Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Charedi Top Ten

R. Yitzchok Adlerstein sent me this jokeful e-mail (with permission to post):

My defense of Rabbi Nosson Slifkin in Cross-Currents was a lightning rod for criticism, both from the right and the left. It was expected. Some was more imaginative than others, at least according to what others told me. I didn't bother to read it. One reader apparently warned the blogosphere that my endorsement of Rabbi Slifkin was insignificant, because I wasn't really charedi anyway. This made me pause and reflect. Could he be right? I had never considered that possibility before. After quite a bit of thinking, I arrived at the Top Ten Reasons Why I Must Be Charedi. Unfortunately, I also arrived at the Top Ten Reasons Why I Can't Be Charedi. Perhaps by presenting both, someone will help me attain some clarity.

Top Ten Reasons Why I Can't Be Charedi.

10) I listen to classical music
9) I love learning Rav Kook
8) I refer to him as "The Rav," rather than "JB"
7) I have spoken at the OU convention
6) I am given to using polysyllabic words, unprovoked.
5) I very seldom punctuate my speech with words like "mamesh," and takeh."
4) Members of the Israeli consulate regularly enjoy hospitality at my Shabbos table, even when I don't need anything from them
3) "Biblical criticism" to me does not mean taking issue with Artscroll
2) I refer to non-Jews as non-Jews, not goyim, and never tell racial jokes

And the Number One reason why I can't be charedi......

1) I actually speak with non-Jews

But then there are the arguments in the other direction.
Top Ten Reasons Why I Must Be Charedi

10) None of my rabbeim attended college
9) The last television program I remember was Leave it to Beaver
8) We get Hamodia at home
7) We actually read Jewish Observer
6) My shul does not have a Kiddush Club
5) I don't use the local eruv, even though it is entirely valid
4) I believe that Daas Torah is an important working concept, not an article by Lawrence Kaplan
3) We regard Kol Ishah as a binding halacha, not a female vocal group
2) My wife is so frum, she not only covers her hair, she even covers other women's hair (By appointment only; call at least two weeks in advance.)

And the Number One reason why I must be charedi......

1) My kids went to schools so frum, that most can't speak English properly

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