This was originally posted in December and created a stir in the blogging community when it was picked up by krum as a bagel. I am reposting since it has been nominated by one of you for best humor post in the JIB Awards. in group A.
So these days there has been lots of talk about labels within Judaism, just last night I was talking to my aunt who was saying that I should go out with girls from this and that kind of schools because you cant get a yeshivish but you also don’t want too modern. So with that continues the saga of the labeling. How far can we go with the labels? I know many people hate them, but with more and more people intermarrying and such I guess it may be necessary, also the frummer people get or think they are getting, the more people need to classify everyone who is less frum than they are. I have decided to compile a list of the general and not so general ways to put people into boxes. If you have any others please feel free to send em over and I will add them to the list. I will start with the general terms.
Charedi– You are clutching a stone in your hand while screaming shabbos at the top of your lungs on shimon hatzadik street at kikar shabbos. The first movie you saw was ushpizim, your bakery has separate lines for men and women. The women in Saudi Arabia are treated better then in your neighborhood. You cross the street and avoiud eye contact with any women. You have friends that are part of the Niturei Carta. You think all gays should be burned at the stake. Boro Park and Lakewood is for the modern orthodox.
Chasidish– Tucked neatly under your fury Shtreimel is one of those yarmulkes that is of the bright black velvet genre. Your peyos are a source of amusement as you twiril them behind the counter at B&H. You like driving Acura MDX and Suburbans or 15 seater vans. 21 children does not make you cringe, it brings fond memories of going with your folks to get brachos from the Skverer Rebbe. Goyishe anything is shtus. And you wouldn’t go to a hotel unless they had Chasidishe Shchita. The girls tend to wear black and grey suits while the boys in the traditional garb. You never talk to women or look them in the eye. And your kids stare at non- Jews or non-chasidim when they get closer then 50 feet. Your wife wears a shietle and a hat or one of those stinking turbans. The hamodia is your only source of news besides occasionally listening to Rush Limbaugh.
Modern Chasidish– You have a blog and a frumster account and regularly check up on your yeshivish friends on only simchas who are getting married. You secretly have the internet and let your children see Lipa Shmeltzer movies once in a while. TV is still assur even though you have one behind the mirror in your bedroom that you smuggled into your house in an air conditioner box. You don’t cross the street when you see women and sometimes may look them in the eye if it’s for business. You drive the same cars as other Chasidim but secretly long for a sports car. Your wife may own a real sheitle and not always wear those stupid looking hats, she might even let her hair grow in a little bit.
Flexidish– You post ads on craigslist looking for other Chasidism to partake in a gang bang or for frum married women looking for same. You have a blog devoted to bashing Chasidim but, you retain your identity through your garb as one of them. You go to strip clubs, you cheat in money matters, you know every free porn site on the net. You have the internet, you have a TV and you watch movies. You may even eat non chasidishe shechite like or gasp Lubavitch shechite. You do not keep kosher or shabbos but still consider yourself frum since you have the look!
Yeshivish Black Hat– You wear a black hat, black velvet yarmulke and love restaurants like Chop and Nosh and Dougies. You tend to go to the country in the summer other wise known as the Catskills and if you are a girl you are only attracted to guys who wear black hats and black velvet yarmulke’s. Siyum Hashas is like the super bowl for you and Pesach in Miami is for Apicorsim. You tend not to have a television and sometimes go to movies if its Ushpizim or something of the sort. You don’t let your children talk to girls and if the wear red skirts or suede yarmulkes you think they are going off the derech. You only sit in the separate section for concerts. You ask potential shidduch’s for your children if they stack or scrape and if they voted for Bush or not. Your children will go to college only if it is Touro.
Yeshivish Modern– Your children all received black hats at their bar mitzvahs but rarely wear them anymore besides when they come home from their year in Israel for the first few months. TV without cable is allowed and some movies as long as they are PG. You are most likely associated with Chofetz Chaim and your kids at one point in their lives attended Camps Sternberg or Mogane Av or Dorah Golding or maybe Romimu. Your children go to movies without your permission and all have Ipods with non-Jewish music. You probably turn on the oldies station when your kids are not in the car and know every song by heart. Your kids grow up listening to the marvelous midos machine, 613 torah avenue and uncle Moshe. You sit in the family section at concerts. Your children all had peyos when they were younger but at 13 cut them off. Your children attend a school that allows striped or even blue shirts and your husband wears a baseball cap in the summer with a polo shirt. Your kids will go to Queens or Brooklyn College maybe Touro but YU is out of the question. You may read the Jewish press but the Yated is your choice of news.
Modern Orthodox Black Hat: (yeshiva wannabes)
You may wear a black hat and send your kids to yeshiva, but you would be considered modern by any real standards. Your kids all go to college, even YU the ultimate desecration to a child according to real yeshiva’s. 3 TV’s all with cable and dvd players sit publicly in your home as well as a high speed internet connection. On shabbos you don your hat and go to one of those basement shulls- where you only see the people there on shabbos. The boys in your family tend to go to more yeshivish schools then the girls, Sharei Torah, Yisodei, Chofetz Chaim and the girls probably attend Bruriah or Shulamis. Going to movies is fine and your kids are the only ones at your shull who are allowed to talk to the opposite sex. You try and fit into the yeshivish circles by telling people about how hardcore your parents were and what yeshivas they went to as well as using words like dafka, shayich, nisrynos and nishka freilich in your daily speech so you sound frummer than you are. Usually the father of the house states that his family is yeshivish while everyone else in the family realizes they aren’t. That set of old tattered shas surrounding the big flat screen aint fooling nobody
Modern Orthodox Machmir– You came home from your year in Israel wearing a black hat and your folks were scared. You go to YU, and was an NCSY advisor growing up. The only Jewish music you listen to is Blue Fringe, Soulfarm, Hadag Nachash, and Matisyahu. You are addicted to only simchas, and have an account on frumster, future simchas, and saw you at Sinai. Visiting Shadchuns is only for frummies. You will probably marry someone from YU or Stern and move to Washington heights or Teanack. You probably went to a coed camp like moshava, or morasha or mesorah. Your parents are probably less frum then you are. You will see movies and definitely own a TV, you tend to go to bars only if it’s a Jewish event. You read the Jewish press and Blueprint, and are a huge Harry Potter fan. You saw Borat because everyone else did. You went on birthright and claim to be in a shomer negia relationship. Actually all modern ortho machmir types ever talk about is whether or not they are “shomer”. This is also the largest category on frumster so maybe you are only in it for marketing purposes. You tend to live in places like Silver Springs, the north in Toronto, Teanack, Washington heights and Cederhurst.
Modern Orthodox Liberal– You tend to wear pants, not plan on covering your hair and the mikvah sounds like a nightmare. Guys tend to wear baseball caps and no set type of yarmulke. You commonly refer to yourself as open minded. Kosher in the house, but in Cancun you may be hungry and eat a tuna sandwich or salad out. Tznius is un-womanly, and prohibitive in your mind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with all sorts of entertainment live and un-live. Even a bachelor party with strippers is fine. Jewish music makes your grind your teeth and a mechitza at a wedding pisses you off, mixed dancing tends to be ok. But this is a big category so no making judgments. You tend to be democrats and bush haters. You went to an Ivy league school and went on to persue your masters. You went to any number of schools for high school. Ramaz, local coed Hebrew academy, Yeshiva Flatbush, Frisch, of which you consider to be yeshiva. Tefilin dates are not unheard of, and you call the upper Westside home if you are single. Rabbi Berman and Avi Weiss are your halachic authorities and many a time you will banish certain things as being for the ultra-orthodox. You read the Jewish Week and hang out in Barnes and Nobles on Friday night after dinner. Shull on shabbos is normal but other days is another story.
Lubavitch (non-yechi)– Crushed hats and dirty bekishes are all the rage as are having your tzivos HaShem yarmulkes. You tend to wear brown, red or navy blue velvet yarmulke’s. You live in crown heights. You tend to know dvar torahs that talk about gematria’s and random Baal Shemtov stories. You can drink Smirnoff by the gallon, and a fabrengen is your version of a frat party. The girls tend to be good looking in shape and dress the least tznius out of all the frummy sects. Red is allowed and those leather hooker boots are in seen when looking up at the women on the upper level in front of 770. Meshichism is not talked about much but you recognize the Rebbe is gone and pray for moshiach. Matisyahu is your role model and Aish Discovery is the work of the devil. You have cousins and siblings in every country and state and are related to half of crown heights.
Lubavitch (Meshichist)– The same as above including this. You are nuts and know it. You tend to be one of those guys who yells all day long in 770 screaming yechi with no breaks. You think the Ohel is just another chabbad house. You tend to resemble an elvis impersonator with your actions. You are obviously unemployed or smoke too much crack. You sing yechi like it’s the national anthem. Your children wear yarmulkes that have yechi written across it. You will not daven upstairs by the Rebbe’s study because you will beaten up if you do. Oh and the girls are still hot and untznius.
By roots you are Lubavitch, but by externals you look like a normal modern orthodox family. No messy beards, no crushed hats, the men may even wear ties on shabbos. You may either be a meshichist or not, you tend to do everything in terms of movies, concerts, TV and other forms of entertainment. The women in the family usually cover their hair with scarves and other funky but frum items. College and careers are the way to go, no shluchim in this family. Old habits are hard to break, when you go to a Lubavitch shull you wear an old crushed hat and immediately morph into the messy Lubab you once were. Instinctively in any shull you look for that old trusty Tehilat Hashem siddur and you hum “al teera” at the end of davening even though most shulls don’t say it, you even try and force the congregation to sing shabbos musaf kedusha to the traditional “vehu yigalenu” tune. You may hide your identity when meeting a fellow Lubab and at any moment you feel like playing Jewish geography you can bust it out again.
Carlebachian– Dreads, long hair, nose rings, 420, learning kabbalah and anything Breslov, moshav moddiin, The Dead, Moshav Band, long flowy flower dresses, no makeup, big white wrap around pants, tichalis in your tzitzis, rainbow yarmulkes, tapestries adorn your walls and your succah. Spiritual and crazy at the same time. You tend to want to live in Israel, Boulder- Colorado or Sedona-Arizona. Things like Rainbow gatherings, burning man festival, phish shows, and the gefilte fish crew make your stomach warm and fuzzy. You tend to be from modern orthodox homes and somehow in Israel wind up spending a shabbos in Bat Ayin or Mashav Modiin and you are love stricken with all the dread locks and free weed and learning of chassidus. You tend to be a cross between a Breslover and a Lubavitcher with a little Alan Ginsburg thrown in the mix. You tend to keep halacha mostly besides hugging the opposite sex and drugs.
Shomer Mitzvot– This one’s on frumster and as far as I can tell it is basically people who are frum but don’t like that term. I would figure shomer mitzvoth would be the frummest of them all. Keeping halacha with out all the BS, kind of like orange juice without the pulp.
Conservadox– You are conservative but do not support the recent decision to ordain gay rabbis. You keep a kosher home, you eat Hebrew National, you probably eat milk and veggie out of the house. Your shull has no mechitza but every one sits separately. You speak Yiddish and half a bunch of orthodox relatives. You grew up religious but drifted away. Your children will probably intermarry and will either love or hate you and your old school ways. You vote Democratic unless you are from the south. You look at the ingredients to decide if its kosher. Ratners and 2nd avenue deli bring back fond childhood memories.
Flexidox– One week you are frum the next you are seen at McDonalds eating a cheeseburger. You were one of those kids who was labeled as a kid at risk by the 1996 Jewish Observer article. You used to be a big fan of Metallica and hang out on avenue J in Flatbush trying to pick up girls. You have your highs and lows, you may attend those shmuzim given by Rabbi Shafier from theshmuz.com to get inspired. You tend to have only Jewish friends and go to Jewish parties. Kosher meat is anything with split hooves and chewing of cud. Keeping kosher is hard in New York for you. Modern orthodoxy is against the way you were brought up. You are a product of priority one and Niveh or Ner Jake. Oxy cotton and zanax are all the rage. You play a lot of online poker and tend to download tons of movies.
612 Mitzvahdox 612er for short– You are frum, you go to shachris, you learn every day bchavrusa, and you keep 100% kosher. You tend to wear a yarmulke wherever you go and rarely watch movies or TV. You just can’t give up sexual contact with the opposite sex. You love sex and you have tons of it. I know tons of people like this by the way. They are frum yidden besides for active sex lives. You know tefilin dates. What’s a guy/girl to do?
Athiestadox– Jews who do everything with regards to frumkeit but have absolutely no belief in what they are doing. It is either done for routine, you know like without tzitzis on it just doesn’t feel right. Or it is done because they live in a frum community and don’t want to leave. Free shabbos meals and good food is one reason I can think of. Maybe Jewish booty turns them on or maybe they were brought up like this and have no head for perusing the truth with regards to what makes them happy.
Ruraldox– The closest orthodox shull is 100 miles a way so you attend the Reform Temple, until Chabad can move to your town. The mikvah is a secret swimming home under a bridge, and closest thing to kosher meat is extra firm tofu. You have never met another orthodox kid your age until you went to Israel. You had no idea that there were Jewish schools. You love the way bacon smells when being fried up. A double barrel shotgun evokes memories of your first trap shoot. You only wore your yarmulke once inside the temple and never told anyone you were Jewish. You have no Jewish friends, and the temple had services only twice a month. The closest thing to Chanukah you have seen in a store were menorah Christmas ornaments.
Kahanadox– You tend be a proud mizrachi, taking p space in a yeshuv or in Passaic and you carry your machine gun to shull ready to mow down any Arabs that get in your way. Your nickname may be the exterminator and it has nothing to do with working as an Orkin man. You say hallel on Yom Haatzmout and on the day Rabin was assassinated. Your hero is Baruch Goldstein and you support Bush as long as he keeps up to date on his “crusade”. You are a religious Zionist and proud of it. You children’s names all end with “ah” for the boys and “et” for the girls (Yonah, or Ayelet).
Femidox– You proclaim yourself as orthodox but cant stand the men having mitzvos that you do not, after all you want to be as frum as possible. All women’s megillah readings, your own mezumins and wearing tefilin and talis is your thing. Yarmulkes are not necessary since you are already wearing a sheitle, but you wear tefilin because Rashi’s daughters wore them, while you learn gemara just because. You feel that mechitza’s are demeaning but know inside that halacha prevails. The girls in the family always sing at shabbos lunch. Kol Isha does not apply to you because if it’s a duet you cannot discern the voices. Rabbi Avi Weiss is your hero as well as Shmuely Boteach.
Issurdox– Everything is strict in your house. You check your lettuce under a lamp with a magnifying glass. Your gasoline has to be kosher for pesach. You dont eat matzo on Pesach except for the first night because it may become gebrokts in your mouth. A kosher home has to have a Pesach kitchen. The internet is for non-believers and heretics. TV is strictly forbidden and you cross the street when passing by an electronics store. Whatever the problem you always go lichatchila or machmir. You shecht your own chickens ever since the Monsey fiasco. Red is strictly forbidden as is anything that makes a woman appear to have breasts or body parts at all. There is no such thing as cholov stam. Sit ins are the only way your kids will marry. Your shull has no mechitza, just a slot for the women in the front row to see down through the cieling onto the bima. Your weddings have seperate buildings for men and women. You find the Hamodia to be too liberal since they have ads of things that write their websites.
Veganox– Yom Kippur is your favorite holiday because there is no mitzvah to eat meat or fish and you cannot wear leather. You have gotten a heter to wear synthetic tefilin straps. You make a mean gefilte tofu. Your cholent is really just soy chilli. For kapporos you use a rubber ducky or a duck decoy- that you unfortunately have to buy in a hunting store. You fully agreed with PETA when they caqme out with the report on Rubashkins. Shavuos is a soy milk holiday for you. While people argue about politics in shull you argue about karbunos and what a vegan cohen gadol is supposed to do. You have different stories for every type of Jew when they ask you how you became a veggetarian- because most Jews do not know what a vegan is. Most people think you are crazy- and sometimes while shmoozing at a kick ass smoargasboard you wonder it yourself.
You admire Isaac Mizrahi, You have no intention of marriage. For a bachelor, you have a really clean apartment! You admire “Rabbi” Steve Goldstein. Your favorite film is “Trembling Before G-D” You’re having an online betting on when YCT will follow JTS’s lead and become inclusive to gays. Your favorite director is Eytan Fox. You took your mother to “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway because you admire Harvey Fierstein. You were disappointed he played Tevye, not Goldie. You place ads on craigslist looking for “hot YU guys” and you know how to cook and talk about wine. You love queer eye for the straight guy and wish that sex in the city was with guy characters. Got this idea from the maze artist
The following two labels are from the site http: Ask Shifra
Oldschool Orthodox – Remember when Rabbis read the newspaper and had college degrees? Remember when kids were encouraged to have carreers and be “well rounded” as well as devoted to the torah? Remember when there wasn’t SEPERATE SEATING AT SHUL DINNERS?! Yes, me too.
Angry Orthodox- While still retaining the basic principles and belief systems of traditional Jewish faith these Jews feel that Orthodoxy has turned on them. Between being bankrupted by the yeshiva system, forced to conform by social pressure, and embarrassed by rioting Charedim these Jews have become cynical and bitter. Though I am not angry maybe some would put me based on my site into this category. I am not angry though.