Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Lunch With The Bray of Fundie

A Guest Post By E. Fink

I just got returned from a lunch meeting with the one and only Bray of Fundie. It was our first in real life interaction. We never met before and I do not know his name.

I was a little nervous in light of recent MySpace and Craigslist murders, but I hedged my bets and decided to take the plunge and meet the one and only, Bray of Fundie.

We had a great time. (No we were not bashing DovBear the entire time.)

BOF is a very friendly guy. He reminds me of one of my wife's uncles. Knowledgeable, erudite and genial, he is actually great company.

BOF entered into the restaurant, ambles over to me and says "Sholom Aleichem, The Bray of Fundie". We enjoyed some lovely fare (BOF ordered healthy) in a tri-state area restaurant and of course BOF was very careful with his brachos and other eating related halachos.

Our conversation ranged from sports, to politics (very little, we both don't enjoy the topic), to contemporary issues like Chinuch, Seminary and Segulos, to technological savvy (or his lack thereof), to the Yated, to BOF's opinion on some of the bloggers and commenters on DovBear and elsewhere. I am being honest when I say this, BOF really likes you guys. I asked BOF who he would want to meet in real life. He told me he wants to meet "Sitra Achra", "Back of the Hill" and "Hershey" more that anyone else. Interesting, no? Of course he wants to meet DovBear and TikkunOlam as well.

We also talked about some of the recent posts on DovBear that lacked BOF's voice due to his banishment. BOF feels that the baby issue is very emotional and he would probably not have commented, but he did agree that for most Frum people, having large families is a social issue and not halachic. Another recent post that we discussed was the Kolko Jr. news. BOF has no sympathy for pedophiles and sex abusers.

BOF joked that he would love to infiltrate the Lakewood Elementary School System and give the boys in his class Milky Way (not Cholov Yisrael) candy bars. How quickly would he be tossed from the school? Would his supporters say "it was a set-up", "the accusers are just seeking revenge", "the Rebbe is such a good person, he would never give the kinderlach Milky Ways" etc. the way they hide their pedophiles? Funny to think about, not funny that he is probably right.

Of course, two Jews, three opinions. We did have a few disagreements. Particularly about me "enabling" DovBear with my glowing review of DovBear on the Parsha. I explained to him that I am in favor of thinking and DovBear on the Parsha makes you think. He actually budged a little on this, but I don't think he fully agreed. BOF is also not as against Segulos as me. But I did give him a preview of an upcoming post on Brachos / Amen Parties. He liked it.

Not a native New Yorker, BOF has some of the subtle niceties of the Out Of Town Frum Jew. My impression of BOF as a person are all positive. He works for a living, has a balanced knowledge of the world around him, he is a champion of Torah and halachic Judaism and he is a very smiley guy too. He had a grin on his face throughout most of our meeting. As a blogger, I suggested to BOF that he's gotta tone it down a little and try and match his blogging persona with his real life persona.

Oh, and his name is not actually Chaim (or Grossferster for that matter). BOF debated revealing his true identity to me...

...But he remains anonymous (or as he prefers: chameleonymous). BOF promised to consider giving me his name next time we meet. In the meantime, at least I have a face to attach to his pseudonym.

(I apologize if I bored you with this post. A few people asked about our meeting, so there you go.)

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