Hasidic Brooklyn - Unusual Excursions In New York

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Hasidic Brooklyn - Unusual Excursions In New York
Hasidic Brooklyn - Unusual Excursions In New York

Video: Hasidic Brooklyn - Unusual Excursions In New York

Video: Hasidic Brooklyn - Unusual Excursions In New York
Video: Inside NYC's Hasidic Jewish Community (Will SURPRISE YOU!) (Boro Park, Brooklyn) 2023, March

The mention of ultra-Orthodox Jews for many of you is probably associated with places like Bnei Brak or Jerusalem's Mea Shearim. However, such communities do not exist only in Israel. I will introduce you to the lives of the most authentic members of the largest Jewish commune in the world - the New York Hasidim. Individual excursion for 1-10 people Duration 3 hours Children Possible with children How it goes On foot Rating 4.5 on 2 reviews $ 250 per excursion Price for 1-10 people, regardless of the number of participants

The Jewish population of New York exceeds a million people - more than in any other single city, including Jerusalem. A significant part of the Jewish population of New York is the Orthodox community, of which I have been a member to one degree or another for many years. I will introduce you to Borough Park and Williamsburg, two Brooklyn districts inhabited mainly by Hasidim, and tell you about the way of life and customs of these people.

About the Hasidim

The world of Orthodox Jewry is also very diverse. For people far from Judaism, perhaps the most mysteriously perceived are those who wear long sidedresses and a beard, a frock coat and trousers tucked into stockings (and on Saturdays and holidays also a wide fur hat), and communicate with each other in Yiddish, which they often speak better than English. People unfamiliar with Judaism call them ultra-Orthodox. I would prefer to use a more respectful and self-employed name - Hasidim. This name unites the followers of the teachings of Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov, who lived in Ukraine in the 18th century. However, the Hasidic movement is also subdivided into subgroups (the so-called courtyards). Each court is headed by its own rabbi, that is, a spiritual mentor. Hasidic courts, as a rule, bear the geographical names of the places from which they originated.

Unlike Mea Shearim, in the Hasidic districts of New York there is practically no confrontation between “friends” and “aliens”. Perhaps this is due to the fact that, firstly, in none of these areas hasidim make up 100% of the population. Second, Jews in America (and in any other country outside Israel) do not at all seek to impose their order on the non-Jewish majority, since this is unacceptable from the standpoint of Judaism itself.


  • Our walk will begin at Thirteenth Avenue, Borough Park's main shopping street. In addition to numerous shops and kosher cafes (in one of which we can refresh ourselves with a kosher breakfast), on Thirteenth Avenue there is one of the most visited synagogues in New York, popularly known as "Shomrey Shabes" - one of the few where prayers are not cease almost round the clock, with a short night break of several hours. How can this be? I will try to clarify this by talking about the rules of Jewish prayer.
  • Here, within a five-minute walk, there is one of the world's largest Judaica shops, i.e. Jewish religious goods. Almost all the trappings of everyday Jewish life are represented here. I will tell you in detail about the purpose of each of them.
  • Then we will go to the store of hats, more precisely - men's hats, or more precisely - hats. Although Jewish law does not oblige men to wear a hat as such, it just so happened that the hat became one of the most striking distinguishing features of the Jewish orthodox dress code. Moreover, the style of the hat can distinguish Hasidim from other Orthodox Jews. The store staff will be happy to tell you about these differences.
  • One of the most famous products of the national Jewish cuisine is matzah, that is, flat cakes made from unleavened dough, which are usually eaten on Passover. There are several handicraft matzo baking factories in New York. I'll show you one of these factories, and also tell you why the process of baking matzo requires special discipline from all its participants. If your visit takes place in winter or early spring when factories are open, we might even try to get a glimpse of the process itself.
  • We will take a ride from Borough Park to Williamsburg on an unusual bus. More precisely, it is not the bus itself that is unusual, but the culture of travel in it. The attitude of "outsiders" to this culture of travel is ambiguous. But, in any case, you have most likely not seen this yet, so you will not remain indifferent. However, I will not reveal all the cards. When we meet, you will see everything for yourself. Please note that these buses do not accept Metro cards, so have cash ready to pay for your fare ($ 3.25 as of 2015).
  • Williamsburg is famous for being inhabited by representatives of the Satmar Hasidic court. Satmar Hasidim are more detached than others. I will explain exactly how and why. Hasidic districts look very different during the Jewish holiday season. But even on the most ordinary days of the year, visiting these areas will be interesting for those of you who have never been to such places before.


The meeting point is by agreement with the guide, you can discuss it when ordering the excursion.


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