Emily Bobrow

Give the Mitzvah Tank a Makeover

The sound of Hasidic music blasting from tinny speakers can inspire dread in the hearts of some Jews. The tune portends contact with men straight out of Shalom Aleichem’s shtetl. With their beards and peyes, their black suits and beseeching eyes, these merry soldiers in the Rebbe’s religious army will inevitably approach and deliver a challenge disguised as a question: Are you Jewish?