June 07, 2013

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I”€™ve heard the upper-class Hasidim resent the ones in my neighborhood and see them as trash. I”€™ve also heard the ones in Brooklyn turn their noses up at the ones upstate where I also live. They do seem weirder in the country. Such a formal style of dress and such a rigid culture don”€™t seem compatible with nature. A bear even ate one of them. The locals don”€™t seem particularly fond of them, either, and I”€™m told it’s because the Hasidic community doesn”€™t pay their fair share of tax. Residents of upstate New York are big on “€œWhat can the state do for me?”€ which doesn”€™t jibe with organized religion though it does jibe heavily with my libertarian beliefs, so I”€™m going to call this more wonderful than weird.

The Home Depot in Monticello, NY is always packed with Hasidim and one of them went up to a female friend of mine, took something out of her shopping cart, and put it in his. When she said, “€œOh, hell no”€ and put it back in hers, he looked like he just heard a ghost say, “€œOh, hell no”€ and then saw the object float from his cart back into an abandoned one.

There have been stories of Hasidic women getting herpes from the prostitutes their husbands frequent”€”AAAWKWAARD. This trend becomes disturbing when babies are involved.

Brit milah is a Jewish circumcision practice that involves a mohel putting his mouth over the baby’s bleeding penis afterward and sucking the blood. I have heard a lot of pedophile jokes about Catholic priests, but this ripe arena for comedy remains untouched (except for one episode of Freak Show written by two hilarious Jews, David Cross and Jon Benjamin). If the mohel has herpes, he’s likely to give it to the baby and since 2000 this has happened more than a dozen times, including one baby who died from it. Health chiefs in New York are now pushing to have the mohel use a tube to avoid spreading the STD, but there’s no word on how well that’s going. It’s not really my place to say, but I vote they let this practice go along with this dance. Also, try bacon. It will blow your mind. And finally, if your main thing is to increase the Jewish population, maybe get some slightly sexier costumes for the ladies. At least Arab Muslims have that thing where she takes off her burqa when she gets home and puts on Louis Vuitton.

I”€™m a little biased in this area because I”€™m Scottish and nobody can hold a candle to us. I like doing business with Hasidim because they”€™re inexpensive and frugal, but it takes some real heart to earn the word “€œcheap.”€ I will happily spend $5,000 harassing someone until they pay me the $5,001 I”€™m owed, but Hasidic Jews would rather just cut their losses and move on. Every time I negotiate with them I see their eyes bulge when I spend way more than $15 of our time arguing about $15. I can tell they”€™re thinking, “€œThis nigga is on some next-level shit.”€

There was an infuriating case in the news last year where a Hasidic counselor was convicted of 59 counts of sexual abuse. Fellow Hasidim harassed his victims and took pictures of a 17-year-old girl he had forced to reenact sex acts. When confronted with charges of obstructing justice, one of his supporters said, “€œEven if it’s true, he shouldn”€™t go to jail. A Jew doesn”€™t belong in jail.”€

It would be unfair to say the rest of the Hasidic community didn”€™t despise this guy and rejoice when he was sentenced to 103 years. There’s an entire website devoted to hating him and it was created by a member of his family. However, one of the guys harassing the victims is named Lemon Juice and I haven”€™t heard anyone criticize that.

If you go to the ER in New York, you”€™ll see Hasidic Jews have their own EMT guys who wear yarmulkes and have vests with Hebrew letters on them. They”€™re called Hatzalah and like the Hasidic police force Shomrim, they are volunteers whose job is primarily helping Jewish communities.

Unfortunately, the “€œprimarily”€ can often drift into “€œexclusively”€ territory. I was talking to an EMT on a shoot recently and he told me about a car accident where a guy from Africa was mangled beyond belief and the Hasidic Jew in the next car may have possibly hurt his neck. Hasidim are not known for their driving skills and I think it’s because they trust God a little too much. In the book Unorthodox, ex-Hasid Deborah Feldman describes a life-threatening car accident she endured because her husband refused to get new tires based on the belief that God would protect them. It’s quite possible this attitude led to the collision with the African.

So when my EMT pal shows up, he realized he was going to need help getting the black guy out of the car. He asks the Hatzalah to assist, but they refuse and focus all their attention on their comrade. When the cops show up, a rookie demands they help and after getting refused, he vows to make them pay. It’s illegal for a civilian to refuse to help a cop. These guys were registered emergency responders. According to the EMT I spoke to, the cop wouldn”€™t let it go and kept demanding these volunteers be punished for breaking the law. The cop was eventually rewarded with a brutal night shift in the middle of nowhere. The understanding from both the EMT and the cop was that Hatzalah are so well-connected, criticizing them will ruin your career. I asked him if I could use his real name in this story and he told me I shouldn”€™t even tell it. I told him it was too late.



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