Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm writing this blog for other Jewish foster parents/potential foster parents, so pepper it with terms specific to the more-or-less frum community. Such as that word "frum." Here's a running glossary for your reference:

Chag = holiday. The chaggim are: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavuot. Chanukah is a minor holiday and isn't technically a "chag." Neither is Purim.

Daven = pray.

Frum = orthodox, or at least observant. In certain contexts, which I anticipate won't arise in this blog, it means ultra-orthodox, as opposed to modern orthodox. But in the context in which I mean it, it can mean observant Conservative Jew as well, and refers to keeping kosher, keeping Shabbat, going to shul regularly, and the like.

Kashrut = noun form of "keeping kosher."  Keeping kosher basically means refraining from pork and shellfish, and keeping meat and dairy separate.  On the ground, however, keeping kosher is much more than that.  It involves having separate sets of dishes, flatware, pots and pans, and being careful even to use the correct sponge.  It involves being careful what food comes into the home and not eating in restaurants that aren't certified as being kosher.

Minyan = on a very technical level, the word "minyan" means "prayer quorum." In the orthodox world, this is 10 Jewish men, in the Conservative world, 10 Jews over the age of 12/13. In the world of this blog, the word "minyan" refers to a prayer community, usually one that is organized outside the auspices of a synagogue. I belong to two minyanim (the plural of minyan)--My Minyan1 and My Minyan2.

Negiyah = literally means "touching."  (The physical kind, not the "oh that's so sweet" kind.) The further to the right one goes on the orthodox spectrum, the more there are taboos around men and women touching each other.  

Shul = synagogue. In this blog, I attend My Shul which is a regular orthodox synagogue, and My Minyan1 and My Minyan2 which are smaller, lay-led communities. As long as the blog just talks about "shul" and not "My Shul," I'm intending a broad reading.


  1. I like this post, helps me get a better understanding of things even if i can sort of understand what you are talking about just from reading the context.

    Found you blog today, started reading from the beginning, like it so far :)

  2. Hi Silje, welcome to my blog! You'll see it got exciting a few weeks ago and before that was a lot of whining about the ridiculously long time it took to get licensed :-)