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Apr 9, 06 10:39 AM

Parade of the Mitzvah Tanks.

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Like an army of Judaic salvation.

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The Hasidim--for those in the Midwest, that bearded Jewish sect where the men are clad in all black, looking like they walked out of the 18th century, and the women all wear wigs--are out looking for converts. They've long had these "Mitzvah Tanks", which are RVs with the emblazoned slogan MOSHIACH IS COMING! Guys stand outside with fliers, asking passersby, "Excuse me sir, are you Jewish?"

(Moshiach = the Messiah. Mitzvah = blessing)

I read something on some blog somewhere about a giant convoy of Mitzvah Tanks in SoHo. Last night, I heard jaunty music blasting outside my window, on Allen Street--a big artery street onto which a great honking volume of traffic coming off the Williamsburg Bridge flows. I hear a lot of Reggaeton blasting out of cars down there, heading uptown. So this was unusual.

I looked out the window and saw a parade of Mitzvah Tanks, lined up behind each other, cruising up Allen Street, each booming the same upbeat, mildly-klezmerish tune out of a loudspeakers. It took a long time for the convoy to pass by.

Behind them there was a swarm of honking yellow cabs.

One of the Mitzvah Tanks had a bumper sticker that said TREY IS A JEDI.

Actually, no, of course it didn't. But I saw that on a Ford Focus on Allen Street this morning and thought it was funny.

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Posted by Mike at April 9, 2006 10:39 AM