Friday, January 28, 2005

postal scrotum: frum Jews and "business"

I got plenty of responses to my question about what a frum Jew is.

The Maven writes:

Frum, I believe is a sign of piety or observance in the Hassidic community. I, too, had stumbled upon Shtremel's blog a few nights ago, and it is a compelling read, him straddling both worlds, almost akin to AMISH. Although, I tend to take the stance with the Hassidim that it is more cultish than an actual religion. So much of what they are taught from their elders isn't necessarily bible-based (or rather TORAH based). One thing I will say about Hassidism is that they tend to be more spiritual than other stripes of Judaism. Other varieties of Judaism seem more mechanical, doing things because you are commanded, rather than having a true love of the commandments (FYI there are literally 613 listed within Exodus, Levit, and Deut). And THAT is what I find fascinating about Shtremel's log. The fighting againt the cultist machine and every falsehood he's been spoon fed, all the while being married to an observant woman, having children with her, yet having a secret life that could be found out at any given moment. It truly is a compelling read.


FRUM ('fr&m) adj : conforming to established Jewish doctrine; Orthodox Jewish.

An email from Dr. Hodges says:

Dear Kevin,

About: "whatever a 'frum Jew' is"...

The word "frum" is Yiddish for "pious." It's the same as the hochdeutsch word "fromm," which you'll recognize as the surname of the famous Eric even if you don't know German (but don't you know German?).

In the Jewish context, "frum" probably refers to keeping kosher. But what do I know -- I'm just a hillbilly.


Jeffery Hodges

And Mis-nagid himself writes in!


Thanks for the link and the kind words. As for your question, frum means Ultra-Orthodox. It's the term Ultra-Orthodox Jews use to refer to themselves. See here:

Wikipedia entry

It's the most fundamentalist strain of Judaism, with the usual mix of creationism, bigotry, and supernatural history, like floods and revelations. It also has the required cultic strictures and prohibitions against reading or saying anything that conflicts with the cult's dogma. And that, my good man, is why I have to be anonymous.

All the best,

Regarding my post about the new slang, Sperwer writes in with the following:

re "my business" -- this is really old slang coming back around.

Nothing new under the sun, eh?


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