Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What signs do you look for?

When you are trying to figure out if a shul is Orthodox, Conservative or Reform? What about conversion stories?

"Rabbi Sheryl will be right with you."

"Diverse community"

And why CANT an Orthodox community be diverse? After all, it never seems to be an Orthodox place when they say that.

How about a conversion story?
"she took up gardening... she converted to Judaism..."

If "BH" or "BSD" are at the top of the page.
So that's Orthodox... duh!

What about people?
If the woman is wearing a headband, black tights and a skirt below the knees...

What can you come up with?


  1. A wedding with no color is definitely Orthodox. All black...with a bit of white sprinkled in.

  2. The giveaway to me is when you see women who have one long sleeve shirt on underneath a short sleeve or no sleeve top. That and an unnatural hairline usually gives them away.

  3. What doesn't give away heimishe people? The way we walk, the way we talk, the way we interact with people, the way we dress, the way we express ourselves. It isn't something that can be quantified or qualified. Even if someone goes off the derech, you can still pick them out in a crowd.

  4. Our clothes and conduct usually give most of us away. And where we tend to shop.

    Most Orthodox women are quite easy to spot be it long skirts, opaque stockings, hair braided and/or done in a bun or even hair that is now covered with a Sheitel, Tichel or Snood.

    And how could I forget layer upon layer of clothes.

  5. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:

    Announcements in which the speaker is titled "Rebbitzen Sarah Cohen". Bearing in mind the old Yiddish adage that "It's easier to become a rebbitzen than a rabbi", non-Orthos don't advertize themselves as rebbitzens.

    If the female Ortho speaker is NOT married to someone with smicha, she will be listed as "Mrs. Sarah Cohen", even though, according to Emily Post, this is incorrect. A married woman or a widow is properly titled "Mrs. Shmuel Cohen"; only a divorcee is called "Mrs. Sarah Cohen".

    But since much of the frum world believes a woman requires a husband in order to exist, they will never drop the "Mrs." or, heaven forfend, go with the more neutral "Ms.", unless Sarah Cohen is a farbrentenah feminist, in which case, she is very likely Dr. Sarah Cohen.

    I was educated in these matters by an old-school WASP college friend, and in certain circles this is taken quite seriously. Evidently for the frum community, it is as nothing to give scandal to Mrs. Sarah Cohen by implying that she's divorced.

  6. Curmudge,
    That may be what Emily Post said (and a million years ago) but, NO ONE does that anymore. They did that in the fifties and I think it was dropped in the 70's. This is not a frum community thing. It's just changed across the board. It makes women their own person instead of solely an extension of their husbands.

  7. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret adds:

    "But NO ONE does that anymore"

    BE THAT AS IT MAY, tagging on the "Mrs." is still implying that the woman is an extension of her husband.

    I would never use "Mrs." as a title for that reason. Also, bli ayin ha-ra, we are HAPPILY married.

    I have stopped donating to institutions who, after 2 warnings, continue to refer to me as "Mrs. Shmuel Curmudgeonly". Standards, Michal, standards!

    This "Nisht ahin, nisht aher" policy with titles must be stopped. It's at least as dangerous as Crocs on Yom Kippur.