What does Litvish mean to you?

So I was having a Facebook discussion last night with the person who wrote that post the other day about not being able to find a community to live in. She is very picky, due to some bad experiences (isn’t that what makes people racist too?) and has a long list of people she doesn’t want in her community.

No BT’s, no YU types, etc…it actually breaks my heart to hear people seriously talk like that – because when all is said and done, putting my sarcasm and humor aside – every community and sect no matter how frum or not frum, has interesting and fun people. So when I mentioned that I knew cool people who live in Lakewood – she said it’s too Litvish and demanded the names and surnames of those people as proof. I hear the term Litvish used all the time to describe yeszhivish people, but I don’t think it means what it used to mean.

I can dig up the true differences between Litvish and Yeshivish, but it seems that the only sect of Jews in the black hat community that really set themselves apart are the Yekkis, and you woundl’t even be able to tell Yekkish people from Litvishe people unless you were close to them.

For the life of me I cannot see the differences between Litvish, Ungarish, Galitzianish and Yekkish people. Maybe someone camn enlighten me. I know the stereotypes about Ungarish people being fancy and having good food and chandaliers. My grandparents are Hungarian, but I have never noticed anything fancy in my life (might have to do with the fact I grew up poor) but my black hat Ungarish relatives didn’t do anything of the sort.

Do these labels apply today? Because to me it seems as if most people don’t really differentiate between the ancestory and just label Litvish to describe any black hat person – while there are plenty of modern orthodox and non-observant Litvaks.

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