I’m always telling my friends here about the odd people and sights from my days in the rural South, but there are plenty of head-scratching sights right in my own backyard here in Brooklyn. My immediate neighborhood leans heavily toward Caribbean culture, but just a quarter-mile or so past me is Midwood, an Orthodox/Hasidic Jewish neighborhood. So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see the following vehicle rumble past my door the other day:


I was too stunned at the moment to really register its meaning and just figured it was some prank or publicity stunt. But now I’ve seen it three times on my block in as many days. According to Wikipedia,

Mitzvah tanks are large vehicles, usually a big van, or travel trailer, or recreational vehicle or campervan, sometimes even a pickup truck with a Sukkah on it, that are utilized by the Orthodox Judaism practitioners of Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidism as portable “educational and outreach centers” and “mini-synagogues”, or when carrying a Sukkah as “Sukkah-mobiles”, to reach out to secular and alienated Jews in high-density population areas where the Lubavitchers seek to promote the practice of Judaism by Jews.

We didn’t have any of those in Oglethorpe County, Georgia.