Moishe Hoki and his Poki

You may not have heard of Moishe Hoki, the inventor of the Hoki Poki. While the famous dance craze that he started is well known, what’s not as well known is the story that happened at his funeral in the late 1940′s.

Moishe was very popular both in the Jewish and non-Jewish communities, so news of his funeral spread like wildfire in the Lower East Side where he was from. Thousands showed up for his funeral, all coming to bid him farewell. Moishe had Jewish and non-Jewish pallbearers and the non-Jewish pallbearers were of course not familiar with the Jewish rituals. When it came time for the pallbearers to lower the casket into the ground, a non-Jewish fellow wasn’t sure what to do so he turned to someone from the chevra kadisha for instruction. The head of the chevra kadisha instructed the pallbearers, “You put the right foot in…”

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