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Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism
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Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism

by Sarah Bunin Benor
 

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ISBN-10: 081355389X

ISBN-13: 9780813553894

Pub. Date: 11/30/2012

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

When non-Orthodox Jews become frum (religious), they encounter much more than dietary laws and Sabbath prohibitions. They find themselves in the midst of a whole new culture, involving matchmakers, homemade gefilte fish, and Yiddish-influenced grammar. Becoming Frum explains how these newcomers learn Orthodox language and culture through

Overview

When non-Orthodox Jews become frum (religious), they encounter much more than dietary laws and Sabbath prohibitions. They find themselves in the midst of a whole new culture, involving matchmakers, homemade gefilte fish, and Yiddish-influenced grammar. Becoming Frum explains how these newcomers learn Orthodox language and culture through their interactions with community veterans and other newcomers. Some take on as much as they can as quickly as they can, going beyond the norms of those raised in the community. Others maintain aspects of their pre-Orthodox selves, yielding unique combinations, like Matisyahu’s reggae music or Hebrew words and sing-song intonation used with American slang, as in “mamish (really) keepin’ it real.”

Sarah Bunin Benor brings insight into the phenomenon of adopting a new identity based on ethnographic and sociolinguistic research among men and women in an American Orthodox community. Her analysis is applicable to other situations of adult language socialization, such as students learning medical jargon or Canadians moving to Australia. Becoming Frum offers a scholarly and accessible look at the linguistic and cultural process of “becoming.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813553894
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
11/30/2012
Series:
Jewish Cultures of the World Series
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
711,804
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents


List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Transcription Conventions

1. Introduction: Orthodox Jews and Language Socialization
2. "Now You Look Like a Lady": Adventures in Enthnographic and Sociolinguistic Fieldwork
3. "He Has Tzitzis Hanging Out of His Ponytail": Orthodox Cultural Practices and How BTs Adapt Them
4. "This Is Not What to Record": Yiddish, Hebrew, and the English of Orthodox Jews
5. "Torah or Toyrah": Language and the Modern Orthodox Black Hat Continuum
6. "Just Keepin' It Real, Mamish": Why Ba'alei Teshuva Adopt (or Avoid) Orthodox Language
7. "I Finally Got the Lingo": Progression in Newcomers' Acquisition of Orthodox Language
8. "A Ba'al Teshuva Freak": Distinguishing Practies of Newly Orthodox Jews
9. Matisyahu and My Fair Lady: Reflections on Adult Language Socialization

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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