Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Label-less

I emailed my profile as per her request, but she needed clarification

"But what is your hashkafa?" 

Frankly, I have no idea. 

I have always been flummoxed by the concept of "labels." Consider the first time Jews were given subcategories; for that, we can thank the Reform movement. To differentiate themselves from the frummies, they tagged us "Orthodox." 

For that reason I refuse to refer to myself as "orthodox"; I say "observant" instead.

As for my outlook? I am not Yeshivish. I am not modern. (Whatever dating websites may imply, that does not make me "yeshivish modern.") I simply wander through life known strictly as "Jew."

I typed back truthfully; I know what my background is (hi-mish), but other than that I am clueless. 

She found that "refreshing." Phew.

Then she tried to set me up with Bren Derlin. Oy.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Consider the first time Jews were given subcategories; for that, we can thank the Reform movement.

I think earlier. For example, the misnagdim tagged the chassidim "chassidim" as a sarcastic nickname for their supposed piety. Before Reform even existed. But why blame frum yidden when it's easier to blame the shkotzim?

Princess Lea said...

You "think"?

Careful with a term like "shkotzim" - I won't have it bandied about, not on my blog, anyway.

Also, use a nom de plume instead of skulking behind "anonymous." Maybe then I won't consider you a random troller.

Anonymous said...

Based on all my reading of your blog I would almost say your stuck with yeshivish modern. I agree labels are not be all classification of a persons hashkafah but they are a neccesary evil in terms of shidduch dating. When answering whats your hashkafa ask yourself if members of your immediate family wear black hats? would you be comfortable spending a summer in a camp Moshava environment? there are exceptions but generally most people know which hashkafah they belong too.

Joshua Josephs said...

Princess Lea,
While I appreciate that labels are annoying consider the following question. Lets say that to be considered Orthodox/Observant means observing the Big Three; Shabbos, Kashrus, and Taharas Hamishpacha. I still doubt that this means you will accept just any man who observes these since it is far more nuanced how you and he interact with the world. For example, someone who calls himself observant might prefer to send his children to Co-Ed day schools, or to single sex schools or to Yeshivas. Simply calling oneself observant does not help discriminate one persons world view from anothers.

A label is like any other dating tool, a means of gathering some degree of information for the purpose of making decisions. Like someones picture it is not perfect but does give information that is hopefully helpful.

Princess Lea said...

2nd Anon: Nope, Yeshivish Modern still does not apply.

I belong to a dwindling minority, which still exists in Europe and other far-flung areas, like Australia. In the USA, people either become yeshivish or chassidish or modern; I am none of these.

Yeshivish means Litvish, and that is not my background. Hungary was not (Satmar was in Romania, so no, they are not Hungarian) chassidish, so nope, not that either. As for modern, nope, not that either.

So back to the heimish, a term many do not recognize or understand. There are some remaining members in Brooklyn, but we are not considered to be a valid species.

Don't judge someone based on their blog. I've made that mistake. One infers what one wishes to.

JJ: I have dated across the spectrum. Yeshivish usually doesn't work out, neither does modern. In that vague territory between I have better success.

Let's put it this way: My lifestyle is what I was raised with, a lifestyle that not many understand by American standards.

Additionally, I have gone out with guys who have their own interpretations of their labels are. There isn't even clear criteria for these labels.

I suppose I can say "I'll know it when I see it"? Thanks be to God that He's taking care of all this.

andreagrinberg.com said...

Find this very refreshing. You might like this post that I made when asked the exact same question! http://andreagrinberg.com/about/so-what-kind-of-jew-are-you/

Princess Lea said...

I love your post. It beautifully expresses exactly what I believe. Thank you for sharing.

Gavi said...

I usually quote Rav Chananya Weissmann's "Labels Are For Clothing" article at this juncture...


I also like to label myself as "shulchan aruch" - that's essentially what guides us these days.

Princess Lea said...

Gavi: Even he cannot look past the NY standard three - it's a big world out there, and there is more out there! Even fifteen years ago (the number he cites) there were other "types."