If you’ve ever read my columns and wonder whether I’m religious, I’m going to put it all on the table right now. I am indeed religious – or “frum” as we call it. Here is the list I came up with to explain how you can tell I am a frum Jew.

I Know How to Open a Plastic Table Cloth

This is the number one sign of a good religious Jew. Many say keeping Shabbat is the sign of a religious Jew. No. It’s knowing how to open a plastic table cloth. Most people think you only have to open it three times. That is incorrect. You must open it three times, plus another six. When you think it is open, open it more. You will also need to strengthen your fingers’ adhesive abilities. You can practice that by standing at the checkout line of your supermarket, trying to open the bags.

More importantly, as a frum Jew I have learned how to keep the plastic down. To make sure it does not fly away, after opening it nine times, you must jump on it. Lay there until the plates come out. If the plates are also plastic, stay there through dinner.

More Ways You Know I’m Frum

  • Showering before Shabbat in my house is always a rush. You cannot shower at a leisurely pace with 12 people before sundown. That’s not frum.

  • My nieces all wear the same dresses. If today is the pink skirt with flowers, they are all wearing it. Sibling coordination is very religious. Even the clothes in my family are tradition.

  • I don’t do mitzvot. I keep mitzvot. That is how I say it. I think it is easier to keep them. It takes less effort than the action of doing them.

  • I use plastic for everything. If not plastic, it is tinfoil. Global warming does not concern me; as long as I can clean up Shabbat dinner easier.

  • I buy the nice looking plastic plates. They look amazing with the design around it, until the people sit down to dinner and find out it is plastic.

  • The greatest accomplishment in my life happened when I was eating chicken on a Friday night and my plastic fork did not break. You try doing that. You deserve that beautiful feeling of triumph.

  • I only pay for entertainment if it’s a fundraiser. I will go to Safam concert if I can write it off as a tithe for a charitable donation. It’s nice that the sick kids in the hospital will benefit from my swaying to “Jerusalem.”

  • I listen to rock songs whose lyrics are not what everybody else in the world knows. Thank you Shlock Rock. I don’t listen to U2 singing “With or Without You.” I listen to “To Unite All Jews.” “Backstreets Back Alright”? No. I sing “Matzahs Baked Tonight.” That excites me more than the Backstreet Boys.

  • My kippah stays on my head without clips. It is a big one. Because I am proud.

  • I fill gift baskets with stuff that nobody wants, like poppy seed hamentashen and lemon wafers. That is why I love Purim.

  • I went to summer camp my whole childhood and never once went on a boat.

  • I enjoy dancing in a circle. I will line dance, but nothing brings me more joy than having my hands on another man’s shoulders and walking.

  • When I am in the middle of deep conversation, you will get hit. I use my hands a lot.

  • Every work of art in my house has Hebrew letters on it.

  • I have a picture in my home of Hassidic men dancing. It is artistic, especially with the Hebrew letters on it.

  • I own books. I don’t have a Kindle. You can’t use that on Shabbat!

  • I actually like cholent and kishka. I even like herring and sponge cake.

  • My blood sugar level is way too high.

  • When I compare myself to the people in my shul, I am in shape.

  • All my meals growing up were six hours apart. I like meat and dairy. Now, I eat dairy until 5pm and meat from 5pm till midnight.

  • I didn’t get funded by Birthright to come to Israel. My parents paid for that trip.

  • I put on Tefillin in the airport. I have even put them on, on the airplane. I have singlehandedly stopped dinner service for all seats A to D in the first aisle with my silent prayer. That was better than smacking the person next to me with my leather straps.

  • I get served food first on the plane. This causes much jealously from other passengers. Except for the diabetic vegans.

  • When I travel, I travel with every meal I may need for the entire vacation. I do not trust that Europe will provide the kosher food. I do not pack clothes. I don’t have room for those when I’m going on a two-week trip.

Yes. There is your proof. I am a religious Jew and I am proud of it. And when I travel with my kippah, I wear a baseball hat over that.