I walked into the shul in San Jose the other day and felt inclined to wash off all the ruach ra’ah and tumah of the internet from my hands before davening. Suddenly I started wondering about how you can calculate a shuls level of frumness just by the fact that they had sinks devoted to hand washing. You may notice that some shuls have the washing sinks in a separate room right outside the bathroom, but the highest level of frumness for a shul is to have a large metal trough with metal washing cups chained to the faucets – there cannot be soap present because soap is inherently a modern orthodox zach.
Seforim: Obviously, the easiest way is by the seforim. One or two artscroll gemara’s lying around could be fine, but if your shul has a whole set of artscroll shas it can be very telling of the lomdus level of the shuls members. Take a look at the other english seforim (being from a modernishe back round I can use that term) BT shuls will undoubtedly have a whole bunch of Keleman, Tatz and some books that utilize science to prove God and very frum shuls that have English seforim will probably limit them to the mussar seforim like Mesilas Yeshurim, Chovos Halevovos and Derech Hashem. These shuls will also have a bunch of those Artscroll “history” revised shtetl fantasy gadol biographies. Modern Orthodox shuls will usually have some apikorsus in their shul libraries and the mere fact that it’s called a library and not a beis medrish is very telling.
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