- The Archer
How To Definitively Know Your Hashkafa
Hashkafa, loosely defined as the way other people can judge how jewish you are at given moment, can be very hard to define. What some consider "frum" in one community is considered "harlot" in another community. Are you a woman who occasionally separates her legs to hit the gas pedal in your car? Many consider you a classic prostitute. But please refrain from attending shul outside of the High Holy Days and Purim, that's way too frum for us. Except if it's that us which means it isn't frum enough.
Most education in out of town communities is heavily influenced by whatever teacher they managed to blackmail into teaching that particular year and therefore out of town hashkafos can be even more confusing. You may have learned Chabad Havdallah, Chassidish Kashrus, Modern Orthodox Tznius, and Yeshivish Tefillah all in one year. Therefore explaining to a Shadchan or potential match where you fall on the Frum Spectrum (it's like the gender spectrum only worse) can be a fool's errand.
Not to toot my own horn but TOOT the other day I stumbled upon the ultimate solution and blogged about it in a previous post. The very definitive way to tell someone's hashkafa is by their use of Whatsapp statuses. In fact, the information neatly fits into a bell curve. It isn't a traditional bell curve because I didn't take time to plug the averages in (contrary to popular belief I do occasionally do real work) but I did figure out how to define each section of the curve itself. No more explaining that you don't carry on shabbos ever but you also have an AMC Stubs membership or that you say a full Tehillim daily but wear high-low skirts. All you need to do is print this curve and explain how many Whatsapp statuses you post per year and if you fall to the left or right of Yeshivish.
I fall on the "Ride from UWS to Teaneck" section of the graph.
Stop being judged on the mitzvos you do/don't do/don't believe are mitzvos and get to the core of who you are. Who you are can be easily defined by how many statuses you post and how many of your friends have muted you.
And then, simply find the person who compliments you, perhaps by also being as annoyed/enamored with Whatsapp as you are. Or, perhaps you do 80% of the posting and he does 20% or vice versa.
And then, if you are blessed with children, decide the traditions with which you will raise your children. Gift them a smart phone when they are 8 'for safety reasons' but give them the social skills to not post their every activity on a texting app. Or, wait until they are married for them to be added to the family phone plan, but give no warning on how to act as a human within that phone plan. It's up to you to raise the next generation.
Using this chart will ensure there are no more messy hashkafic fights between husband and wife because hashkafa can be calculated down to a fraction of a tenth. You can also sit your spouse down and announce that you want to post more statuses and then define exactly where you want to be. Becoming a Baal Teshuva/Going OTD can be complicated but with a chart you can both know where you are holding at any given time.
Shuls could also utilize this technology by posting their own bell curves against this one to help you determine if that is the right Shul for you.
Stop struggling with identifying yourself and use the tools Rav Mark Zuckerberg so kindly provided.
But just remember that He is always listening.
He is Mark Zuckerberg.