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Saw You At Sinai adds categories to combat singles identity crisis

crazy-jewsI myself have no idea where I fall into, I have no true hashkafa and I am a completely mixed up Jew. On the one hand I do my requisite 3 times a day davening, haven’t missed a day of tefillin in years, am koveah ittim (saying birchas hatorah every morning covers me) and I rock the yarmulke and tzitzis everywhere I go. Then again, I don’t own or watch any TV, rarely go to movies and try to spend as much time away from Jewish people as possible. What am I? I used to put modern orthodox machmir in my frumster pigeonhole every Jew spot but then I figured out that shomer mitzvot was a smaller category and would get me bigger hits. Then someone mentioned you may want to say modern orthodox liberal – which sounds like an oxymoron to me – well I am officially part of the shidduch labels crisis.

With the singles scene growing, its not just modern orthodox folks on the upper west side who are part of the singles community. It has expanded to the yeshivish black hat community – which is quite funny – because I can remember a time when people in the black hat community would look at the modern orthodox and scoff at the fact that they waited so long to get married and pointed blame at their coed institutions and focus on secular world. Look who’s laughing now biatch!

Actually no one is really laughing because the shidduch crisis has caused something of greater concern to each and every Jewish single, and that is a mini-identity crisis wreaking havoc upon the singles community. For the first time ever people are venturing out of their hashkafic realm to date, its a terrible thing according to some folks, especially the people who run frumster and Saw You At Sinai as they try to keep up with this identity crisis by consulting with the masters of judging and stereotyping Jews like myself. I have consulted with SYAS and Frumster to try and come up with more categories.

SYAS has with my help been able to add two new categories. Yeshivish Modern and Modern Orthodox Middle of the Road. It seems that modern orthodox machmir (modern ORTHODOX) and modern orthodox liberal (MODERN orthodox) just weren’t enough and they needed to squeeze another label in there. Yeshivish Modern has been part of Frumsters repertoire of categories for years and SYAS has got to keep up with the Joneses of internet shidduch dating.

What exactly is Modern Orthodox Middle of the Road you may ask and I shall try to explain to you what it is. For women this means that you are not sure about your hair covering as of yet, but you try to wear skirts much of the time, although around the house, and activities you like to wear pants. Many of these girls flipped out in seminary only to come back to reality when they stayed single for so long they started to contemplate tefillin dates.

For MO-middle of the road is not as much defined, you don’t really care if your wife covers her hair or wears skirts and pants. You probably daven every day but don’t make it to shul as often as your right wing MO brethren. You probably grew up more religious and after law school you realized the black hat community wasn’t for you. MO machmir tend to be from more left wing homes and are the products of the “Charedi teacher in modern orthodox schools because they pay on time phenomena.” The men in this category are more likely to have pre-marital booty calls but sex is usually saved for marriage.

Yeshivish Modern has been debated for years, after all if you are yeshivish how could you be modern as well? Some have tried to explain this completely hypocritical category with humor, by saying these people believed in working with machinery and using electricity rather then merely having legislative arguments about oxen goring each other all day.

Yeshivish Modern may also mean that under your black hat you don’t necessaraly wear a 6 piece black velvet yarmulke with a rim. You may wear a smaller more modern black velvet yarmulke with bobby pins (apikorsim) or you may even wear a non-velvet yarmulke (it should always be black though) Yeshivish Modern people tend to favor work over learning and the women may even go into professions that don’t end in Therapy, or teacher.

If you are from a yeshivish family you rarely pick the category of yeshivish modern, because you have been taught your whole life about the evils of modern orthodoxy – they can go to hell with their TV’s denim skirts and lampshade hats.

What do Yeshivish Modern and Modern Orthodox Middle of the road mean to you?

Other related posts:

Categorizing all orthodox groups

Black hat like me

Modern orthodox black hat

YU yeshivish is BS

Judging people based on their living rooms and kitchens

More frummy labels

{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Mark April 7, 2009, 1:49 PM

    you dont really care if your wife covers her hair or wears skirts and pants.

    I definitely care if my wife wears skirts and pants, I certainly wouldn’t want her walking around in her panties!!!!!


  • Material Maidel April 7, 2009, 1:49 PM

    I gotta say – when I got that e-mail announcing the new categories, it just made me feel even more confused!

    I always thought I was MO Machmir, but only because I assumed that Liberal meant you were into booty calls.

    I now have no idea what to label myself!

  • Rentsy April 7, 2009, 1:56 PM

    I once took the excellent “Orthodoxy Test”, and it told me that I’m plain old Modern Orthodox, but no one is plain old Modern Orthodox anymore, and I should really go and rework some of my hashkafa so I could fit more snugly in a box.

    Needless to say, that was a very accurate test.

    You are all individuals! Eschew labels!

  • Frum Satire April 7, 2009, 2:12 PM

    How about secular orthodox or orthodox but open minded and why hasn’t open orthodox or orthoprax made the list yet?

  • Dave April 7, 2009, 2:14 PM

    Haskole Machimir here.

  • Dave April 7, 2009, 2:15 PM

    Machmir even. Not sure where the second i came from, but I’m sure I’ll miss it later.

  • Scott Steinberg April 7, 2009, 2:17 PM

    I think Yeshivish Modern is for the people that were brainwashed at Aish HaTorah, Neve Yerushalyim, Ohr Sameach, and Eyaht and are trying to justify their 2-3 year brainwashing experience and reality (ala employment) at the same time. Modern Orthodox would be beneath them so they need some category with Yeshivish in there that would make them feel good.

    Modern Orthodox Middle I think you nailed perfectly is for the single guy and gal who doesnt care anymore and just wants to get married to a chick that will keep the basic tenants of Judaism and they’ll go from there.

  • Talmudist April 7, 2009, 2:17 PM

    I live on a ‘Jewish’ street. There are more doctors living on it than actual houses. From your post its clear that there are more types of Orthodoxy than Orthodox Jews.

  • Frum Satire April 7, 2009, 2:20 PM

    Talmudist – so you have Jewish residue.

    Scott you are unfortunately very correct in that assertion – militant kiruv convince people they are yeshivish even if they aren’t

  • chutznikit April 7, 2009, 3:40 PM

    Scott- isn’t thar the isn’t the MO liberal for the single who doesn’t care anymore?
    or is liberal the new traditional?

  • A. Nuran April 7, 2009, 4:18 PM

    By the Penetrating Tentacles of Great Cthulhu, what have we come to?

    We’re supposed to be Jews trying to live a good life and do our duty by G-d. And for most of our history from Avraham on that’s exactly what we were. It’s hard enough to live up to that. But now Torah be damned, it’s all about which style of which sub-cult of which sect you’re part of. The way this is going we’ll see ever-smaller increasingly insular groups until we fucking disappear into such tiny splintered groups that only an epidemic of mass rape can rescue our descendants from counting their twelve toes and seven fingers while they contemplate their complete genetic meltdown.

    What a g-dless crock of shit.

  • HannaH April 7, 2009, 4:36 PM

    based on this i guess i am miscellaneous!

  • Yeshivish Modern April 7, 2009, 5:18 PM

    Yeshivish Modern means that you wear a hat on Shabbos only, wear coloured shirts and maybe watch some TV/movies.

  • SF2K1 April 7, 2009, 5:35 PM

    Lampshade/Bell hats are just dumb looking, no matter what you are. It’s a step away from Aretha Franklin at Obama’s inauguration, except women wear it all the time (or at least every shabbos).

  • Shira April 7, 2009, 6:21 PM

    Wow,so many categories! It`s pretty crazy.

  • Double M April 7, 2009, 10:42 PM

    I wear kepah and tzitzit on the inside. What I study depends on my workload. I keep chalav yisrael and chalak. I feel it is extremely important for people to obtain a strong secular education. I use a TV but do not take in life-feed to it but at the same time I watch movies like the Godfather. I would be completely appalled if my future wife would not cover her hair or worse wore a wig (gah!). I do not feel that you must plan your vacation around the local Jewish communities.

    Make a label for that!

    Next time can you just suggest a check list for people to fill out makes things a lot more understandable and it would over the largest flexibility and understanding.

  • Double M April 7, 2009, 10:44 PM

    O and one more screwball to the above. But if she wishes to wear loose fitting pants I have no issue with it

    Like I said label that!

  • Frum Satire April 7, 2009, 10:53 PM

    Double M maybe your a modern day version of a Moronoe

  • Double M April 7, 2009, 11:07 PM

    Cute. Rhetorical statement

    I am just saying why not have a checklist of what one does or believes. Then let people match based on what is important to them. A label can be so misleading as the understanding of the term is flexible and has cracks where people fall through.

  • Scott Steinberg April 8, 2009, 3:42 AM

    Hmm. I think the idiot Rabbis have destroyed our precious Judaism completely, instead of unifying us under one true G-d they try to break us all up. There’s One God! And He’s an awesome G-d! We have people that study daf yomi in Tel Aviv, and we have Jews that work in mea Sharim, we have Jews that watch Beitar Jerusalem games in Kiryat Safer, and we have Jews that are against sports in Ramat Gan..

    We’re all one!

    To every Rabbi that wants to divide us up even further – FUCK YOU DROP DEAD!

  • Confused April 8, 2009, 3:49 AM

    I think this just goes to show you that it hard to just simply categorize yourself. I thought liberal meant an emphasis on the modern and machmir emphasizes the orthodox. But we need another? Yeshivish modern seems to be an oxymoron, but it just sounds frummer than modern orthodox.

  • Jesse April 8, 2009, 10:10 AM

    I have a friend here in town who puts it best…”I’m a Jew.”

    I’ve never liked the delineations that American Jewry has invented to try and catagorize each and every one of us. I’m a Jew, I love all Jews, no matter what catagory (read “pidgenhole”) you think you fit into.

    Personally, I don’t rock a Kippah everyday…yet. When I make it to Shul, it’s generally Chabad. But I davven every day, most days 3x.

    Go ahead…what would you call me?

  • Scott Steinberg April 9, 2009, 6:57 PM


    A GOY!!!!! just joking!
    Stand proud brother!


  • Michal bas Avraham April 12, 2009, 3:33 PM

    Double M,
    You are MO machmir.

    You are MO liberal.

    I put myself as Yeshivish Modern. I’m MO machmir but, all my friends are yeshivish. I have no TV but watch a movie here and there on my computer. Also, when I was MO machmir, they would suggest for me guys who called themselves MO machmir but they were really MO maikil.

    I happen to be a fan of the additional categories.

  • Michal bas Avraham April 12, 2009, 3:35 PM

    They should have a category, MO, not Chabad but, Chabad-friendly… or an additional checkbox: chabad-friendly not chabad-friendly.

    I’m not chabad friendly.

  • Bum in Brooklyn April 12, 2009, 3:46 PM

    “Theres One God! And Hes an awesome G-d! We have people that study daf yomi in Tel Aviv, and we have Jews that work in mea Sharim” — SS

    This makes me think of Obama’s speech at the 2004 DNC:

    “The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

    No matter what you think of Obama, he did make a point that we can all take to heart.

    (Sorry, that was sappy.)

  • jennthejewess April 14, 2009, 12:01 PM

    So i have been using the term Modern Yeshivah or Yeshivah Modern for a while- i think its basically the same thing ast Yeshivish Modern – i like yeshiva better than yeshivish since yeshivish connotes the person is actually YESHIVISH and therefore NOT modern. Yeshiva Modern would mean u have a yeshiva/BY (or similar girls school) background but are more modern than a typical yeshiva boy or BY girl. This seems to me like a more brooklyn type of category like the Torah Vdaas or Chaim Berlin boys who went to Law/Medical/Accounting type schools and are open minded but still have a yeshivah/yeshivish background that still influences them hashkafically (no matter how modern u get the yeshivish is still in you- TRUST ME I KNOW lol)
    usually go to movies, follow sports, wear jeans, colored shirts, learn couple times a week, will have a drink after work with coworkers (or thier friends), girls are a lil less tznius than thier still Yeshivish counterparts and do the same things as the guys…
    this is just my take but i dont think it means the guys who
    “I think Yeshivish Modern is for the people that were brainwashed at Aish HaTorah, Neve Yerushalyim, Ohr Sameach, and Eyaht and are trying to justify their 2-3 year brainwashing experience and reality (ala employment) at the same time.” bc doesnt seem like they were ever REALLY yeshivish or at least wat I consider yeshivish…

  • ???? June 14, 2009, 4:55 PM

    Actually, we should just go back to basics here. either one is observant or not. simple.
    To categorize is to limit ones growth in the future.
    the next category should be, “looking to grow or not”. that will tell u right there if they will become more religious or not and if they are happy with where they are now.

    im sephardic, we have no such categorization. we were not raised to think this way.

    • yehuda February 14, 2010, 2:16 AM

      alohim acherim is created from the way these ppl categorize

  • Willem C. Dalebout November 22, 2013, 1:55 PM

    so youre a gay jew either way, big deal

  • RussianJewess January 30, 2019, 11:30 PM

    What the YouTube Clip I’m that Jew. You are in it somewhere, so am I, as are all of us 💙💙💙

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