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21 necessary evils of the frum community

They say that government and taxes are two necessary evils whether we like it or not. The frum community also has a lot of necessary evils and I just wanted to touch upon a few of them today. I’m sure some of you may think that certain things are necessary evils, but things like shabbos toilet paper is not necessary and pre-checked vegetables are just plain evil. 

  1. Motzoi Shabbos Pizza: Every time I go to New York, I end up eating pizza on motzoi shabbos. It’s one of the facts of life, despite the fact that NY has so much going on, I end up doing nothing but eating pizza and watching all the frummies doing exactly what I’m doing.
  2. Kids saying Ma Nishtana: I absolutely hate it when every kid at the table has to say ma nishtana, but it has to happen because this is one of the ways in which parents gauge the value of the education their children at getting at the local chabad preschool. Can they do it in 3 languages with a nice enough tune with enough bravado so all the adults can actually listen without singing along in hushed voices? Or do the adults have to push the shy child to get one phrase out in Hebrew?
  3. Early Shabbos: If not for kids, we wouldn’t have early shabbos, thank God the shul in San Francisco decided to push it back from the minhag yisroel of 7pm to middle at 7:30. The only folks who do a normal shabbos start time in the Bay are chabad, God bless em.
  4. Crusty Washing cups: How exactly is one supposed to clean a washing cup that’s chained to a metal sink without any soap in site? Washing cups are all about spiritual cleanliness? Ruach ra’ah is not visible, accept on the hands of meshulachim. Did you know that there used to be a facebook event called “national clean your washing cup day” or something of the sort.
  5. Egg Kichel: Surprisingly there are enough people born before 1935 still alive that have fond memories of Egg Kichel to keep the business alive. So until everyone over 80 dies off, we will still have to see this terrible invention at select kiddushim.
  6. Frum Magazines: Heck, I even read them for the ads and shidduch crisis solution articles, how else would frum women keep up their Yinglish skills if they moved out of town. There is also a hint, maybe more than a hint of propaganda and indoctrination inlaid within the pages of Ami and Mishpacha.
  7. Pre-pubescent boys choirs: Men fiend the high voice of a woman so badly that instead of risking arousal by a female voice, they risk arousal by a little boys voice. I’m not sure which one is better, I guess there is no problem halachically with becoming aroused by little boys voices. Ethically, it’s a problem because it looks really pedo-homo-erotic.
  8. Shabbos Robes: Yes, they are damned ugly, but the comfort level of going without bra, panties and stockings is unsurpassed. If I were a woman, I’d be wearing that darned thing all day (only after I was married, because dudes in general don’t like shabbos robes)
  9. Snoods: If you had to cover your hair all the time, wouldn’t it be more comfy to throw it in a windsock. Yes, they are ugly and scare away any wife swapping opportunities, but there’s a general rule that women who wear snoods do not wife swap.
  10. Bimeh Madlikin: I have never said it in my life, but it’s a great time to go to the bathroom, look over the mechitza and do any talking that you need to do before maariv.
  11. Tehillim Lists: Nothing like being part of a massive campaign to heal some peeps, so what if 99% of the time you ignore them when they show up unwanted in your inbox.
  12. Denial: How else could orthodox Judaism flourish through logic, reason, rationality, science and cheeseburgers.
  13. Black Hats: Like it or not, it’s still the determinate factor of frumkeit. If you don’t wear a black hat you just aren’t that frum. We have tried to get away from it, but it shall always be like that, unless rabbits become an endangered species.
  14. Shtetl Fiction: I think that by now most people realize that not everyone in the alter heim was a genius wagon wheel repairman that knew all of shas by age 10, but the stories of the gedolim in all those artscroll hagiographies are pretty darned good. How else do you expect people to become frum, reading inspiring stories is one of the best ways, even though it’s all fiction.
  15. Telz Charoses: When I was a kid, the only packages we ever got in the mail were from Telse Yeshiva, we got charoses and the bedikas chometz kit and we got wicks for chanukah. Sure, the choroses is made in China and actually looks like Egyptian cement, but I’m sure many a secular Jew were touched enough to marry within the fold due to such generosity from such a fine institution.
  16. Mezonos Bread: I feel it’s an unfair loophole to create bread made with juice so that lazydox Jews can skirt the requirement to thank God for our sustenance in benching, but it’s actually kind of cool that frummies hold by such things.
  17. Shabbos Toothpaste: I remember the days when no one brushed their teeth on shabbos and no one thought to complain about it, if you were frum you knew that Hashem couldn’t care less if your breath was stinky. All Hashem cared about was bleeding gums and bubbles. Then some modernishe people frummed out and couldn’t take 24 hours with brushing their teeth and they caused for such terrible things as the shabbos toothbrush and shabbos toothpaste.
  18. Shaloshudos: AKA suedat shlishit: As if anyone who has just spent all of shabbos eating is hungry for more. Shaloshudos is commonly known as the most depressing meal of the week, shabbos is almost over and to commemorate this sad event, the rejects and nebishy guys of the shul get together to eat soggy leftovers, flat seltzer and sing the same tired songs every week. But, apparently it’s a very important meal and elevated in some kabbalistic works to the point of such highs that you are required to eat matza and ice cream scoop shaped tuna salad in honor of this auspicious time.
  19. Kiruv: To be honest with you, I hate kiruv, it’s ruined the frum community. It makes us FFB’s look bad when you have people who’ve only just got into Judaism and they know more than you, but there are a lot of reasons to like Kiruv. Frum Hip-Hop never would have happened without kiruv. We never would have had scantily clad chabad girls running around and we never would have had good food, because frummies would have been content with kishke and gravy for lunch instead of salad bars and sushi.
  20. Chabad: Yeh, yeh, I know you hate them for some abstract reason like their beliefs which don’t jive with yours, but how else are you going to get kosher food in Tailand? How else are thousands of college kids going to find real Judaism at the University of Georgia or Colorado? How else would there have ever been something called the luxury mikvah?
  21. Chumras: A lot of people think chumras are a new thing, but there have been chumras for thousands of years. In my chosson class I just learned of the Ohr Zarua, possibly the worst chumra in the world for those familiar. Chumras are necessary to all the zealots to be more zealous. There’s no better feeling than knowing you are frummer than your neighbor and it’s actually a good taiyva to have.
  22. Having these darned 4torah.com ads on the bottom of every post.
















{ 60 comments… add one }
  • Jon May 12, 2012, 11:21 PM

    What’s the Ohr Zarua?

    • Heshy Fried May 12, 2012, 11:45 PM

      It’s only for engaged and married dudes to know

      • Anonymous May 13, 2012, 1:13 PM

        Don’t understand why you feel the need to keep it secret. This backward attitude reminds me of the people who organize the assifa, along with those who believe that if you don’t talk about sex etc. and keep quiet about it, it does not happen.

        Heshy, it would be nice if you stop treating readers like little kids.

        • Lex Luthor May 14, 2012, 2:46 PM

          I don’t think Hesh is being secretive. To explain the Ohr Zarua would probably take some time, as it requires an understanding of a number of more basic rules first. This is a satire blog, so my guess is that telling you it’s only for engaged and married people is his way of evading a full-on technical halakhic discussion. If you are curious though, you can follow zach’s link. It explains it pretty well.

    • zach May 13, 2012, 7:22 AM

      We – fortunately – do not have to deal with T’ hM’ any longer (which BTW did NOTHING to enhance our married life) ; I had to research this chumra to see if I was taught it (by a very chareidi rav). I wasn’t, fortunately.

      Here’s a link for those who want to know more: http://www.yoatzot.org/article.php?id=13.

  • ohr hazera May 13, 2012, 4:27 AM

    the ohr zarua is when u realize that halacha doesnt give poopie about a normal marital relationshio

    • Lex Luthor May 13, 2012, 6:15 AM

      It’s not halacha. It’s a chumra. And you don’t have to follow it.

      • DRosenbach May 13, 2012, 8:16 AM

        It’s a chumra in halacha, to be more precise.

      • Heshy Fried May 15, 2012, 9:23 AM

        I was told that it’s a chumra that most of the yeshivish world follows, my chosson teacher told me that it’s entirely my choice. I choose no!

    • Ohr Zarua! May 13, 2012, 7:17 AM

      Dude, when you’re doing it every night of the week and Ohr Zarua is causing you to have a lack of intimacy for 24 hours straight (gasp!) speak to your LOR. Until then, schedule your activities for the night before and after and u will remain quite ‘pooped’ out from your active marital relationship…..

    • Anonymous May 13, 2012, 1:15 PM

      Still don’t get what Ohr Zarua is. Explain

  • Telz Angel May 13, 2012, 7:07 AM

    +1 for the Telz Charoses and the chanuka candles. What a production. I’m sure there’s a backstory worth sharing, or perhaps inventing.

    • Broigez Unemployed Ainekel May 13, 2012, 5:48 PM

      There may not be a backstory, but they did used to have the bachurim pack them up, and pay them a few cents a box. What else would the lobby next to the dining room be for?

      • Telz Angel May 13, 2012, 8:25 PM

        I remember the melted wax in the gym, next to the dining room — in the storage area on the other side of the gym.

        As for the charoses, I think that was dehydrated cat food. Probably from the stuff we’d feed the gilgul cat. Yes, we had a gilgul cat at Telz. It would hang out by the Beis Medrash, so we all figured it was a gilgul of a former bucher, perhaps one of the guys who died in the drom fire.

        • Heshy Fried May 15, 2012, 9:25 AM

          Can you write about the gilgul cat and other telz legends?

  • kool3 May 13, 2012, 8:26 AM

    Chabad should be off the list. They are nice …. they bring me back to Judaism unlike shuls like Darchei Noam of Oceanside that treat people without MD’s like pieces of diarrhea… but in the end the EVIL EYE IS UPON THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Should be working May 15, 2012, 12:34 PM

      How can diarrhea have pieces?

    • Anonymous May 15, 2012, 1:32 PM

      I like how you throw the DARCHEI NOAM OF OCEANSIDE shul under the bus in every post. Good work. I wonder why they treat you like diarrhea…

  • Deena May 13, 2012, 8:51 AM

    You really should have gone with your future wife on this one and learned Chabad. We definitely dont do Ohr Zaruah and in general have a ‘better’ set of halachos to go by in this area!

    • Lex Luthor May 13, 2012, 10:22 AM

      Deena, it’s got nothing to do with Chabad. I would have told him the same thing, and I’m not Chabad.

    • Joey May 14, 2012, 7:48 PM

      Deena that one of the most pathetic responses i have yet to read. We have better halochos?! seriously? Childish to say the least, FYI very few people do this and also ones who happen no to be chabad.

  • bratschegirl May 13, 2012, 9:44 AM

    > the comfort level of going without bra, panties and stockings is unsurpassed

    Trying to resist the snarky urge to ask Heshy how he knows this… trying… trying…

    • Leeba May 13, 2012, 11:11 PM

      Yea, I wondered about that as well.

      So, Heshy? Were these garments worn for a day as part of literary ‘research’????

      • Heshy Fried May 15, 2012, 9:28 AM

        They just seem so annoying you know, when you take a bra off (not that I would know) there’s always these red lines and that’s gotta be bad. I don’t get rashes or lines from my tzitzis

  • Meshugah May 13, 2012, 11:58 AM

    Pretending to be totally ignorant of the secular world. Like this one frum guy who works in midtown Manhattan who didn’t know what the “book of mormon” play was. Puhleez!

    • Lex Luthor May 13, 2012, 12:12 PM

      Umm… I literally had no clue that that was the name of a play until I saw this post and Googled it just now. And compared to your typical UOJ I’m pretty tuned in to what’s going on in the world.

      • Dan May 13, 2012, 1:53 PM

        And I still don’t know what it is, and I don’t even care to google it.
        And I’ve been out of yeshiva and in the secular world for years. (I even watched hunger games)

        • A. Nuran May 14, 2012, 7:02 PM

          Absolutely. Ivory comes from treif animals. You might, G-d forbid, swallow particles if you live in an ivory tower.

          • Lex Luthor May 15, 2012, 10:21 AM

            Ivory is not treif.

            • A. Nuran May 15, 2012, 11:11 AM

              Not to wear, but to eat.

              • Lex Luthor May 15, 2012, 11:14 AM

                Still not treif.

                • A. Nuran May 15, 2012, 3:18 PM

                  Eating pig isn’t treif? Hippo? Elephant?

                  • Lex Luthor May 15, 2012, 3:47 PM

                    Bones and the like which are dry to the extent that they are completely flavorless are never treif, even if they come from pigs, hippos, or elephants.

                    • Should be working May 15, 2012, 4:38 PM

                      So jello IS kosher? I always thought it wasn’t because it comes from pigs’ knuckles.

                    • Lex Luthor May 15, 2012, 6:54 PM

                      Yeah, it is. Others disagree, but if you’re asking me, then yes.

    • Meshugah May 14, 2012, 7:15 AM

      The play only won what… 9 tony awards. You guys need to get out of your frum ivory towers every once in awhile and mingle with us apilorus scum xD

  • AztecQueen2000 May 13, 2012, 1:15 PM

    You may feel differently about early Shabbos when you have kids of your own. It’s the difference between my kids actually getting to hear Kiddush six months out of the year and not.

    • Yochanan May 14, 2012, 1:11 PM


      I checked the candle lighting times for New York. The latest is 8:13. I don’t know where you live. But, assuming you don’t live near the Arctic Circle, it’s something similar for you.

      In that case, are you saying that your kids can’t stay up until 9 or 10 on Friday nights for 2 months?

      • Lex Luthor May 14, 2012, 1:46 PM

        For sure. I know a million people who say the same thing. And it’s not really nine or ten; that’s just when the meal begins (shul isn’t over until at least half an hour after lighting if you aren’t making an early Shabbos).

        • Yochanan May 14, 2012, 1:48 PM

          Still. Is it a big deal to let your kids stay up late 1 day a week during the summer?

          • Yochanan May 14, 2012, 1:49 PM

            And if they’re hungry, let them snack.

          • Lex Luthor May 14, 2012, 2:37 PM

            Apparently it is. But I’m not a mother, so I wouldn’t know.

          • Anonymous May 15, 2012, 1:35 PM

            I assume you don’t have to deal with cranky children shabbos morning huh?

            • Sam May 15, 2012, 11:31 PM

              Besides, not everyone can wait till 1 am to have ‘mitzava night’……

  • Ra'ananInAlbany May 14, 2012, 9:29 AM

    We used to get the Telshe Yeshiva candles and Charoset when I was a kid. I think the Charoset burned longer than the candles.

    My grandmother, may she rest in peace, wore Shabbos robes every Shabbat as far back as I can remember. They were not fancy things, but I remember as far back as the mid-80’s her wearing them.

    Hesh, you should have added ‘Guilt’ to the list…

  • Early Shabbos May 14, 2012, 4:58 PM

    For those without kids who are parenting experts and think that my 3 and 6 year olds should stay up until 9:30 in the summer so they can hear kiddush- while not all kids are the same, my kids are still going to wake up at 6am. It doesn’t matter is they go to sleep at 7 or at 11.
    And when my kiddies don’t get their 10 hours, they are crazy the next day. They don’t nap, they are cranky, fight and scream all day and quite simply make everyones life miserable.
    Therefore, its early shabbos or they’re in bed before kiddush.
    Thems the breaks kiddo.

    • Yochanan May 15, 2012, 10:47 AM

      And if they don’t hear Kiddush, so what?

      I know. I know. You want to have a family meal together. So designate Shabbat lunch for that matter. Use dinner for guests.

      And it’s not 6 months a year, as AztecQueen2000 said, that a post-sunset Kiddush will be a 9:30. Only July/August.

      Why should a summer Friday afternoon have the same rush as one in the winter? Some of us like to need to get sh!t done before the end of the week and it helps to be able to use electricity and other things until 8:31 PM.

  • larry May 14, 2012, 7:53 PM

    i never got those 4torah ads. what the deal is?

  • Nechama May 15, 2012, 10:18 AM

    Late shabbos is better…who wants whining, screaming kids up for the meal?! Half the year is good enough.

    Clearly I don’t have children yet, but I’ve heard enough high-pitched “Totty Totty TOTTY!!!!” during kiddush to appreciate late shabbos times…

  • Shira Salamone May 16, 2012, 3:02 PM

    “Black Hats: Like it or not, it’s still the determinate factor of frumkeit. If you don’t wear a black hat you just aren’t that frum. We have tried to get away from it, but it shall always be like that, unless rabbits become an endangered species.”

    Pardon my ignorance, but I’ve always thought that sh’mirat mitzot (observance of the commandments) was the determining factor of frumkeit.

    Here are two comments on this subject from my blog:

    AztecQueen2000 said…
    Isn’t black clothing chukas l’goyim anyway? I usually think of Catholic priests and nuns. Didn’t our clergy wear bright, colorful clothing adorned with gold and jewels?

    Thu May 10, 01:47:00 PM 2012
    Shira Salamone said…
    Great minds think alike.. 🙂

    In all seriousness, I think a commenter on DovBear’s blog made the same point a few months ago, saying that the all-black-and-white-all-the-time garb of some our right-wing brethren was swiped straight from Catholic clergy.

    Thu May 10, 02:22:00 PM 2012

  • Shira Salamone May 16, 2012, 3:28 PM

    “Black Hats: Like it or not, it’s still the determinate factor of frumkeit. If you don’t wear a black hat you just aren’t that frum. ”

    That’s funny, I’ve always thought that sh’mirat ha-mitzvot (observance of the commandments) was the determining factor of frumkeit.

  • toldos aron December 20, 2012, 8:35 AM

    “9. Snoods: If you had to cover your hair all the time, wouldn’t it be more comfy to throw it in a windsock. Yes, they are ugly and scare away any wife swapping opportunities, but there’s a general rule that women who wear snoods do not wife swap.”

    what the eff is this guy talking about? wife swapping? what is going on in this mans head?

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