CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Holy Mannequin Challenge! Rabbis get in on viral craze

Thousands of Orthodox rabbis make an unorthodox move -- posing together for the Mannequin Challenge sweeping social media.

Thousands of Orthodox rabbis spent last week busily studying and schmoozing at a rabbinic conference in New York. They did, however, stop moving long enough to stand still for the Mannequin Challenge, that viral craze that has people everywhere posing for short freeze-frame videos.

Well, some of them stood still. As the 360-degree shot below shows, others couldn't resist talking, waving or adjusting their traditional black hats as the camera panned the sea of 2,000-plus religious leaders.

"It's hard to get thousands of rabbis to stay still, but we went for it!" Chabad, the conference organizer, says in a tweet.

The massive rabbinic Mannequin Challenge took place Sunday at the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. The gathering of Lubavitcher rabbis -- an annual event aimed at reviving Jewish awareness and practice around the world -- this year drew 4,550 rabbis from 90 countries.

Most Mannequin Challenge videos making the social media rounds have been shot in classrooms, school hallways or parks, though even US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and rocker Bon Jovi got in on the trend. The first tweet with the Mannequin Challenge hashtag posted on October 26.

Chabad, a branch of Hasidic Judaism, is known for embracing technology to bridge the ancient and the modern. In 2013, the group employed a robot for a San Francisco Hanukkah candlelighting ceremony.

Two years ago, rabbis attending the Brooklyn conference snapped a selfie using a giant selfie stick and a drone. This year, Chabad streamed some conference proceedings on Facebook Live and Periscope and posted highlights on Snapchat using Snapchat Spectacles.

Chabad is calling its Mannequin Challenge the world's largest. It has competition for that title given that band Marshemello got fans at a sold-out LA show to rock the challenge. But one thing's certain: Chabad's giant freezing-in-place scene is probably the holiest.

The rabbis tackled the Mannequin Challenge right before posing for a group photo at the annual conference in Brooklyn.

Bentzi Sasson/