Twice a year the chassidish community takes the entertainment world by storm. Roller coasters dip hundreds of feet with payos flapping in the air and sheitlech threatening to tear free and expose the secret of synthetic veibelech. Daunting spooky houses are fed whole schools by the classroomfulls, and mish-mashes get attacked by dizzy, blinking, boys that brave the ride over and over again. The train stations seethe with baby carriages. Museum lines consisting of shtreimlech, tichlech and restless children extend all through NYC or Washington DC. The wax forms of forbidden people are suddenly greatly admired, touched, and wowed, almost as if there’s a clue as to who they represent. Whole neighborhoods huddle around a borrowed computer to watch the riveting Al Naharos Bovel, yet again. Young families sit around in parks systematically goint through their plastic baggies of matzah. Even the shy Williamsburg streets get blocked off to host a mini carnival of its own. Women of all generations attend slide presentations; hollering loudly at the emotional balei teshuvah returning to her biological father, who, incidentally, is wearing the most hideous stick-on beard and baggy knickers.
So. Obviously. Chol Hamoed’s around again. God bless.
Throughout the year entertainment isn't very popular in the Chassidic society. You'd see a group of Yeshiva escapees take a park here, or a couple sans their children (or formal headgear) take a park there. I wasn't brought up really knowing date nights, movies, music, books, sports, eat-outs, great vacations or other healthy activities that typically need to take an important position in life.
I feel that entertainment is underrated. Without it, people never learn what they love, what they're good at, or what the hell they are rooting for (Vats deh score? Nee, Vats deh score hu?!). People don't get to bond together over therapeutic activities. We don't learn to refine our own taste, share hobbies, and air out after a tired day, week or year. Instead, growing up I got to enjoy a shpatzir to the bubby, building blocks, leminashin-puncher and Dertzeilung Fin Tsadikim stories. Later they were replaced by backing the ninth grade class in camp with heart and soul, 'groups' and for the particularly nasty stage, talking in hushed tones about, wink, the Korben Mincha siddur. Eventually it got even more exciting with shopping, countree, shopping, bikur cholim parties, EPTs, shopping and shopping.
It is so bothersome to me, that when Chol Hamoed does come around I celebrate it with exceptional flair. Just to show the world. Plan away, even if nothing comes of it.Entertainment is good for you.
Get crazy! Be spontaneous! Say 'gantz' Hallel on Chol Hamoed - the day is worth it...