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Citizen complaint of the day: What's a Brahmin have to do to enjoy a quiet holiday in this town?

Thursday was Shaloh House's annual Chanukhah Hummer Parade, in which the Brighton Chabad center throws a party that includes a ride for kids around Boston in Hummer limos with large menorahs mounted on the roofs.

This year, one particularly put out citizen on Beacon Hill filed a 311 report about what he or she found to be a simply ghastly display:

There were extremely loud police sirens And flashing lights around Back Bay and Beacon Hill around 6 this evening. It appeared to be some sort of bizarre Hanukkah celebration. Was this an approved event? If so it was frightening to residents, disturbed the annual Christmas stroll on Beacon Hill and showed terrible judgement.

Shaloh House has been doing this for years. The party is always fun enough to make even Marty Walsh break out in a grin.

This year, new Mayor Wu came for the party, but left before the parade (she had to get downtown for the Nova Scotia tree lighting). Couple her presence with the police escort and us landsmen here at the Universal Hub holiday center will go out on a limb and say, yeah, it was an "approved event."

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Comments

Heaven forbid a Chanukah celebration held during the holiday briefly disturb a Christmas celebration held 3 weeks before that holiday. How dare anyone think their holiday is as important as Christmas.

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That's nice and quiet.

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By Purim, Tom Lehrer will be back from Santa Monica. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh8Ku8eE3S0

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The complainer is 138 years old at a minimum.

I had a friend who lived in that building in her 30's. She was the only one not social security eligible.

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Hmmmm.

As Waquiot noted, an event of this sort has been happening for a long time. I remember encountering a couple of vehicles with bullhorns and a menorah in a pickup truck bed when lived in that area in the 1980s. Sounds like Shaloh House has formalized it in recent years.

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I’ve seen these in Paris with the much less disturbing French pam-pon sirens. So hokey! But the first time I thought the Hanukkah van was being rushed out of the neighborhood because of some terrorist attack.
This weird sect reminds me of the Hari Krishnas that used to be seen on the Common.

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What, um, sect do you think it was?

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They are the ones who do it in the Marais in Paris. Proselytizers. They drive my poor ethnic Jewish friend nuts as neighbors. Wouldn’t accept that he is an atheist and tried to drag him to temple every time he went to the local laundromat.
And yes, they are a sect.

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They politely ask, "Excuse me, are you Jewish?" and if you even hesitate for a second before saying 'no', they'll grab you and insist that you say a couple of prayers with them, all the time being super upbeat and complementary: "Wow, your Hebrew is awesome, you sound just like the rabbi," etc... I don't know what direction the interaction takes after that, but there's something vaguely comical and creepy at the same time about it.

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At least that’s how they do it in the Marais. They didn’t like my looks at all so ignored my presence. But my atheist friend has classic light skinned Middle Eastern looks. If he said,”No, I’m not Jewish”, they accused him of lying. If he said he was Jewish, because he was raised by first generation atheists born into Orthodox families so grew up with the traditions, they were relentless. The same ones harassed him regularly every time he went to the laundromat. One time he got so annoyed he began calling them names in Yiddish which they didn’t understand because they were Sephardic. He thought that was hilarious and started laughing and after that had to go to a different laundromat because one of the proselytizers then followed him home and tried to get in the front door to his building. He moved shortly after.
The guy who every morning lured tourists into saying prayers below my friend’s windows charged a fee. Extra to wear the tefillin.
Then there was the weekly 2am dancing and singing outside the bedroom but no charge for that, at least. That’s why they remind me of the Hari Krishnas.

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Brahmin-approved, Adam! C'mon, try to keep up with what's important.

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Was the police escort there for the mayor or the parade?

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It was for the parade, because as I noted, the mayor wasn't in the parade.

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IMAGE(https://rochellemoulton.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Troll-Spray-10-25-2010.jpg)

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Glorifying gas guzzling Hummers is something nobody should be doing. You can rent Teslas in Boston, cooler than a Hummer limo imo.

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During this event, the hummers get 8x the fuel economy they typically do.

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The poster called a Hanukkah event "frightening"? Yikes

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The poster called a Hanukkah event "frightening"? Yikes

Actually, the poster called the arrival of military vehicles with flashing lights and sirens "frightening." Which is not on the face a crazy point of view, nor is it on the face evidence of bigotry, or hostility toward Hanukah celebrations in general.

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They're stretch GM Hummers, which look like, well, stretch limos, which is what they are. They look absolutely nothing like the camo-painted military vehicles that you used to see on parades, or in footage from the first Gulf War.

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How did they get them up Phillips St?
If that’s where they had been?

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I can't think of a good reason for a Lubavitcher Hasidic parade to drive by the (definitely non-Orthodox) Vilna Shul.

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… congregation and as converting wayward Jews, etc is part of what they do, it seems plausible. Can you think of any other reason they’d come down Pinckney?

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I'm out of date as my friend has retired from their board, but my understanding is that the Vilna Shul doesn't have a minyan, doesn't formally have a congregation, and doesn't conduct regular services, although on special occasions they conduct services in the building.

With that said, it's an interesting visit. It's the building that a committed, not particularly rich, congregation built for themselves as they became established here in the new world. There were others like it in the west end, but they're all gone now, with the congregants' great grandchildren mostly belonging to suburban congregations with much fancier digs. Inside it's plain but comfortable, it looks to be frozen in time in about 1920. If you have any West End Jewish ancestry, on a quiet day you can visit and imagine your great-grandparents sitting beside you. And even if you have no personal connection, it's still an interesting window into a world that just doesn't exist any more.

https://vilnashul.org/

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The part at the end about it clashing with a Christmas Stroll shows bias.
Makes me wonder if the disturbance caused would have been reported at all, if it wasn’t a religious event.

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… and reading more about this Christmas Stroll I see another objection the complainant may have been trying to express.
The Stroll means a closing of Charles Street to all motor traffic so that pedestrians can walk in the street. My guess is that the Hummer parade headed up or tried to head up Phillips to pass by the historic schul built by an Orthodox congregation from the same city that the founder of the Lubavitchers came from. But the streets of the North Slope being what they are, the parade may have been forced to take Pinckney down to cross at the intersection of Charles this disrupting the pedestrian stroll. There may even have been no prior knowledge of either group that the other was having an event. One would have hoped that City Hall would have seen that a motorized event on a street with a permit for street closure would be a problem. Or it could just have been poor foresight or skills on the part of the Hummer drivers. Or possibly just a scofflaw driver blocking access to the originally planned route.
311 would be the appropriate place to make that kind of complaint.
They ought to have left out the religious references, if that was the case, because this was not a case of what religion owns Beacon Hill and should not have been made into such.

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Guarantee Mayor Green New Deal will find a way to miss this every year.

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I remember seeing this parade back in the 1980s. This is hardly a new thing. Yes, for us goyim it is a surprise, but once light dawns on Marblehead, it’s pretty awesome.

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How dare they make noise at 6pm on a Saturday!

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...this time of year, it IS well after sunset.

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Excellent example of the difference in 911 priorities in Beacon Hill Back Bay vs. Dorchester Roxbury. Clueless as to the realities of real life gun, knife, drug and other poverty fueled and addiction fueled facts of my Boston.

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Yes, there are differences between Beacon Hill and Roxbury. But this was submitted to 311, which was set up specifically to deal with non-emergency issues. I'd hate to think somebody called 911 about this, although you never know.

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That's not exactly a quiet part of town. How do they like their Fourth (and Third) of July?

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One would think that the police would be participating only if it were an "approved event".

The person who filed this report should be fast tracked into the Olympic Bigoted Knicker Twisting event.

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