There are lots of things that Yeshivish folks like and don’t like. I suppose the goal of this series will be to pick some random isn’t that isn’t so obvious. Don’t worry folks, this is the first of many posts in the Stuff Jewish People Like series and I will get to the other sects of Jews in due time.
Stuff Yeshivish People Like:
Erev Shabbos kugel: No true yeshivish home is complete without the erev Shabbos potato kugel which is usually served on a flimsy paper plate in order to show you just how much oil was put into each piece. It seems that dry potato kugel is strictly reserved for Jews that just aren’t frum enough to roll with the yeshivish crowd. I am a huge fan of the erev Shabbos kugel minhag. The only problem with it is the fact that it’s usually eaten as you’re putting on your coat to go to shul.
Living Room Maariv: This is definitely a yeshivish invention, mostly because modern orthodox people believe too much in their shuls to ever have an unofficial weekly motzei Shabbos maariv minyan. Monsey is full of these semi impromptu cram fests in which you get to daven shemona esrei up close and intimately with your neighbors to whom you never actually say. There is usually a household supply of torn up Artscrolls with sticky duct tape trying to hold the pages together. For some reason I always wind up with the one siddur missing vayehi noam.
Slurpees: I am sure other sects of the Jewish world enjoy a Slurpee now and then. There isn’t anything quite like drinking two liters of colored sweetened water blended with ice but yeshivish folks have a special relationship with 7-11 and frummy Slurpee culture. In yeshiva, people would make Slurpee runs and guys would form their afternoon activities around getting Slurpees. Later on there would always be debates about which flavors were kosher. I remember hanging out with all of my other yeshiva crew up friends at 7-11 in Detroit. I think 7-11 is so yeshivish because a lot of times it’s the only place where you can actually go and get something to eat. In Monsey, the Chassidic rebels and fringe kids hang out in front while car loads of white shirt and black pants yeshiva guys load up on Slurpees and Reisman’s cakes.
BMG Guys: You never hear anything about Ner guys or Chaim Berlin guys or Chofetz Chaim guys — or should I say boys, as people in the yeshivish world call any single guy a boy. The yeshivish world only cares about guys in BMG. Fine — they care about guys in Mir, but it seems like anyone can hop into Mir throw it on his shidduch resume and all of a sudden he’s a Mir guy. But BMG or Lakewood boys are all anyone seems to care about. Does it count that my father went to Lakewood – maybe now I can get a good shidduch. I wonder if BMG guys were into scamming the BMG record company by getting the 10 free CD’s without buying the 5 more at full price – I know that MDS guys did this, but we were on different madreigas.
Pounding: This one should really be reserved for men under the age of 40, because I never heard a woman say she was going to pound some cholent at the Kiddush, but yeshivish guys love talking about pounding food and it has nothing to do with that pie scene from American Pie.
Shidduch Stories: Yeshivish people love shidduch stories: in fact, they love just talking about shidduchim. I feel it’s this way because shidduch stories have this sexual tension and sex is very taboo unless your rebbe is teaching you the real story of Lavan after you always assumed the little midrash says story was the truth. I love when yeshivish people talk about all of the urban legend stories, like the girl who pulled the keys out of the guys car and said she was testing his anger.
Black: I am not sure exactly when it happened, but yeshivish women have this fascination with wearing black, it’s like the goth scene died and suddenly the yeshivish crowd picked it up. It just wasn’t enough that the men wore shoes, pants, hats and yarmulkes that were black.
Gedolim: Yeshivish people are obsessed with gedolim, so much so that they have rebbe cards, gadol gossip columns that detail when the gadol travels, gadol pictures with little black and gold frames, gadol biographies to convince us that all gedolim are like God and gadol product placement for tzedaka businesses like Kupat Ha’ir – which ironically has nothing to do with hair.
Basement Shuls: Have you ever been to a non-yeshivish basement? I have twice, but 99% are yeshivish and they are either located in a converted garage or a basement. They never have leg room, are incredibly unfriendly places and you always end up being kicked out of your seat due to makom kavua. Did I mention that basement shuls allow people to get away with not paying any property tax and therefore make the rest of the neighborhood suffer – it’s a Monsey thing?
BTL: Forget college. Go to yeshiva for a couple of years and when you need a degree, call them up and make a donation – in return you can get your Bachelors in Talmudic Law, usually through a yeshivish college like FDU (Fairliegh Dickinson Univeristy), Johns Hopkins, Providence College or Scranton University. If you didn’t graduate high school because you thought English subjects were bitul torah, just pay Charter Oaks for a high school diploma.
Other things yeshivish people like:
Clopping the bimah to remind you multiple times to say ya’ale v’yavo
Mumbling atah chonantanu
Ordering pizza while talking on the Bluetooth
Motzei Shabbos Pizza
Woman only events
Little boys choirs
Using the word Relations to describe sex
Men making Cholent
Lettuce Strawberry and Mango Salad
Using the word Sick to describe a geshmake guy
Adding the word dick to Hebrew words making them into adjectives – Yuntiffdick, Shabbosdick, gashmiusadick, etc…
Figuring out legal credit card hocks with miles and stuff
School Vouchers (ironic that the government should pay for yeshiva kids but not for healthcare)
Big tie knots – also really colorful ties – orange seems to be all the rage
Stuff Yeshivish People don’t like:
Yeshiva University: Yeshivish people hate YU. They would prefer you went to a coed college that had no Jews than go to YU. I have heard multiple reasons, but it mostly has to do with the fact that they think YU will influence their kids to become raging left wing knitted yarmulke wearers because modern orthodoxy looks kind of like real orthodoxy. I have also heard the YU are apikorsum because they should be fully frum, not wishy washy and allow women to take graduate programs in gemara. I promise you if you look more modern and you wind up in a yeshivish setting, everyone will ask you if you go to YU.
Chabad: Yeshivish people will always try to chummy up to the token Chabad guy at a wedding by telling them about that one time they mooched off some Chabad guy in the city they got stuck in, but if you ever want to get all chummy with a yeshivish person, just make a quip about Chabad being the closest religion to Judaism and saying you have a lot of criticisms and you will start a hailstorm of negativity.
NCSY: It doesn’t matter that NCSY is responsible for keeping thousands of Jews from intermarrying or leaving the faith, the mere fact that they are coed and support Israel is problematic. In yeshiva they called NCSY No One Can Save You, and they truly felt that kiruv shouldn’t be done if they had to bring guys and girls together in order to do it.
Earners: Sure ,some parents may be publicly proud of their sons going to get an education and a job. In the yeshivish world, working makes you look bad. Learners are way better than Earners and you can take one look at the ongoing arguments in the Yated weekly printed blog called Readers Write. Learner-Earners seem destined for downgrading to just plain old working boys.
Women learning: I never understood the hatred, but yeshivish people hate the concept that women may have a mind for gemara, they say that women don’t have to learn so they shouldn’t, I always wondered why we wore tzitzis at night, or had such tall mechitzas if they both weren’t demanded. Why would the yeshivish community be so for women going to seminary if they shouldn’t learn – oh wait – hashkafa!
Kabbalah: You have to 40, married and probably have a white beard. Yeshiva guys sit around telling stories of guys who opened up zohars and flipped out because of it to scare you away from hashem’s 72 letter name and chicken feet dancing around your bed at night. This may be why they hate Chassidus as well — it’s just too spiritual, man.
Vegetables: Besides for karpas, potato kugel, French fries and the occasional build your own salad drenched in mayo dressing – yeshivish people rarely eat vegetables. Go to a frum wedding and look at all of the uneaten salads they throw away from the first course.
Yom Hashoah: I never understood their aversion to holocaust remembrance day but go speak to any yeshiva guy about it and he will tell you that we remember the holocaust on tisha b’av, this is the classic yeshivish response to everything, I still haven’t actually figured out why they don’t like Yom Hashoah, maybe one of you know.
Liberals: You will meet modern orthodox liberals, you will even meet some chassidish liberals, but in the yeshivish world liberals are non-existent, I have met several yeshivish democrats (they are always very intellectual) but I have never met a yeshivish liberal. Generally, frum Jews have an aversion to liberals. This is mostly because like me, they grew up being indoctrinated by Rush Limbaugh whenever their father took them shopping in Boro Park. In my father’s words – every bad thing is caused by the “Farshtunkanah Liberals”
Other things yeshivish people don’t like:
Israeli Day Parade
Shorts – even guys who go off the derech don’t care for shorts
Stuff yeshivish people aren’t really sure if they like:
Right wing YU guys that seem yeshivish
Carlebachian Bands like Blue Fringe
Girls that grew up yeshivish and went to stern
Single girls over the age of 23
Chassidim – it really depends on your allegiance to the GRA aka the Vilna Gaon
Carlebach – they love his music, but can’t get over the fact he “kissed” women. I always want to tell these people that he ran a place called the House of Love and Prayer in the 60’s and I am sure there was more than kissing going down, but he made a lot of people frum through all of the good lovin’.
The Internet – they banned it then they created software so they could lift the ban, then they said it was bad but every frum company has an email and web address. Oh and how do they explain the fact that Rav Ahron, Rav Moshe and Reish Lakesh are all on Facebook.