My Photo

December 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

« Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Upset Your Voter Base | Main | Crazy Uncle Thomas »

March 25, 2007


Hi, Danny --

Once again, I enjoyed taking a trip with you --- this time to Brooklyn's Williamsburg.As a point of information, while the Satmars do indeed headquarter there, the Lubavichers work out of Flatbush, also in Brooklyn.

The time to visit Williamsburg is on Simchat-Torah, right after the High Holidays when Jews celebrate the end of the yearly cycle of Torah readings. There is singing and dancing as Torah scrolls are trriumphantly carried through the streets. In the dozzens of little "stiblach" (study rooms), bearded, hatted men are doing circle dances as they pass the scroll along. They are often a bit tipsy. Simchat-Torah is one of two holidays when it is a "mitzvah" to get a bit drunk. (Purim is the other).

I always went to Williamsburg for that holiday.when I lived in New York. However, while I enjoyed the Satmar folkways as an observer, unlike you I never had the urge to sign a membership card. I always remembered that the Satmar can surpass the most rigid evangelicals in narrowness and intolerance.

Bob C.

I've always wanted to go to NY. Brooklyn sounds amazing. There is a Chasidic community in a small town here in Iowa. I think my daughter and I are going to try and drive up to that town this summer.

Danny come back soon! You know we have enough room now. No excuses.


Think Satmar. You'd look fearsome in a shtreimel.

If Leah were a little younger, she could star in the movie version of "Eloise".

I was born in Brooklyn, and my parents grew up in the projects there. We moved to MD when I was 2, but I have so many memories of our childhood trips visiting family. My Grandma lived in Williamsburg. I hear gentrification is in full swing there these days. I married a Catholic who's family lives in Brooklyn. I was surprised...I thought only Jews lived there! My favorite thing to do was drive around and observe the Chasidic community. Your descriptive words were perfect.

Danny - I don't know whether the Chasidim in Williamsburg are anything like the ultra ultra orthodox in Israel but just in case they are you might want to check out the 1999 Israeli film "Kadosh". It is a beautifully poetic but devastating account of how women are viewed by fundamentalist Jews.

Okay, so why are you ALWAYS in New York when I'm somewhere else? (Love your first line!)

WNYC’s Passover Matzo Ball Recipe Swap

First, there was the Thanksgiving Recipe Swap, and then there was the Holiday Recipe Swap. Now, The Leonard Lopate Show (WNYC, New York Public Radio) is back with its third installment – the Matzo Ball Recipe Swap.

Head to: to submit your favorite recipes, tips, stories, and matzo ball mishaps. On April 2, just before Passover begins, Jewish food expert Joan Nathan will be on air to share some of our favorite submissions.

The Leonard Lopate Show airs at 12PM on 93.9FM, AM820, and

Oh Danny, Leah looks SO grown up. Off to Paris, indeed. Wow.

What a great trip! I've never been to Brooklyn either, even though as an Irish Catholic girl I've always thought of it as the home of Francie Nolan in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."

And I remember Kendall's Uncle Thomas very well from her wonderful book. So sad to hear he's not well. Sending good thoughts his/her way...

no question, you're right. THE hardest thing for some of us about being orthobloggers is not blogging on Shabbes. And what's worse, say you blog in your head, only to write it as soon as the sun is officially down, you're STILL in trouble because that, apparently, is work.

but maybe not having any advertisements on a blog might make everything okay.

for what google pays, honestly, it's worth thinking about

Well, fun to read. My ultra orthodox cousin (ma of 13) came to mind immediately as I recalled her turning down my invite to a family tour I hosted of Tel Aviv because "people there are immodest." I gagged my reply, that in the holy city of Jerusalem, her home, her tribe and others of all three monotheistic faiths stone, threaten, stalk, even stab LGBT folks and their allies. The beauty we see in isolation is not always supported in context. Ah, as you dream of Act 1, I, too, often long for innocence of ignorance. Yet I am always grateful to be awakened to the joy of being in this multicolored world where each of us is responsible for repairing the broken parts. Thanks for your outstanding blog of essays! And happy Pesach!

"...Whenever I’m around such groups, I always have the wistful feeling that their lives have so much more order and meaning than mine does, but I guess it’s that familiar dichotomy I’m always struggling with: I desperately want to belong to a group but the minute I feel part of one I want to rebel and break away."

Danny, how very honest -- and you're not alone in your thinking!

Oh ya, I could picture you in a shtreimel, but I'm not too sure about the payes (sidelocks)... :)

I live in Montreal, smack in the middle of where pretty much the whole Chasidic community lives. I find their lifestyle fascinating, though I wouldn't want to share it.

Have you ever seen the Australian documentary film called "Welcome to the Wax family?" - chasidic family with 17 children.
Made in about 2003 - see it if you haven't, you will love it.

Danny, I like to think we're in Act II of a three-act play. This is the meaty part of life!

As a woman, I've never been attracted to insulated, orthdox sects of any variety. It is so charming to visit Amish country in Pennsylvania, but if you were Amish, Leah's formal education would be completed next year and then it's just life in the kitchen, sewing room, and on the farm.

Sorry Danny, film title I wrote about earlier should be "Welcome to the WAKS family", not Wax!

The comments to this entry are closed.