The Our Shiputzim management proudly presents today’s deep philosophical question:
Is attending an ulpanah sufficient cause to be referred to as an ulpanistit?
First, some background for the uninitiated: An ulpanah is a national-religious girls’ high school. It’s basically the girls’ equivalent of a yeshiva high school.
Thus, technically, any girl who attends an ulpanah is known as an ulpanistit.
But one senses that there must be a better way to separate
the men from the boys, ahem, that is, the dyed-in-the-wool ulpanistiyot from the girls-whose-schools-just-happen-to-be-ulpanot.
Of course, in the olden days, there were several ways of determining ulpanistit-hood. To wit:
- A decade or so ago, one could recognize the ulpanistiyot by their long skirts, which literally swept the ground as they walked. (Their mothers never had to wash the floor…) But these days, the ulpanistiyot’s skirts are just as short as those worn by their Bais Yaakov counterparts…
- And in pre-historic times (we’re talking circa 2007-2008), the ulpanistiyot were distinguished by their cropped shirts. (A popular joke at the time - Question: How many ulpanistiyot does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Five. One to change the bulb, and four to hold her shirt down…) But now, longer tops are back in style.
- Also, the layered look, which once was the exclusive domain of ulpanistiyot everywhere, has since crossed cultural and even geographical borders. Indeed, rare is the Orthodox girl – of any stripe, both here in Israel and around the globe – who doesn’t sport the now ubiquitous long sleeve white shell under a short sleeve top.
Thus, physical appearance can no longer be used to identify an ulpanistit.
Hence, I would argue that the sole remaining indicator is the Official Ulpanistit HugTM.
Please note that in terms of form and style, this hug is pretty much your basic, run-of-the-mill embrace.
However, what sets the Official Ulpanistit HugTM apart from all the other hugs out there on the market is its frequency.
You see, every. single. time. a true ulpanistit bumps into her friends, she hugs them – as long as more than ten minutes have elapsed since their previous meeting.
And, so, dear readers, the next time someone challenges you to an exciting game of “Spot the Ulpanistit”, mark my words and watch for the Official Ulpanistit HugTM.
It’s the key to wrapping your arms around victory…