Religion: Mystics in the Suburbs

Along Route 45 near rural Ramapo, N.Y., bounces a big green soda truck with a driver to make heads turn—big, bespectacled and full-bearded, beneath a round, wide-brimmed black hat. When he turns off the highway into a community of modern Cape Cod cottages, the friend who greets him on the roadside or waves from a window might be his double—big beard, black hat, black coat and all. This is how men look in New Square.

Miraculous Rabbis. The people of New Square are Hasidim, adherents of a Jewish mystical movement that sprang from the ghettos...

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