I have the unique talent of spotting an ex-yeshiva guy from a mile away, I also have the uncanny ability of being able to tell who is in fact an FFB or who is just a BT trying to flow without being noticed. I have decided to let you people on a few of my secrets for being able to spot an ex-yeshiva guy or a FFB in a crowd. I happen to live next to the chabbad of SUNY Albany and therefore I can get a lot of practice with being able to tell who is FFB, BT or ex-frummy.
Spotting an FFB amongst a whole bunch of folks who still wear their talesim scarf style and have no idea what the acronym FFB stands for is quite easy. The easiest way of course is spotting the few folks who know the words to aishes chayil. Everyone can bust out a shalom alechim, but women of valor other wise known as aishes chayil is a different story. On Friday nights the standing mizmor shir right before licha dodi is another place to catch the ex-yeshiva guy in action. By instinct we FFB’s know when to stand before anyone else, so you can notice the FFB getting up to stand before anyone else knows its time, so to by kedusha and a bunch of other random standing spots in the middle of long sitting stretches. The FFB davens shmona esray with his or her feet together, unlike those folks who stand feet spread apart looking around the room making sure its ok to sit down. FFB’s tend to know what page the baal tefilah is on, they have it down to an art just flicking through the pages without looking, while the other people in shull will go around casually trying to look over someones shoulder to see what page they are on without getting embarrassed. The FFB also tends to hold the siddur with one finger in the middle and it folded over their hands, while the non-FFB will hold it open the whole time. The ex-yeshiva guy will know everything by heart and not even need a siddur a dead giveaway. The FFB will also shuckel with a flair of confidence unlike the BT or non-religious person who may not know how to shuckel correctly. Occasionally you have the BT who makes a fool of himself with the overextended shuckel, shaking wildly like a violent spin cycle gone awry, and bowing twice as far than one need to go and clopping for silach lanu like their trying to bruise themselves.
In conversation the FFB will use words subconsciously that have absolutely no meaning to the non-religious or BT. A newly indoctrinated BT will have no idea what certain acronym’s and classifications mean, BT, FFB, MO, 770, Lubbies, Frummies, Greasy Yeshivish and a slew of other random things like shidduch, shomer negia, shayich, shaichis, betach, good yuntif, gut vuch, narashkeit, yiddishkeit, etc… while the FFB will use these terms freely without realizing his audience will have no idea what he is talking about.