Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I Have J-Dar!


Not that I am unique in this respect. J-Dar, or the innate, almost unconscious power to detect Orthodox Jews in any type of surrounding in the absence of overt signs of jewishness (e./g., yramulke on head or artscroll gemra under arm), is possessed by most Orthodox Jews finely attuned by many, many years of trying to pick fellow tribesmen out of large crowds for minyan or trying to find out where the closest kosher restaurant is. Below, I attempt to deconstruct how J-Dar works for a Jewish male on a summer outing (ball park, amusement part, zoo, etc.) As you can see, J-Dar works primarily by ruling out those who are clearly not orthodox based on the presence of features such as tattoos or jewelry rather than on positive indications of Jewishness:

-Buzz cut: -100
-Mullet: -100
-Step/Mushroom: -100
-Receding hairline: +10

-Fisherman/hunter's cap: -50
-Baseball Cap with Yankees or Mets logo: +10
-Yarmulke/fedora: +100

-Jewelry of any sort: -100
-Goatee: -20
-Mustache: -20
-Stubble during sefira/three weeks: +50
-Short beard: +20
-Sideburns: +20
-Wirerimmed glasses: +10

Upper body/Arms
-Jewelry of any sort other than a wedding band: -90
-Sleeveless shirt: -80
-Shirt with a cute/bawdy slogan or a military motif (other than tzahal): -50
-Rock concert tour t-shirt: -50
-Tattoos: -100

Lower body/legs
-more than 1 telecommunications device clipped to belt: +20
-Cotton pants with sneakers: +50
-Spandex: -30

What the scores mean:

50 and up: Jewier than Moses. Feel free to approach and ask "efsher you can help with a mincha minyan?"

10-50: Definitely Jewish. He may pass for a goy to those without your sense of J-Dar, but this guy definitely enjoys his chulent and single malt on shabbos.

-10-10: Possible Jewish. You can ask, but leave out the Hebrew and have a silk yarmulke in the pocket just in case. Be prepared for the quizzical stare in response.

-10 and under: Definitely a Goy. The only way this gay is Jewish isif he is Jesus himself. Thinks kosher has something to do with pastrami on rye and hot dogs.

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