Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Frum Are You?

23 of the Twelfth Month 5769

How frum are you?

Are you as frum as the guy who starts yelling "Ahrei yoshvei veitecha..." at the top of his lungs, and feigning annoyance at all those not davening minhah with him before a wedding, when he almost never davens minhah?

Are you as frum as the guy who wears only the sharpest black hat, kippah, and suit to s'mahoth (happy, religious occasions) to show how frum he is, yet usually wears a crocheted kippah, if any at all? (Often forgetting to remove their wedding bands)

Are you as frum as the women who dawqa wears a sheitel (wig) instead of a cloth head covering to show how frum she is, even though she barely has any sleeves, and does have a noticeable slit up her dress?

What about the woman with the sheitel past her shoulders, miniskirt, and VERY tight blouse? Are you as frum as her?

What about the woman whose favorite phrase is "We are VERY orthodox," yet wouldn't even think twice about covering her hair? ...She doesn't.

Are you as frum as the guy living in Judea and Samaria, with a crocheted kippah, who does not come from a Yiddish-speaking background, area, or yeshiva, yet insists on throwing around as much Yiddish as possible (often incorrectly) to show how frum he is? (I do not know of any Sefardim who throw around Ladino to the same ends. Do you?)

And finally, what about the man who davens the most loudly and rapidly, and shuckling as forcefully as possible. Yet while he is always first to finish, he is also always the first to start talking even though every one else is still praying? Are you as frum as he is?

How frum ARE you?

Better yet, who cares how frum you are?

(...probably just some of the people above who really aren't as frum as they think they are)


Important Note: This post is referring ONLY to those coming from religious homes, and NOT to new, ba'alei teshuvah (those new to Torah observance).


Comrade Tovya said...

Good post. I'm a baal teshuvah myself, 13 years running, and I remember when I first became observant, there was this other kid, about 19 who was constantly trying to prove to me how frum he was.

He would say something in Hebrew or talk about something in halacha I hadn't learned yet, and then ridicule me for not knowing it. (this kid was a kohen too)

He was a train wreck.

Anyway, one day I ran into him at the local mall, and he was eating chilli cheese fries in the food court! I walked up to him and said his name, and he just went completely pale.

I didn't have to say anything, our mutual silence was enough. From that day on, his yiddishkeit competition with me was over (actually it was hard to get him to show up for a minyan after that, sadly enough)

Long story short, we should lift each other up, and help one another in daily observance. Observing the mitzvos is not a competition, but a kiddush Hashem.

If we lose sight of that, we are also in danger of letting our guard down--because once we turn observance into showboating, we actually have forgotten the reasons for why we observe halacha to begin with.

That's my 2 cents.

Jacob Da Jew said...

not "Frum" as any of the mofos listed.

LB said...

"Better yet, who cares how frum you are?"


Batya said...

Ya'aqov, what's the point?

Esser Agaroth said...

CT, Thanks for your comment,...worth more that two cents. ;-}

JDJ, lol

LB, yep

Batya, just ranting, and being "negative." I hope to post something "positive" one of these days.

Leah Goodman said...

Are you frummer in your tight shirt that covers your elbows than I am in my loose one that doesn't?

Are you frummer in your thousand dollar shaitel than I am in a bandanna because some of my hairs might poke out the back?

Esser Agaroth said...

Good ones, triCat...

Although, please do not flash your elbows at me.


Istavnit said...

I don't get a meaning of your post. Are you some sort of a "real thing" and everyone puts on a show? Self-proclaimed guardian of Yiddish, proper behavior and a warrior against pseudo-frumness?

Of course YOU are for real and do never do anything to project a certain image. Reminds me of a cute story my wife told me:
She was at a shaitel store and one of the customers was chatting with her saying how immodest certain shaitels are because of their length. So my wife asked her "what is the maximum length that the hair can be to remain modest?" Women did not think for a moment and pointed to hair from her shaitel on her shoulder saying "anything longer that mine would be immodest".

Apparently you, my friend, know exactly how long the hair should be and how much of the show-off is making someone disingenuous.

Best regards ;)

Esser Agaroth said...

Just being sarcastic.

Thanks for your comment and story.

BTW, we don't hold by sheitls.

Istavnit said...

My comment had nothing to do with shaitels or elbows or any other particulars of observance. My point was that there is a continuum of "frumness" and you have picked a point on it that is just right and proper, that is probably where you are. Anyone to the frum side of it is fanatical to the left side is an apicorus.