox Judaism. One of the world's largest Hasidic movements, it is based in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The name "Chabad" (Hebrew: חב"ד) is an acronym for Chochmah, Binah, Da'at (חכמה, בינה, דעת): "Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge," and "Lubavitch" is the only extant branch of a family of Hasidic groups once known collectively as the Chabad movement; the names are now used interchangeably.

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Longwinded article here:

About Hasids, Wikipedia also goes on at length:
The movement originated in Eastern Europe (what is now Ukraine) in the 18th century, and soon spread from Poland and Russia, to Hungary and Romania. As compared with other Jewish movements, Hasidic Judaism tends to focus on the role of the Rebbe (or Rabbi) as a spiritual conduit of God. Hasidic followers join worship groups associated with dynasties of Hasidic spiritual leaders.

Kinda like kungfu schools, in other words. There's a lovely picture of some severely old gentlemen with beards and big Mandarin hats in Jerusalem in that Wikipedia entry.
Yes, I know those aren't REALLY mandarin hats - what else am I going to call them - black pillboxes?

The person at the Chabad house does not wear such a hat. Instead he wears something that looks like cowboy hat, but more dashing, and neater.
Except for the beard, he could be a wild west bank director or country doctor.

Jews aren't missionaries - what is he doing in Chinatown?

The first article says that Chabad houses are informal, the living quarter also serving as synagogue. Quote: "an atmosphere in which the nonobservant will not feel intimidated by any perceived contrast between their lack of knowledge of Jewish practice and the advanced knowledge of some of the people they meet there".

There's more of them here?

That's funny, I don't remember a whole bunch of Jewish people running around Chinatown. White faces, beards, cowboy hats - I really would've noticed!


GRANT!PATEL! said...

There you go again, looking for Jews. Now Parsees you should look for. We are a catch and a half.

---Grant Pantikween

GRANT!PATEL! said...

And I can gift you with prawn curry and black lace accoutrementies for your rumpous!

The merest whisp, and you shall model. Before consuming the prawn curry. With relishes!

---Grant Uttergandoo

GRANT!PATEL! said...

And do not worry, we shall do all this in public, so that your fine reputation is not sullied by any suspicion of hunky punky.

---Grant Iamacleanmanandnothairyatall