Holy Daze

Rebecca Segall investigates the problems of young Lubavitcher Hasidim in a world without the Rebbe

Another view of alienated youth is set forth in excerpts from the poem "Generation X, Crown Heights," written by Cheryl Fish and published in Response: A Contemporary Jewish Review:

Generation X Lubavitch boys

...staying out all night

A modern (clean-shaven) yeshiva bocher, left gazes at a towering image of the late Rebbe
Andrew Lichtenstein
A modern (clean-shaven) yeshiva bocher, left gazes at a towering image of the late Rebbe

With Rastas on Utica--six, seven, eight, ten

Children in two-family home...

No science, no math, no sex ed--you get

married

Go to bed. Everything is in the Talmud.

Lapsed Lubavitch boys in midnight discos. . . .

The Rebbe is like Elvis--has a shrine

dedicated to him, and is

Sighted on the beach....

On the fourth anniversary of the Rebbe's death, June 27, or Gimmel Tammuz (the third day of the Jewish month of Tammuz)--a term used to avoid acknowledging the Rebbe's passing--thousands of Hasidim flock to Montefiore Cemetery in Queens to pay their respects. Schneerson's soul is believed to linger around at the granite mausoleum where he was laid to rest.

A staggering-drunk young Lubavitcher with a closely trimmed beard (which would have been heresy when Schneerson was alive) comments on the scene, his speech slurred: "About a year before his stroke, the Rebbe said he'd done everything he could to bring Moshiach--he's still not here. You see the majority of these bochers [guys] crying in their vodka, trying to understand why . . . I'm just here to party. Well, it's a combination. . . ." he mumbles before collapsing on a chair.

Lubavitchers believe that with every one of their countless L'chaims, the Rebbe's soul is elevated. Homnick explains that alcohol "aids in deep spiritual work. As it releases inhibitions, it helps you get closer to your spiritual reality."

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