Frumster Is Different

On the Orthodox dating site, I found one young woman who described herself as “G-d fearing…”

You don’t find that so often in secular dating sites.

“God-fearing” used to be a very common way that people were described (prior to the 1960s).

I would describe myself as “God-fearing”, but I didn’t put that in my profile. Perhaps I should.

Mac emails: “That’s a translation of yirat shamayim (or as an adjective, yare shamayim), and is a common artscrollism.”

Not just that, fearing God is a fundamental Torah value and commandment which is repeated many times in our daily prayers.

Mac emails: “You misunderstood me. Of course yirat shamayim is a critical concept in yahadut (I always feel like a sheygitz saying Joodyism). But the use of it as a descriptive term, which as you noted is not common in the non-Jewish world, conveys a set of sociological statements about the user, and obviously it can’t refer simply to the state of Gd fearingness, as it were, because otherwise how could one describe oneself that way without self contradiction?”

“You wouldn’t be really described as yare shamayim in the sense they use it, you quote Prager and not the gedoylim, you don’t say i”h and amush after everything, you talk to women, don’t limit your reading to artscroll or Feldheim and you aren’t in nor do you support a koylel. Also, your yiras shomayim is deficient as you hold and post your own views, which technically makes you a baal gayvo. Daf yomi only makes you a potential baalabus (baal habayit) but not a yarei shomayim. Plus you don’t wear a hat and your hair is too long.”

“Look man, I grew up in that community. I’d be curious about the language on frumster (though I assume it would be like the comments section of VIN and chaptzem). What else did she say about herself? There is a very distinct semiotics of speech and dress in the fromm world, it is a German word which means pious. It is also used as a pejorative, ie to call something a frommkeit is to say that it is not critical to the mitzvah).”

Rabbi Rabbs posts: “For frumster, just describe yourself as being tall with a sense of humor. According to their profiles, that’s all about 90% of the females there are looking for in a man.”

Mac emails: “Rabbs is right about that. The only problem is that its the machatunim who want more. As a survivor of the kedimas haberachos plate and other similar ordeals, you may need a crash course in frommer dating traditions if you want to continue to pursue that route. Though you may need Leah Kleim on this one, if for nothing else than to realize that if you start dating Boro Park style you might end up covered in tattoos.”

My route is HaShem’s route.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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