By Chava Ewa and Emily Goldstein
Last Updated 12/21/2017 at 1:00 PM
Tel Aviv: It’s the question that so many men are asking today: “Is she Shomer Negiya or does she just not want to touch me?” Avi G., an office worker from Givatayim is unwilling to admit that Roni, his new co-worker is simply ‘not into him’. At all. “She must be some sort of religious fanatic who won’t touch men.” lamented Avi. “I mean, why else would she refuse to give me a hug?”
The Daily Freier sat down with Roni at Cafe Aroma for a nice girl chat, and she admitted that although she isn’t actually religious, a bit of Yiddishkeit is actually a good reason to avoid awkward social interactions with creepy male co-workers. “Avi is loud and tells bad jokes and his cologne smells like the inside of Tel Aviv’s central bus station.” she said “He kept inviting me for coffee, but he stopped since I told him that all the coffee shops around here have a bad hecscher. He tries to hug me, so I told him that shomer negiyah is very important to me.” Roni, who now goes by her new Hebrew name “Neshama Emunah Temima“, admits that pretending to be religious has lots of other perks. “I told my boss that I needed the day off for the fast of Asara b’Teves and he agreed…. I don’t think he even knows what the fast of Asara b’Teves is, but you know, it sounds plausible and hey… it’s a day off!”
In addition to the workplace, Roni’s status as a sort-of–baalat teshuva has proven invaluable in other spheres of life as well. “My roommate just got back from India and thinks that she’s a curry expert now… So pretending to keep Kosher is the nicest way to avoid eating her garbage kitchen experiments.” she explained.
Yet this new life did not come easy. “I took the bus to Jerusalem so I could to meet up with my frum American cousin Esty who is spending the year doing Sem. And I just followed her around for the day so I could copy what she wears and a few key phrases. Now I just pepper my conversation with phrases like Shidduchim, Refuah shelaima…. and a bunch of other things she showed me on A Sem Girl Says!”
Epilogue: Roni‘s co-workers have been very supportive of her new religious identity, although Fabricio, a former model and recent Oleh from Spain “with the really cute accent” was disappointed. “She seemed like a fun girl and I wanted to ask her out to the new bracelet bar. But you know…. I think she’s too religious. So instead I went with Maygal the Frecha office temp from Ashdod.“