The best memes of the Chabad New York tunnel incident

The JC rounded up some of the internet’s finest comedic reactions to the story of the illegal excavation at Chabad HQ in NYC


A still from the footage captured at Chabad Lubavitch HQ in New York City on 9 January 2023 shows a Hasidic man being apprehended by NYPD. The story has inspired both prejudicial and playful memes online. (Photo: screen capture via X/FrumTikTok)

Yesterday’s news of an illegal tunnel dug by young Hasidic men under the global headquarters of Chabad Lubavitch seems like the kind of hare-brained fantasy you’d find on a conspiracy theorist’s 2024 bingo card.

The developing story, featuring the tunnelling endeavours of yeshivah students at the synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn and the shul being “shut down” by archetypal American-Italian policemen, has become the latest subject of online memeification.

Despite the foreseeable onslaught of antisemitic speculation about the tunnels’ nefarious purposes and desperate allusions to tunnels in Gaza, several witty commentators on X have light-heartedly “meme-ified” the incident over its sheer New York-esque absurdity. 

We decided to round up some of our favourite jokes to come out of 2024’s oddest story yet.

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