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Video: A Tour of Crown Heights with Mendy Pellin

In the pilot episode of “Crusing and Schmoozing,” Chasidic comedian Mendy Pellin takes Allison Josephs of Jew in the City fame to the hippest, hottest restaurants in Crown Heights.

37 Comments

  • 1. Identity Theft wrote:

    “Chasidic” comedian – not sure this is the right descriptor. How about “formerly Chasidic” or “of Chabad heritage”.

    He is of course free to do what he pleases, but would he write about his ride around town in a car in very close proximity with a woman not his wife in a Pan to the Rebbe? Hardly “Chasidic.”

    Again, my problem here is not with what he did (that’s cool, very Jerry Seinfeld); rather, it’s the co-option of the words “Chasidic” and “Chabad”. That is an appropriation of my identity (like a white actor dressing up in blackface). Not okay.

    • 2. ahavas yisroel wrote:

      if ‘chasidic’ means the way New Square treated Lipa, then I guess you are very chasidic :/

    • 3. Yehuda wrote:

      The Rebbe was also considered hardly chassidic by most chassidim….no rebbe would have women come to talk to them gave to face

  • 4. Sadly true. wrote:

    Echoing the comment above.. indeed a sad state of affairs, when identifying as a Lubavitcher or chassid.

    I’m also wondering why the site feels fit to feature this — are they “endorsing” such behavior (laughing etc in close proximity), or are they bringing it to the fore to downplay it (-and if so, should clearly imply as such for the comments to discuss it. As i hope it’s not just another “low” way to get “ratings” and click-bait..).

    In general, the field of comedy is a very tricky one for a frum person. Aside from clean language, there’s a lot of things or behaviors that one has to walk on eggshells for (as evidenced by this video and those like it). Look at Lipa and other such entertainers (who are not JUST singers per se), where they ended up..

    Wishing Mendy all the hatzlocha — but maybe there’s other ways how to utilize your G-d-given talents of humor etc (for example – the run-of-the-mill badchanim in BP don’t have this issue.., and YES, the “Pester Rebbe” is also not doing these things, even though he’s more “out of the box” than his contemporaries in BP etc).
    Go to mashpiim to figure out what, but this isn’t it (it can only be a slippery slope from here).

    We as chassidim – even those not in the official role as shluchim, rabbis etc – will always be identified as such, both as a zechus as well as an achrayus. “Crown Heights” as identification too (at least these years..) is so tightly synonymous with Lubavitchers, so branding “CH” and not “chassidic” — is an issue too..

    We really need to take stock of ourselves and our actions (social media and otherwise). It may be a dark and confusing time, but like the Rebbe said, it’s the darkest just before the end of the tunnel. Let’s hold tight.

  • 5. not tznius wrote:

    This is inappropriate. More suited to the modern orthodox where it is common place and totally ok for men and women to fraternize and flirt together.

  • 6. Love it Mendy wrote:

    Dont listen to the haters!

    Just enjoy life and smile!:)))

  • 7. take this video off the website wrote:

    It;s content like this that are destroying our very fabric of yiddishkeit. All our standards going out the window for our children to see.

  • 8. Dignity wrote:

    My restricted mode filter doesn’t allow me to play the video.

  • 9. So sad wrote:

    What’s going on in this video is just so sad. No words necessary.

  • 10. sad wrote:

    Without judging anyone, this is absolute pritzus. No two ways to slice. Sad how people are not aware or don’t care about basic standards as a frum Jew. For those out there who think chabad is less charedi than anyone else. Think again. Just because one is chabad is a free ticket to feel that you can do anything that frum yidden wouldn’t do?

  • 11. Am I the only one uncomfortable by this wrote:

    I by all means am super laid back but the fact he is sitting in the front seat alone in with her makes me super uncomfortable. I would not want my spouse doing this. I was always taught that this was not allowed?

    Even Mike Pence won’t eat a meal with someone that is not his wife….I just don’t get what this is promoting?

    BTW I’m a BT who still has ties to my old life so not much shocks me, but just watching this seems wrong and makes me sad to see the way of life I was so attracted to falling apart. Not just falling apart but publicly promoted. From untznius tznius clothing ads, to not jewish music in kosher restaurants to chabad house inappropriate gimmicks to get people to the door. I’m honestly starting to feel more and more uncomfortable in the Chabad world due to lack of standards. I became frum before all the gimmicks, before Rabbis started wearing jeans and when shuchas were knowledgable and tznius before people inherited their career as shluchim.

    I don’t even get the humor? I never found this guy funny.

  • 13. Thank you, #2 wrote:

    Thank you to the poster of comment #2 for conveying my sentiments so politely and respectfully. Exactly my sentiments.

  • 16. ahavas yisroel wrote:

    They aren’t chabad, don’t dress like chabad (Alison is clearly MO) so why hold them to chabad standards? it is up to you to show them the right way, not slam them anonymously on a website that they won’t even read.
    Perhaps a review of Monday’s hayom Yom is in order

  • 17. WHAT wrote:

    Putting all yiddishkeit aside, this is inappropriate.
    Why would anyone want their spouseto hang out with someone else??!
    and to call this the chassidic life?!
    Do this somewhere else. Not in crown heights.

  • 18. Wow wrote:

    and to call this the chassidic life?!
    Do this somewhere else. Not in crown heights.

    Are you insane?????? You my dear, do not own crown heights

  • 19. ahavas yisroel wrote:

    when pictures of a wedding in a public area with posters showing actual erva were posted on the internet, modern orthodox jews said that was an inappropriate place for a wedding.
    but that was all ok here because it was a chabad wedding

    • 20. Citizen Berel wrote:

      Didn’t watch this video, just peeked into thread when I saw the comment count get high, so no comment and I’ll take your word for it, nothing surprises anymore, but to the wedding..that one, yeah the ‘historic’ wedding, most historic one ever, the one in Times Square, don’t worry we hate on that too.

      It didn’t appear on this site only on that other one, that other one that shall go nameless, which very carefully limits the gamut of positions one may take in the comment threads, and when they call the wedding ‘historic’ right there in the post title, you know the way the wind blows and the indeed the thread was all about OMG, love ya uncle Shimmy.

      And it works! Evidenced by your comment.

      If something outrageous hits the website, someone’s got to say it how it is.

      For the children.

  • 21. cm3g wrote:

    good point about VP Pence.
    we do need more defined boundaries.
    He means well, but there are ways to do this message without doing it how he did.

  • 22. Picaboo Shimon wrote:

    I cant believe all the hateful comments. They did nothing wrong.

  • 23. Dissapointed wrote:

    Very sad. This eating and flirting business is way out there. Please do the right thing, remove.

  • 24. to # 19 wrote:

    There is no hate in these comments, just hurt.

    Hurting about the apologetic tone

    Hurting that we need validation from outsiders eating at our establishment

    Hurting that our fellow Lubavitchers are being effected by the local Yuppies, instead of vice versa

    Hurting that Lubavitchers only feel comfortable to grow beards because the Yuppies agree that its “cool”

    Hurting that Crown Heights “finally” made it on the map due to its new eateries

    As an educated professional and artist, who was born FAR from a Chabad way of life, but was attracted to the Shleimus the Rebbe represents, I AM ASHAMED!

  • 25. Identity Theft wrote:

    #1 here.

    My friends, this is not about “hate” and “wrong.” This is about CULTURAL APPROPRIATION, which even the more … laid back … readers of the this website should be able to appreciate.

    Here is the thesis:

    1) Mendy Pellin advertises himself as a “Hassidic comedian”. If you need proof, check out his website, youtube channel, or curated Wikipedia page.

    2) He is clearly not Hassidic – Exhibit A – this video. This is not the way a Chassidishe yunger man would conduct himself.

    3) Therefore, he is no different than a secular Jew dressing up as a Hasid for laughs, or a white actor putting on blackface, or an Asian kid wearing a Native American costume for Halloween.

    True Chassidim have every right to be outraged and offended by this theft and mockery of our culture and way of life.

  • 26. Chabad wrote:

    There is a term used today callad “Chabad Light” , but really what happens is when one becomes light, instead of illuminating the world, he darkens the world, as we see in the above video.

  • 28. what's next? wrote:

    So if this is considered appropriate now I am scared to see what’s coming next. We are truly in trouble.

  • 30. Embarrassing.... wrote:

    This is so inappropriate by any standard…Mendy, plz a little more sensitivity to ur spouse and to who you are representing…

  • 32. Grateful we left wrote:

    Just completely stupid. I guess poetic license. I was considered hippy in the 60’s. Now just a cool Chabad Bubbe. People don’t fit into molds. CH seems to need to judge people and fit them into boxes .
    The Brooklyn bakery is amazing though.

  • 33. 32y wrote:

    I feel concerned for the kids who are our future, to be allowed to look at this website because its Lubavitch, and they will see that men relate to other people’s wives like this. I don’t even think that “eidele goyim” think that this is appropriate, and if this is truly considered Lubavitch website, then it represents the Lubavitcher Rebbe(s). If one is Chabad Lite, then ok, but it is simple healthy and appropriate behavior to follow halacha. There are so many points in here which are just over the boundaries.
    He could have filmed this with a male, there would be many choices of interesting men who could have done this. But there are more implications, many of which are already mentioned. This is just not fit for anything Lubavitch, and I do hope that kids and teenagers don’t see this, it could leave a very unbalanced hashgafa in their minds.

  • 34. kshr wrote:

    we have hashgacha on food,
    we should have hashgacha on videos and such.
    this is WAY past the style of the Rebbe, and its not a useful influence on our kids, especially our teenagers, and pre-teens are even worse I think

    • 36. Mendel Kohen wrote:

      I am sure that is your opinion on the entire Code of Jewish Law.

  • 37. Anonymous wrote:

    how much can a person eat its just fuel and why make a big deal about it.

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