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The Off the Derech Test

If you grow up Orthodox and leave that community, you have gone "off-the-derech" (derech = way). Sometimes the trajectory is to go way off the derech and then circle back. Sometimes you find another way that suits you fine. But no matter what happens, if you were FFB (Frum From Birth), you never stop comparing your current life to what it might have been.

So... how far off the derech are you?

1) It's Friday evening, what do you do to fill your house with the Shabbos spirit?

I light Shabbos candles
I don't light Shabbos candles, but my daughter / son / spouse does
I have a glass of wine or beer and mellow out
I meditate and do my chant, NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO
News flash: Our Lord changed the Sabbath to Sunday
I call my Orthodox parents and let the phone ring and ring and ring

2) At the company holiday luncheon, everyone is instructed to sing along to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." What do you do?

Look at my pager and say, "Yikes! Gotta go!"
Hum along
What's the fuss about? Just sing.
NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO goes with almost any tune
I sing all the words to all verses, in English and Latin
I sing all the words, but in Klingon

3) Lobster tastes like --

I have no idea, never tried it
Blegggghh. Tried it once. Cockroach of the sea.
I'm vegan and don't eat anything with a face. Or feelers.
I've heard it's good, but I can't afford it
Disgusting, but worth eating just to reflect on how bad I've become

4) For their religious education, your children go to (or will go to) --

Jewish Day School
Hebrew school on Wednesday night and Sunday
Uhhhh... grandma's house?
The ashram
CCD at St. Patrick's
I told them there is no God. They cry a lot.

5) As regards religious identity, your significant other is --

Involved with Judaism and active in the community
Agnostic, but culturally Jewish
Dunno, never asked.
I have renounced all fleshly pleasures and have no "other"
Pagan Sex Priest / Priestess. Yeah!

6) Be honest now, you're anonymous! "My sexual experimentation is --"

I'm pleading the fifth on this one
with my spouse
Things happened at parties, but I don't remember much...
My body is an illusion
My body is a temple, but not like Temple Beth Israel
They're making a p*rn movie based on my life

7) I say the "Shma Yisrael" --

Every day
At services on Shabbat
When I see a truck barreling straight at me and my life flashes before my eyes
Just say "Ommmmmmm"
At our church's annual interfaith service

8) As regards Israel

I have made Aliyah or am considering it for the future
I won't live there myself, but support it fully
I support a peace process that is fair to all
Boundaries and nationalities are an illusion
A strong Israel is part of God's longterm plan to convert the Jews
I give money to Hamas

9) I named (will name) my kids

Sarah and David
Alissa and Joshua
Ashley and Brett
What part of "I renounced my body" don't you understand?
Mary and Paul
Satan and Jezebel

10) I think these questions

Are kind of stupid
Are slightly amusing and thought-provoking
Don't apply to my life at all
Are too focused on materialism and superficial values
Remind me of when I was Jewish

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