Thursday, February 06, 2014

Hasidic Dancing in Interstate Traffic

A group of Hasidic students (bachurim) from Michigan were caught simcha dancing on Interstate I-80 during a four-hour traffic standstill over three years ago. However, the news report with a short video clip is once again making the rounds on the Web.

Most likely this fun video has found new life following the many snow-related traffic issues around the country, most notably the traffic standstill in Atlanta which Jon Stewart dubbed "South Parked" on The Daily Show.

Hasidic Jewish dancing during traffic jam on interstate I-80

Watching this video reminded me of R.E.M.'s great video for "Everybody Hurts," in which the band is stuck in a traffic jam along the double deck portions of I-10 near the I-35 Interchange in Downtown San Antonio, Texas. The music video shows the people in other cars while subtitles of their thoughts appear on screen. At the end of the video directed by Jake Scott, all the people leave their cars and walk instead; then they vanish. The video was heavily inspired by the traffic jam in the opening dream sequence of Fellini's 8½. Instead of getting out and just walking around, these five young guys turned up the music and started dancing like they were at a freilich (fun) wedding.

I was also reminded of the time as a pre-teen when my family was driving back from Toronto and a two-hour standstill ensued on the highway. My brother and I took our baseball mitts and a baseball out of the car and started playing catch on the side of the highway. The moral of the story is that highway standstills are horrible, but you have to make the best out of the situation.

Here's the video of the I-80 dancing.

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