A week ago, my SigOth (i.e. Significant Other) and I were at a hasidic bar mitzvah. Afterwards, we were kindly invited to have lunch over at the bar mitzvah boy’s house. As we were getting to know the various members of the extended family and trying to figure out who was what, religiously, my SigOth asked a married couple if they, like the bar mitzvah boy’s parents and grandparents, were hasidim. They answered that they were hasidim but they were ‘under-cover’… that is, while they defined themselves as hasidim, they did not overtly dress or speak like hasidim. They were, in effect, ‘plainclothes’ hasidim.
It occurred to me that we knew a few people like that. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my SigOth and I were also, to a some extent… ‘Stealth Hasidim!’
You’d never know it to look at us. You won’t see payess, a shreimel or a bekishe being worn… at least not yet… not even a black Borsalino fedora. We look frum, I suppose… but not ‘ultra-Orthodox’ (I hate that term)!
So the thought of us being Stealth Hasidim holds an enormous appeal for me!
For example, we both dress conservatively, but not out of the 18th or 19th century.
Aside from a hat (a greek fisherman’s cap, btw, not a black fedora), a yarmulke and a sheitel, I don’t know that a non-Jew would instantly spot us as Orthodox.
So, Gentile World (i.e. 98.3% of the population out there!), be aware that the nice conservatively dressed people next to you on the sidewalk or the grocery store or the coffee shop may not be who or what they appear. Outwardly, they might be missing the fur hats and side curls and long coats… but inside, they may be not a heck of a lot different from those bearded ‘ultra-Orthodox’ Jews you sometimes see in the movies or on TV.
They may be us! They may be… Stealth Hasidim!