Closeted orthodox guy attends reform minyan

A few years ago my friends took me to my first Reform service, in fact it was the first non-Orthodox davening of any type that I had attended and I felt pretty awkward going. Growing up Orthodox you hear some pretty nasty rhetoric about anyone who isn’t Orthodox and so I figured they must think the same way about us.

I can spot an Orthodox person pretty quickly and figured that those Reform Rabbis could too, so I decided to play dumb. The first thing I decided to do was make believe like my yarmulke wouldn’t stay on my head for longer than 3 minutes at a time. I had always noticed that whenever someone non-Orthodox came to our synagogue growing up, their yarmulkes would constantly be falling off because they never wore them.

Then I grabbed a talis and put it on like a scarf. I could never figure out why non-Orthodox Jews wore their prayer shawls like scarves, but I figured that help me blend in better. I really thought the Rabbi or other congregant would out me and make me leave or something. My friends thought I was insane, I also decided to keep looking at my neighbor for the page number in the siddur.


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