Thursday, October 27, 2011


Did you see the Onion piece on the Amish? @azigra parodies it after the jump


Williamsburg , NY —After decades of enduring difficult and complicated religious lives and voluntarily shunning modern innovations such as computers and fashionable clothing, Hassidic leaders announced Monday that Hassidim across the U.S. will abandon their traditional ways and adapt to modern Orthodox life.

 Hassidic Grand Rabbi Ahron Halberstam recounted the needlessly difficult Hassidic life, in which the men are required to dress in heavy black clothing even in the summer and on Shabbat when they cannot drive to their destinations in an air conditioned car. He spoke of the arduous task of having to sometimes spend hours watching rabbis eat their dinner, while standing on bleachers and of the annoyance of not being allowed to keep abreast of current events from an uncensored news source.

“I can’t believe we were such suckers,” Halberstam said. “I feel like a fool.”

Halberstam added that he will purchase a different pair of glasses than all his neighbors wear, glasses he says that went out of fashion in “about 1965.”

“Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how stupid I looked?” he said.

According to Halberstam, the Hassidim look forward to Modern Orthodox lives and all the opportunities that now await them.

“I am looking forward to wearing clothing that is a color other than black,” said Yoel Klein, a prominent Satmar community leader. “I will try on some dark gray suits, perhaps even medium gray. I am also considering not wearing any hat at all.”

Klein also expressed a desire to go out on date nights with his wife, and possibly with other couples.

Many social changes await the Hassids, as well.

“When I punish my son for not saying his prayers,” Gittel Chana Meisner said, “I normally used tell him he will go to Gehenom end up like all the goyim, robbing banks and on drugs. But now, think of the modern child rearing and growth development ideas that will be available to me in the outside world. Perhaps there are specialist in child education whose studies are especially for use on disobedient children.”

Many Hassids are looking forward to getting jobs in the real world. Badchan, or jester, Tzvi Luria said he has greatly entertained other Hassidic people at weddings and bar mitzvas with his clean, rabbinically approved jokes, and hopes to capitalize on that talent by taking his show on the road.

“I have comedy sets scheduled at nightclubs and ballrooms across the country, and judging by the gleeful reaction of my Hassidic brethren, I believe I will find great success entertaining outsiders with my Jewish jokes,” Luria said. “This week, I will be doing a joke set about how Jewish girls shave their hair right before they should be at their most attractive at the Sunrise Motor Inn in Kew Gardens, NY. You will want to be present.”

One Hassidic couple, Yaacov and Sarah Weinberg, plan to move to an apartment in Washington Heights and adopt a modern lifestyle, but will continue to make a living the only way they know how.

“I will continue to sell Jewish ritual artifacts in the lobby of synagogues,” Yaacov said. "Hopefully the students at Yeshiva University will appreciate being able to buy their gartels without having to travel to a Judaica store."

One Hassidic teenager, Shmuel Silberstein, is looking forward to taking full advantage of modern technology.

“I was afraid of being ostracized by the Hassidic community for my blasphemous ideas about wanting to be autonomous and deciding for myself if I want to access the internet,” he said. “Now that I am free to explore life on the outside, I plan to set up a Cablevision account and download old Seinfeld episodes.”

Many Hassidic parents are also happy about being able to send their children to mixed sex schools. "I always realized it was extremely unhealthy, both emotionally and physically, the way we kept boys and girls apart," said Chaim Stein, "hopefully my children who are still young will be allowed to grown up normally in a proper social environment."

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