Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Ghost Busters have nothing on the Stereotype Busters

Exhibit A—My boss: A “black-hat” Orthodox Jew. (I think the proper description of his place on the Orthodox “spectrum” would be “yeshivish”). With an earned Ph.D. in math. “A staunch supporter of higher education for Orthodox Jews, male and female, and a true believer that Jews should work to support their families, rather than sitting in kollel studying full-time and relying on welfare.” (Quote swiped from my Saturday, September 10, 2005 post No more anonymous kippot.”)

Exhibit B—“The Wiz”: Computer programming genius. Expert in the use and teaching of computer applications. (Has given me more formatting tips for Word than I can even remember. [Not to worry—I have all those tips saved in—what else?—a Word file.]) Wears clothing fitting the following description every day all year round—nearly-floor-length skirt, turtle-neck top, vest. Rumored to be Lubavitch.

Exhibit C: Black pants. White shirt. Long beard. And, on his head, what Etan G., the Jewish Rapper, of Shlock Rock fame, would probably describe as a “Yarmy [that] covers all of Memphis Tennessee.” Did I mention that he’s a rock guitarist? With a Ph.D.? See here. Hear here.

Hey, wait a minute—there's such a thing as a Jewish Rapper? I guess Etan G. is Exhibit D.

And how about that Lubavitcher reggae singer? Matisyahu, Exhibit E.

And, in case you think that the stereotype-breakers belong exclusively to the Orthodox community, here are a few from different points along the Jewish-observance spectrum.

Exhibit F: Long skirt. Modest top. And a rabbi who thinks that she dresses like a Beis Yaakov girl. Except for her kippah, her tallit, and, on weekdays, her tefillin.

Exhibit G: Female visitor to my synagogue. Long skirt. Hat—Rabbi can’t understand why. Considering that she also wore a tallit. And chanted today’s haftarah. And is rumored to be an ordained Reform rabbi.

What can I say? My rabbi has his stereotypes and I have mine.


Blogger Unknown said...

I love busting stereotypes. I hope that I am not the stereotypical Reform/Conservative Jew...I don't even like to use the title. I am a Jew who struggles along the best I can.

Mon Dec 12, 10:39:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Well, Z, what can I say? Keep struggling.

As for me, well, if I'm gonna be a tallit-&-tefillin wearin' woman in a traditional Conservative synagogue, I guess bustin' stereotypes kinda comes with the turf. :)

It all made sense at the time. After all, I *was* a member of an egalitarian synagogue. So what was I supposed to do after I moved--*stop* wearing a tallit after having worn one for over a decade? I will admit, though, that I no longer have the nerve to wear one on the rare occasions when I find myself in an Orthodox synagogue.

Mon Dec 12, 11:25:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Unknown said...

My Reformodox shul - oh they'd DIE if I put one on. They'd literally DIE. And a kippah? Bad bad bad. I am surprised they're starting to have music with the services...weird if you ask me. But then, after three years, I am just an old fuddy duddy I guess :)

Tue Dec 13, 09:22:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Unknown said...

Did you get nominated for a JIB for your special ed series? If you didn't you should have.

Tue Dec 13, 11:37:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

So you belong to one of those "classical" Reform synagogues? I thought they were a dying breed. Then again, I thought traditional *Conservative* synagogues were a dying breed, too, 'til I ended up belonging to one. (Apparently, they're still pretty popular in Canada, too, article to an article in this past Friday's New York Jewish Week.)

Ooh, ooh, time for the JIB Awards again. Neat! Thanks for the kudos. :) Your own series was darned good, too. Tell you what--you nominate my series and I'll nominate yours--assuming that I can figure out how to set up a hyperlink in the comments section so that my nomination will be valid.

Tue Dec 13, 10:49:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sigh--Here's a copy of my e-mail to, home of the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards:

I tried to post a nomination comment six times. Your blog refused to authenticate my sign-in, whatever the bleep that means. Apparently, it doesn't recognize the existence of

Here's my nomination for the category of "Best Series":

When Something’s Wrong, An Eight-part Series On Raising A Special Needs Child, Z’s post on

Please reply. For openers, I'd appreciate it if you would post this nomination. For closers, I'd love to know what the heck Ms. Tech-Challenged did wrong this time.

Tue Dec 13, 11:16:00 PM 2005  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Stereotypes are made for bustin'.

Wed Dec 14, 11:10:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Yesiree, PT. :)

Thu Dec 15, 12:58:00 AM 2005  

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