You know you’re modern orthodox if

Most people in the heimishe, yeshivish, black hat or Chassidish world don’t really know much of modern orthodoxy, many of them lump all modern orthodox people together, my friends wife thinks modern orthodox people celebrate Christmas, my cousins think they aren’t learned, the list goes on and on.This is because when I was a kid if you were modern orthodox the list below probably applied to you, but it doesn’t apply so much anymore – at least not to all of modern orthodoxy. It is not uncommon to meet modern orthodox folks that keep all of halacha and have the look too, they cover their hair with sheitles and black hats that send their kids to non-coed camps and schools. So in tribute to the modern orthodoxy I grew up with during the 80’s and early 90’s I bring you:

You know you’re modern orthodox if:

You brush your teeth on shabbos

Married man: You wear a wedding ring

You celebrate yom haatzmaut

You commemorate yom hashoah

You wear one of those lampshade hats that cover half of your hair

You wear jeans to other places besides work

Female: You wear pants, shorts sleeves

Married Female: You don’t cover your hair

You’re living room has a large home entrainment system

There is no assigned seat for the man of the house

You wear colored shirts on shabbos

You play ball on shabbos

You go mixed swimming

You don’t dress up on chol hamoid

You look at your mail on shabbos

You don’t use frum brands of products

There is only one bed in the master bedroom (I grew up with thinking this – but I think that Manhattan modern orthodoxy is more like conservadoxy)

You have a TV

Your DVD collection is out in plain view

You get a newspaper other than the NY Post or Jewish papers

You do not wear a black velvet yarmulke ever

You tend to wear baseball caps if you don’t have to wear a yarmulke

You don’t wear a yarmulke to work

You eat Vegan out

You go to the beach

You have mixed seating at weddings, brisim, shalom zachors, etc…

You have English names on your birth certificate

You eat vegetables

Lag Baomer isn’t the only time you wear shorts

You sing things to the tune of Hatikva

Your shul has an Israeli and American flag in it

People pass babies over the mechitza in your shul

Even though your shul is orthodox – it is split amongst republicans and democrats (try finding a real frum person who is a democrat – that’s for another post)

Your shul sings more than just lecha dodi and yedid nefesh

You don’t know the joys of erev shabbos kugel

Your school has after school programs

Why are modern orthodox people in love with the song Acheinu?

Now for the serious part of the post:

So what really makes someone modern orthodox? You know – the philosophical reasons. I found this post that Rabbi Gil Student wrote way back in 2006 about modern orthodoxy. That’s kind of where my posts came from, he’s given me permission to reprint anything from his blog.

You know you’re modern orthodox if: See original post here

1. You approve of exploring some or much of general culture in order to find beauty and meaning in it (Torah im Derekh Eretz).
2. You believe that studying some or many areas of secular studies is valuable for more than just earning a living (Torah u-Madda type 1).
3. You see value in using some academic methods in the study of at least some areas of Torah (Torah u-Madda type 2).
4. You give the views of experts in any field serious consideration.
5. You believe that expertise requires serious training.
6. You encourage greater participation of women in the Jewish community.
7. Mingling of the genders, whether in educational or social contexts, is OK with you.
8. You dismiss the infallibility, omniscience and supernatural powers of rabbis.
9. You see the establishment of the State of Israel as a religiously meaningful event.
10. You think people should dress in the style of clothing they like rather than communal uniforms.