Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Wanted: A guide for the perplexed :)

Technical issues are a minor annoyance for me, due to my non-existent knowledge of programming. Here’s Reva haShotah doing fancy fiddling with photos and posting them on her blog, and I don’t even know enough HTML to turn her URL,, into a hyperlink—unless I get lucky and Blogspot does the work for me, you can click all you want and you’ll never get there from here. [By George--Apparently, I got lucky.] Just call me Ms. Clueless in Cyberspace. :)

As for religious issues, never having been Orthodox, and not having grown up in an Orthodox neighborhood, I’m pretty lost when it comes to Orthodox politics. According to Elf at, “Frumster lists over ten varieties of Orthodoxy, ranging from "Black Hat Yeshivish" to "Flexidox." Is Black Hat the same thing as Yeshivish? Is either one the same thing as Chareidi, or are they each a type of Chareidi? And why are the writers and commenters at Jewish Musings,, always yelling at one another about Black Hats and Chassidim?

When I want a little Modern Orthodox sanity, I go to , where many of the frum folk who are not "intellectually lazy" hang out. I’m also most appreciative that the writer of occasionally takes time to let her readers ask questions about her Orthodox life and how she got there from a Reform upbringing. I find some insight into the contrasting worlds of Modern Orthodox synagogues and schtieblach at the blog of Adam Ragil (who davvens in both), The author of helps me see a more reasoned picture of Chassidic life.

As a serious Jew who's not Orthodox, I enjoy reading and . When I’m feeling both serious and studious, and am interested in reading long, well-thought-out posts, I check out . The Zionist in me appreciates the musings taking place in An Unsealed Room at and the thoughts about This Normal Life at

I didn’t having had the benefit of a day-school education, and I lack the fortitude of an Akiva to do something about it at my age. But I find that these blogs are helping me catch up just a smidge on some of the Jewish education that I missed, while also giving me insight into some of the more traditional segments of the Jewish community. Thanks to all the writers, and Shanah Tovah to all.


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