Friday, January 19, 2007
Hasidism and You
I reached for my notebook and I accidentally hit a Hasid standing in front of me in line. I am not going to lie, I took some mischievous pleasure in it. I looked at him, but he didn't turn around. I have a bit of a fascination with Hasidism.
One of the things I love to hate is that the laws they follow forbid them to touch women they are not married to. Like, for example, your Landlord won't shake your hand.
So, I had this idea a while back and I was very excited to implement it as a performance art piece until it dawned on me the high likelihood of being sued for a hate crime: I wanted to walk the streets of New York City hugging Hasidic Men.
My plan was to dive bomb them from the side. Take a running leap and GET 'EM!
Hug and Runs.
I wanted to get it all on tape. I was all set. Inspired. I could feel Yoko Ono smiling down on me from high atop the Dakota. But then, I had all this conversation with people about what may and may not be covered under "harassment" and "freedom of religion" and blah blah blah. So, I never did it.
But, I still have fantasies. I thought it would be an interesting debate carried out through art. Feminism versus Freedom of Religion. Of course, there are people who would say that Hasidic beliefs have nothing to to with Misogyny, women being unclean, or anything like that. Just that women are such intense temptations that men aren't able to control themselves. Man, I feel terrible about that. Sorry guys.
Well, I accidentally touched one. So there.
There was a gaggle of them in front of me in the passport line. I watched them for a while as I tried to tune out the woman screaming at one of the postal workers in Spanish and the Italian guy banging his fist in front of the man who wouldn't give him his mail. The TV that normally plays Oprah whenever I am there was nothing but snow. To make up for what we don't have outdoors, no doubt.
Then it hit me. All the Hasids were getting passports to go to Israel. And then it hit me even harder. I'm going to Israel, that's why I was there. We are all going to Israel. Me and the Hasids suffering it out in the Williamsburg Post Office for the sake of visiting our Homeland.
You know why the State of Israel is giving my young friends and me free trips to Israel, don't you?
So we will stay and make babies.
They want I should claim Israel as my home, get married, and pop out more Jews.
Well, to them I say thank you for the free trip, but me and my ovaries have other plans. A Hasidic man came up to me and asked if he could cut ahead of me in line just so he could ask a question. I have never wanted to hug anyone more in my life.