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November 27, 2014 / conservadox

An uncomfortable question

I was in a city where I don’t live last Sunday, and popped into a shul (Orthodox, somewhat black-hattish) for mincha.  It was a small shul and someone spotted me as a newcomer and started a conversation.  He asked me “How did you become frum?”  I gave an answer that was as true as it could be for a sound bite.

More interesting to me is that I don’t really like the question.  First, I’m not sure that one should assume that anyone who davens in an Orthodox synagogue is “frum” (whatever that happens to mean).  Second, I suspect that if this man really knew me, he wouldn’t think I was frum at all! (I would guess that (a) being willing to set foot in a non-Orthodox synagogue and b) being willing to eat in my mother’s nonkosher home and even in nonkosher restaurants now and then, would pretty much put me outside the pale).  Personally, I think of myself more as “gradually evolving”, though usually in the direction of more observance.

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