Saturday, November 27, 2004

I Won't Dance, Don't Ask Me !

Naomi Klein, who wrote a series of excellent articles on the Coalition Provisional Authourity and other subjects related to the invasion, had somthing sort of wierd in an article in the Guardian today. Maybe some among the fanatic hordes comprising the denizens of Moosehall could clear this up for me?
The subject of her article is the photo, rapidly gaining iconic status, (or as you might say, quickly acquiring the status of an icon. Or, conversely, you might not.)of a US soldier having an after-battle smoke. The photo could be an attempt to portray US soldiers as blood-stained, dirty, cigarette fiends. As part, don't you know, of a liberal plot to make war seem icky and thus uncool, if indeed things icky and uncool (implied italics here) are considered icky and uncool by those in the recruiter's demographics. I wouldn't know.
Be that as is may be, and for all I know it may indeed be, maybe, as it were, that is not what compelled my post. No indeed. Indeed, no. Instead what, or what instead caused the ineffable frisson (if indeed a frisson may be with any degree of accuracy or honesty called ineffable)which drives otherwise complacent men (or in this case, me)to the extremity of a new blog post is her use of an old anecdote which I have heard many times before:

"It reminds me of the joke about the Hassidic rabbi who says all sexual positions are acceptable except for one: standing up "because that could lead to dancing".

A joke "about the Hasidic rabbi"? I've only heard this as an anecdote (she calls it a "joke", but that particular obfuscation will remain undeconstructed, more out of a desire to avoid inflaming the sensitivities of the sensitive, than anything else) about a "Baptist minister". Never have I heard this, or any other bon mot or mot juste refering to a prohibition on dancing in reference to the Hasidim.

And so I appeal to you, dear reader, even unto the Antipodean auscultators of this eponymous epistle: What kind of shit is this; Hasidim don't dance? I thought Hasids (I prefer the spelling Chasid) were regular Dreidals. I thought Chasidim danced like crazy!

Can anyone shed some light on this?


Blogger jazzman said...

i can tell you, because my late grandfather, alav hashalom, was born a belzer hasid. that and, i sometimes hang out with lubavitchers at my school.

hasidism is all about dancing. that, and drinking scotch, singing boistrously off-key, sleeping in, and eating lots of food. essentially, hasidism is about hedonism, and the different hasidic sectlets would likely gain more of a following if they named themselves using triplets of greek letters instead of names of little towns in eastern europe, and participated in rush weeks at colleges.

the main differences between hasidim and regular old fraternities is that hasidim are really into mystic texts, follow charismatic leaders, and don't allow much interaction between the sexes. so really they're like gay hippie fraternities.

December 5, 2004 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for commenting, Jazzman. That's what I thought, Chasidim like to dance, and have no religious objection to it, except, of course, to the cheek-to-cheek kind.
It's the implied train of thought behind her statement I find interesting. It seems to be:
1. Baptists, very devout and straitlaced Christians, object to dancing, and
2. Chassidim are very devout Jews, so
3. Chassidim must be straitlaced and object to dancing also.
Is she really that unfimiliar with Chassidim, that she thinks of them as Jewish Baptists?
I have read everything by Ms. Klein I could find concerning the Iraq war, and I think her reporting has been excellent. The articles in Harpers about the CPA were great.

December 5, 2004 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Mooser said...

Feh, Blogger. That was me, Mooser. Who pushed the Publish button before I said that Jazzman's Blog, Anti-Zionist Notes, is really getting off to an auspicious start. A blog from someone who has seen what he blogs about from every side. And experienced it, too.

December 5, 2004 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger paperwight said...

Maybe Hasidim don't dance with the opposite sex?

January 4, 2005 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Mooser said...

Well, not in the Astaire-and-Rogers, cheek-to-cheek fashion.

January 5, 2005 at 10:29 AM  
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