Frumgirl 5: The Natives Know

Break from class found us again in heated discussion. And again, as usual, us frumgirls were featured in the center of a highly curious questioning session. This time it was about Jewish Holidays.

One frumgirl, who awes me with her ability to explain even the most confusing of Jewish concepts in ways that make me want to convert to Judaism all over again, was leading the conversation. “Imagine,” (and I butcher it trying to replicate what she said,) “having Thanksgiving dinner every single week…Fresh, fragrant food, your family sitting around the table together sharing in one another’s company, the warm, comfortable atmosphere… That’s what the Sabbath is like. Every week.”

The rest of the girls and women in the group (no guys there that day) sit in varying degrees of interest, with the most enraptured of them all being the Catholic Latina girl we’ll call Gabriella. Gabi is fascinated with us, but until coming into graduate school, never really knew much about Orthodoxy, or any Judaism for that matter (“So you don’t believe in Jesus?!” That was before Judaism 101.)

Anyhow, that day we were discussing different wonderful aspects of being Jewish. This time, Sue takes center stage. Sue is as non-affiliated as they come. She’s not Jewish or Christian or Muslim or anything. Sue is just…Sue. Jeans and spaghetti-strap tanktops and bicycle helmet and all. So Sue pipes up, “Hey, I once went to my friend for one of the Jewish holiday dinners!”

“Cool!” a few of us chorus. “Which one?”

“No clue,” she shrugs. “Some holiday with a lot of little plates.”

After a few minutes of confused pondering on our end, one of us thinks to ask her if it was Passover.

“Yeah! That was it! It was cool.”

Then Gabi, eager to have her position back, asks what kind of special food we have on the Sabbath and holidays. Try explaining potato kugel and gefilte fish to a bunch of kids who just heard you exclaiming how amazing your Jewish food is. Our spokesgirl begins talking about the delicious challah when Sue interrupts.

“Yeah, you have gefilte fish.”

The rest of us are aghast.

I turn to her looking perplexed, but pleasantly surprised. “Sue, how in the world do you know what gefitle fish is?”

Looking slightly insulted-as if it should have been so obvious to us-Sue states matter-of-factly. “Frumgirl5, of course I know what gefilte fish is. I’m from Brooklyn”

Go figure…

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 6:43 PM  Comments (6)  

Frumgirl 1: Going With the Flow

“Hey Frumgirl1!” calls the long island girl in her halter top and yoga pants, “come take a look at this!” On her Mac, she points to a fairly sedate dress available at a well-known retailer’s website. “What do you think of this for Yom Kippur?” she asks.

“It’s nice,” I tell her.

What I don’t tell her is monumental. I don’t tell that even though she considers herself Jewish and does more traditionally Jewish things than your standard non-Orthodox Jew, according to Orthodoxy she isn’t Jewish at all. Yes, her father is. Means less than the stacker and scraper shidduch inquiries, since her mother isn’t.

But I’d never tell her that. I keep mum and it bothers me. I suppose that if she wants to be considered Jewish by the resident frummie contingent, I’m happy to oblige.

She’s so proud of her identity as a Jew.

Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 2:36 PM  Comments (18)  

Frumgirl 1: Sheer Frum Arrogance

The new first year class from the program next door has about 15 frumgirl participants out of a class of 30. A record number. It is also the highest grade-achieving year in the history of the program, or so says the program chair.

Coincidence? They think not.

In my own class, the two smartest students are the Chassidish guy and the frummest Muslim. The only psuedo-logical conclusion one can draw from this is that religious fanaticism makes you smart.

That’s actually a great kiruv ad: Boost Your IQ! Become Frum!

Seriously, though, is there any real link between Frumkeit/level of religious observance and IQ?

Statistically, they say the Jewish people have a higher average IQ than the standard US population. (According to Wiki: the epitome of reliability,…but check out trhe sources they list on the bottom). The studies that say this, though, prove to be inconclusive at a closer glance.

They say that 28% of Nobel prize awardees for science and math were Jewish. What is that supposed to indicate? That Jewish people are more likely to doggedly stick to somethign difficult? That Jewish people have a greater capability to do so? Have greater capabilities, in general? It’s all just conjecture in the end.

So why are we so sure that we’re smarter than everyone else?

Eureka! …perhaps it’s the beards!

Published in: on June 26, 2008 at 3:02 PM  Comments (3)  

Frumgirl 1: Female is Female, Alien or Not

Earthling guys will discuss freely amongst themselves topics that would presumably make even earthling females uncomfortable. Usually to do with things of intimate nature, personal anatomy, and the specifics of work-out regimens.

I don’t either get the last one. I suppose they want us to think it’s natural, like the male equivalent of bottle-blonds who pay a fortune for highlights and lowlights and dye their two year olds to make them look related.

So they don’t. Discuss them in front of females, that is. Planet of origin makes no difference. Unless, of course, they don’t know the female is present, then they get embarrassed when they find out and the Earthling or Alien difference sets the scales of mortification.

Published in: on June 24, 2008 at 10:04 PM  Leave a Comment