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Hasidic high-five goes viral

Video of Crown Hights man slapping hands of random strangers proves strangely popular

Gavriel Fiske is a reporter at The Times of Israel

A video created by a Brooklyn Hasidic man showing him giving jumping “high-fives” to strangers while they have their hands raised in an attempt to hail a taxi in New York City has gone viral over the last week.

The brains behind the 1:24 clip, Meir Kalmanson, 24, of Crown Heights, is shown wearing regular street clothes and a baseball hat as he runs and prances past bemused commuters while slapping their hands. Most react with smiles or laughter, but a few seemed shocked or hostile following the sudden hand-swipe.

In one instance a scowling businessman is hip to the scheme and moves his hand in time to avoid the slap, while a smiling Kalmanson flies by him, locks flowing. The businessman later turns and gives a grudging smirk to the camera.

The clip, entitled appropriately enough “High-Five New York” and uploaded to YouTube on September 14, has reached nearly 900,000 views. The video was featured on several high-profile websites and Kalmanson said he has “honored and amazed” by the feedback he has gotten.

“I wanted to make people smile, give off good energy and good vibes. Everyone is always hustling and bustling, trying to grab a taxi. Just the simple act of a high-five can do wonders at a moment when someone is stressed out,” Kalmanson told Vos Iz Neias news, an Orthodox Jewish news site operating out of NYC.

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