It was a cold January night in Brooklyn. I was helping
that they are just regular people who instead of going to
church go to temple. However there are many different types
night were called Hasidic Jews. Every winter my father
would have several bookings of equipment rentals for their
friends in school, but one night, something weird happened.
I was sitting on a box back stage doing my homework. Pops
a small Hasidic toddler standing across the way just
starring at me. At first, I thought it was just a common
behavior of a small person, so not worried in the least bit,
I simply stared back at the tiny dude. Surprisingly, our
staring contest lasted for a long two minutes. It finally
ended when my father walked in and scared the poor kid away.
him what had happened and his explanation for it was kind of
strange. He said the boy probably had never been that close
think that was possible; knowing how many black people
complexities of their culture.
Dad had been working with the hasidic community for
over twenty years. He said they would usually rent studio
time from him in Manhattan. Then eventually, they would ask
him to do on location work in other boroughs. After years
of talking to different people, he realized that a majority
of them originated from Eastern Europe. He was also told
that the main objective of their culture was to maintain the
?proper Jewish life? as dictated from biblical times. It is
rest of modern society. The men are required to wear black
suits and black wide brim hats. In addition they are not
allowed to shave their facial hair. The same hair that was
arms or legs and when they are married, their natural hair
cannot be seen. Wigs or babushkas are required. In terms
Yiddish, a cross between German and Hebrew. It was also
discouraged. The only exception of this was for business.
That is probably why the boy was starring for as long as he
Even though the Hasidic culture is very strict and
orthodox, there are other cultures in our world with similar
ideas on separation. Some believe that separation is
beneficial to the maintenance of their ways of life.
However, I believe that there should be some level of
integration of peoples in life so that we all can benefit
from the contributions that can be made by all and more
importantly live together in peace.