Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fast forward to 2050

The year is 2050.
Yankele arrives at the gates. He tugs up at the navy blue sleeve of his school sweater, and flashes an armband at the metallic sign attached to the brick wall. A cryptographic protocol is deployed, Yankele and the school authenticate themselves, each verifies that the other is kosher, and that the kashrut certification was not revoked, or "cheremed", as the elders call it. The gates slide open, and Yankele is allowed into the hallowed sanctuaries of the Yeshiva day school. (The elders are rather proud of their two way authentication scheme. Before it was only possible to make sure the student is kosher, but what would happen if the school would rise in revolt, and overstep the proper boundaries? Now it's possible by one simple command to have the school shut down)
Inside the building Yankele stops to greet friends, both first checking that the other is kosher according to their families minhagim. Parents can program in permitted kosher associates for their children either individually, according to family, neighborhood, or even sect. (It's a very flexible system, and caters for all.)
Lessons are given by kosher and trustworthy teachers. The boys (girls would certainly not be considered kosher in school territory) then filter from the school yard and onto the surrounding streets.
Yankele heads home. He walks with eyes downcast. Occasionally he tentatively stretches his armband skyward, searching for kashrut certification . When a beep of approval is sounded, he lifts his head, to take in the rabinically certified poster or advertisement. (Eyes must be guarded at all times. The streets are still covered with pritzus, despite the elder's best efforts. )
A smell wafts through the air; meat roasting, chips frying. Yankele is hungry. He checks his armband (Which also conveniently serves as a watch, the elders thought of everything!). There is still time. He steps inside the take out restaurant, and purchases a cheese burger. He bites in, savoring the texture, and the taste. Finally an innocent pursuit, not requiring the rabbinical certifying board's stamp of approval.
Yankele's kosher certified phone rings, he pulls it out and flips it open. "Hi Mom, I'm on my way home, don't worry".
Passersby hear a once sided conversation, interrupted by chews and sips of coke.
"Oh, I stopped off for a snack on the way home"
"Where? In McDonalds. "
"Tatte? What's wrong Tatte?!"
"But I didn't know food had to be kosher too!"

Reasons to dump a potential zivug

Yes, you've done the 3 months background checking, but nonetheless, potentially problematic suitors can slip through the net. Things to watch out for, i.e. if you spot it, dump it and run like hell!

1. Chipped nail varnish- forget the aesthetics, and the put together look issues, this is Chatziza! Obviously she's got her priorities wrong. (Oh, if it’s the guy wearing the nail varnish, dump him even if it's not chipped.)
2. Orders malt beer- it may not be alchoholic, but it's so unfeminine. Plus maybe it's her way of surviving an hour without the real thing, get in touch with the A.A.
3. Orders a mint tea in a non mehadrin place- for some reason only guys do this. Maybe they are too busy shteiging gemorra to learn the nitty gritty of bug checking
4. Guy compliments the girl- big no no. See below post for elaboration.
5. Guy opens doors for the girl, and lets her walk ahead- any serious yeshiva bochur knows rabbis banned this. The reasoning: If the girl walks in front the bochur will end up checking out her rear end. Also, Talmidei Chachamim deserve respect! " ladies first" is a goyishe idea.
6. Girl arrives in a car- guy feels emasculated, and we wouldn't want that. Problems arise when girl parks car around the corner, so the guy won’t know, and said guy then wants to escort said girl home.
7. Guy arrives in any attire other than black (plain, not pinstriped) suit and black fedora. Girl arrives with any clothing not recommended by Rav Falk's "Oz VeHadar Levusha" .
8. Girl points out inconsistencies in guy's rebbe's carefully memorized devar torah.
9. Guy/Girl don't say Shehakol (only bracha needed, since food is assur) loudly, slowly and with Kavana. Guy/Girl don't answer Amen to date's bracha.
10. Guy notices the waitress/ girl notices the waiter. Avoid any eye contact with members of the opposite sex- possibly including your date, depending on social circles.