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August 29, 2011

Chabad Yeshiva Students Stopped By Cops For "Looking Strange," Asking For Jews

Two Chabad yeshiva students on Merkos shlichus came to an area of Florida near Tampa Bay where few Jews live. They were stopped twice by police after complaints that two "strange looking" men with false beards were acting strangely and asking for Jews.


The Chabad yeshiva students helping a Florida Jew put on tefillin

TampaBay.com reports:

…In North Pinellas, they have attracted attention. Both Tsvik and Bennish are more than 6 feet tall and wear traditional clothing, including black hats, coats and beards. People turn their heads as the men pass by. Others stop them and ask what they're doing.

"They never saw people like us," said Bennish.

They've been stopped twice by police. Someone reported that the two men entered a convenience store and a watch store asking for Jews, then got into a car and, the caller claimed, removed their "costumes" including beards.…

[Hat Tip: Burich.]

Comments

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It does bother me that some of these guys are so "in your face" about walking down a street asking random strangers if they are Jewish or not.

I must admire their bravery, however.

I'm not sure about the comment about these guys having false beards though.

Checking for wrapping tfillin and wearing phylacteries obviously. A friend in the neighbourhood also told me of one of these stories a few months ago. I told him that all they were doing was offering a form of prayer to people who were Jewish in a public place and no anti-goyim behaviour was on show. If you are approached by these young religious guys in black they should not be confused with Mormons who work in pairs. The Church of the Latter Day Saints crews also wear a name tag.

they should not be confused with Mormons who work in pairs. The Church of the Latter Day Saints crews also wear a name tag.

And are rather more tidy looking. Unlike the Chabadniks, their special religious underwear ("Temple garments") are not on display, unlike the tallis katan.

To David,

I would say every Chabadnik I have ever met has been well presented. The tallis are not a problem. The Mormons I have chatted to over the years were also invariably clean cut, fine, upstanding young men. There is a disagreement between the Lubavitch and the Mormons over the identity of Moshiach, but on the traditional points of heterosexuality, family etc. they are very close. Interestingly some Lubavitcher do believe in a second coming.

I would say every Chabadnik I have ever met has been well presented.

Adam, you have had a better experience than I have had.

I have commonly seen untidy beard (some have formed dreads), unpolished shoes, dandruff not dealt with, ill-fitting clothes, dirty suits, long fingernails and dirty hats.

They are not all like this, and a very few are impeccably presented, but the poor standard of dress is rather too common.

to ask people if they are jews is just plain rude and idiotic, theese chabadniks should learn first manners i am ashamed to be jewish seeing theese guys in manhatten i cross to the others side of ther stret if i see them asking people if they are jews what idiots they are.

Chabadnik: "Are you Jewish?"

danny: "Are you?"

Ironic that Clearwater is the mecca of scientology

An old Jewish lady sees a guy in a long black coat, big beard and black hat on a bus. She goes over to him and says 'why can't you Chassidim dress a bit more modernly, why not wear a nice suit and maybe trim your beard a bit and look a bit more respectable. It's the 21 century in NY and you look embarrasing. The guy says to the lady 'I am not Jewish I am Aimish.' The lady smiles and in all seriousness says 'Oh I didn't know. I really respect the way you have kept your customs.'

I find it funny that the reporter thought they were over 6'0 tall. I am 6'3" tall and Jewish, and believe me it is very rare to meet any Jews over 6'0" tall.
The people who saw them must have been confused about their height due to the hats they were wearing.

To Steven and Dave,

Do you like Laurel and Hardy movies ?

You are a good comedy duo.

Posted by: Steven | August 29, 2011 at 06:42 AM

the amish would never be on a bus?

The amish do not commit mass fraud and say it is ok

that is why one can respect them since they dress and act according to their old way of live

the chassedeim only dress that way but behave like modern day gangsters and think they should not be punished for their crimes and are shocekd whern one get caught and is imprisoned

SEYMOUR- THE AMISH ARE MUCH MUCH MORE DECENT IN THEIR DRESSING AND TRIMMING OF THEIR BEARD THEY ARE NOT AT ALL LIKE THE HASSIDIN UNKEPT AND DISHELVED OR SHALL I SAY TZISHOSON .

But the Amish and Chassidim have something else in common. Neither uses electricity on shabbat.

But the Amish and Chassidim have something else in common. Neither uses electricity on shabbat.

Posted by: Dr. Dave | August 29, 2011 at 07:47 AM

The Amish don't generally use electricity on the other six days either.

The Chassidim do use electricity (even on Shabbat but only on timers), but mainly because they are too lazy to do the hard physical work that the Amish do to make up for the lack of electricity.

In any case, the Chassidim have developed elaborate rituals to hint to non-Jews what to do on Shabbat. For example, I have personally seen a Chassid stand in front of a thermostat in his home and look at it to say "I'm hot, I'm hot" and he expects the non-Jewish domestic staff to pick up on this hint to adjust the temperature for him...

To David,

You are a right stand up comedian. Have you thought about appearing on "Saturday Night Live" ?

To David,

You are a right stand up comedian. Have you thought about appearing on "Saturday Night Live" ?

Posted by: Adam Neira | August 29, 2011 at 08:12 AM

No. Have you?

It's discusting. They go over to regular people, "are you jewish"?

Like "Are you a real cop or a fake cop"?

Are you, a real person or fake.

Chabadnik: "Are you Jewish?"

danny: "Are you?"

Posted by: danny | August 29, 2011 at 06:27 AM

Chabadnik: "Are you Jewish?"

shish: "Not where it counts"

When Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door with their copies of The Watchtower, I tell them I'm Jewish.

If Hasids come to my door, I'll tell them I'm Catholic. I'll also tell them to get lost, in no uncertain terms.

Every opportunity you have to knock Chabad,You make sure to do it well!
My Husband and I and our children are all spotless in every way.
I do have friends who are Chabad,Non Chabad,Not Jewish & Non religious & some are Dirty,some messy,some clean.
Because You had a bad experience with a couple Chabadniks doesn't mean u have to hate all.
I had a Spanish woman steal some valuable things from my house,& I still have many Spanish friends.

My brother is 6.3 & every single sister in law on my husbands side are over 5.8 & all brother in laws are between 6 ft-6.5.

You have friends from Spain? Cool!

I had a Spanish woman steal some valuable things from my house,& I still have many Spanish friends.

Posted by: Yocheved | August 29, 2011 at 08:51 AM
You live in Spain? Neat.

Every opportunity you have to knock Chabad,You make sure to do it well!

Posted by: Yocheved | August 29, 2011 at 08:51 AM


My dear paranoid yocheved, there is nothing even remotely critical of chabad in the posted article. Shmarya posted it because it is an interesting/amusing story, that's all. If you interpreted this article as criticizing chabad, then you are either unreasonably paranoid, or you don't know how to interpret English.

Regarding your other comment:
"My Husband and I and our children are all spotless in every way."
Really? You guys haven't ever sinned? Each one of you is "spotless"?? You are are delusional AND arrogant.

Spotless-Showered twice a day,spotless home,clothing!

I don't have a prob with Shmaryas article,I have prob with the really pathetic comments that follow.

Spotless-Showered twice a day,spotless home,clothing!

Posted by: Yocheved | August 29, 2011 at 09:38 AM

Oh, hehe, my bad. Well then, I commend you on your hygiene.

Chabad teens still have beards ?

shouldn't the SMR decision be coming down soon?

Imagine if they did this in KJ and were stopped. Boy would we be torn. Who would be in the wrong? The Lubabs like in this case? Or the KJ authorities like in the KJ video. Ahh Eff it. Theyre all identifiably orthodox. Theyre all in the wrong.

"There is a disagreement between the Lubavitch and the Mormons over the identity of Moshiach"

also about the consumption of alcohol, or so Ive heard

Doesn't everyone have the right to just tell the Lubobs "no" and move right along?

Anywhere chutz La'Aretz these people look like eskimos in Paris.

false beards?

Most of the Chabadniks I've met while on the road have treated me kindly & with respect. Derech eretz kadma l'Torah, it has always worked for me.

To Steven's 6:42 a.m. comment:

That story actually happened to Dr. Abraham Twerski, a "Hasid" and renowned mental-health professional, who was told to his face, "You disgust me!"

He told the "disgusted" women, "Oh, no, you don't understand. I'm Amish!"

The woman profusely apologized and expressed respect for Amish traditions.

Why don't people respect Hasidic traditions?

Hasidic mischief, crime, immorality, unethical behavior and vice only explain some of it.

The rest of it is simply because non-Hasidic Jews see us Hasidic Jews as their weird, annoying brothers and sisters whom they love and hate at the same time.

The Hassidic / Amish joke is very old. I first heard it many years ago by Jackie Mason. It is not new.

The rest of it is simply because non-Hasidic Jews see us Hasidic Jews as their weird, annoying brothers and sisters whom they love and hate at the same time.

Posted by: Mendy Hecht | August 29, 2011 at 08:06 PM

Fundamentalism of any stripe is dangerous and breeds bigotry and hatred,

Bravo seymour, best comment, absolutely correct. The next time one asks me if i'm jewish i'll be sure to tell them to find their own way to heaven, not on my back.


Posted by: Yocheved | August 29, 2011 at 09:38 AM

Spotless-Showered twice a day,spotless home,clothing

Do you use bidet to wash your vagina ? real clean people use it 7 times a day. What area of Spain are you in ? Are you a fun of FC Barcelona or Real Madrid ?

Do you use bidet to wash your vagina ? real clean people use it 7 times a day. What area of Spain are you in ? Are you a fun of FC Barcelona or Real Madrid ?

An old Jewish lady sees a guy in a long black coat, big beard and black hat on a bus. She goes over to him and says 'why can't you Chassidim dress a bit more modernly, why not wear a nice suit and maybe trim your beard a bit and look a bit more respectable. It's the 21 century in NY and you look embarrasing. The guy says to the lady 'I am not Jewish I am Aimish.' The lady smiles and in all seriousness says 'Oh I didn't know. I really respect the way you have kept your customs.'

There is a simple reason why this ancient joke has never really worked: the Amish do not grow mustaches, as they consider them a sign of militarism (bad experience with Prussian officers, I think). TTBOMK, the vast majority of Haredi men do not shave their lips.

Heh, even the "goyim" know lubavitchers aren't jewish.

Shmarya,

You're really amazing! Here was a nice feature, not a hard news story, about two rabbis reaching out to Jews in the Florida hinterlands, headlined "Roving Rabbis roam Pinellas to help Jewish reconnect."

It was a soft-and-fluffy community newsfeature, and even the small section you take out of context was presented in an positive fashsion to enhance the story's "gee-whiz" factor. But that apparently escaped you.

Instead, contorting the original story, you've extracted interesting background material from the item's 14th paragraph and presented it as a faux hard news item suggesting that Chabad is so sinister it gets stopped by the police.

I assure you, that had the St Pete Times intended to publish this as a hard news item, it would have been -- unlike your at-times distorted news aggregations -- fair and balanced. But, to the Times, this is clearly light, newsfeature material that presents the rabbinical students in an utterly positive light. Indeed, the mention of their ostensible oddity and the initial police interest was clearly meant by the writer to enhance the positive report of their utter benevolence, and hardly as fodder for your perpetual Hate Chabad machine.


I think Chabad is cool. Tefilin is a big mitzva! Don't you believe in Mitzvas??

It still amazes me hat after all these years there are still people in America who have never seen a picture of a religious Jew. They probably have a vision of us as people with horns and big noses.

I guess Chabad still has plenty of work cut out for themselves.

This is very typical of Shmarya. He "bends" news stories to suit his purposes.

This reminds me of something I read in Mad Magazine when I was a child. Mad was satirizing movie advertisements, and how bits and pieces from reviews are taken out of context by the studios and distributors.

For example, an actual review from the Metropolis Daily Planet:

"'Attack of the Giant Komodo Dragon-Men' is a vehicle for stars to avoid, as they'll never work in Hollywood again if they appear in this piece of dreck."

Now:

"For stars" -- Metropolis Daily Planet

No, everybody has seen pictures of religious Jews, usually with texts like "wanted", "fraud", "stole millions", "murderer", "child abuser"...

It is unbelievable the comments i read above - there is no reason to be anti - Semitic against any human being especially Jews - as soon as Jews hits the headlines suddenly a spew of hate is thrown upon us.

I am Chabad and I do the same thing they do but we are not going out of our way to do this for our own ego - we are fulfilling G-D's command that every Jew must put on Tefillin every day! There are some Jews who did not have the education and do not know about this so we go to the corners of the world to help another person out. If you are not Jewish you can make G-D happy by not hating us! At the end of the day we all go to heaven - so don't you think its wise to go to heaven with good deeds. Go out there and help someone out no matter what religion you are!

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