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Do you wear your yarmulke in public?

Unlike many of my friends I’m a big fan of wearing my yamrulke in public all of the time, I believe it accomplishes many things besides for wearing my religion on my sleeve. Wearing my yarmulke in public is one of those things that has been debated by myself and others for years. On one side you have those that fear they will bring shame to the Jewish people through their actions, so they choose not to wear one, while you have people like me who believe that wearing a yarmulke in public will not only prevent you from acting like a schmuck, it may also breed a sense of pride amongst non-religious Jews who see you.

Like most modern orthodox Jews, I grew up wearing a baseball hat all the time except for on shabbos and holidays, I think there is that many folks from older generations have a prfound fear of antisemitism – this may be why my old man still wears a baseball hat all the time. I first started wearing my yarmulke outside of shabbos during my senoir year of college, the truth is I did it for the ladies, I figured that if I wore my yarmulke they may be interested in me purely from a “what’s that thing on your head” perspective and somehow that would lead to make out sessions in the back of my car – for the record my yarmulke wearing has never led to any sort of action.

After I graduated college I remember wearing it off on and on, it depended on hair length and season really, I have this huge collection of yarmulkes that I have found in those free bins in the front of shuls and I have experimented with loads of different styles, but I really like black suede the best for all around situations. It’s neat, blends in well and holds my wild hair down.

In the last 3 years I have worn my yarmulke publicly almost all the time and I really like the effect it has on me and others. I would say that public yarmulke wearing has protected me from myself and has helped others gain a certian pride in their hidden Judaism, you see I am constantly wandering around placed where orthodox Jews don’t go and it;s doubtful that any yarmulke wearers exist so if a Jew sees another Jew being public about their religion it must have some affect.

I have definitely been approached because of my publicly displayed Jewishness and have helped folks find shuls, mikvaot, places to eat and places to stay.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Sergey Kadinsky December 15, 2010, 11:48 PM

    Same here. My kippa keeps me in line. I know that the words I say and things I do represent Judaism because of what I wear on my head. My kippa inspires me to do good, as a representative of the observant community.

  • Chris_B December 16, 2010, 1:26 AM

    I wear mine in public. Here in Japan it is a non issue with the locals but it does help me regulate my behavior which I enjoy (tzitzit also have this effect). I just got back from Sydney and Auckland and noticed something interesting in each place. Sydney has a sizable Jewish population, and since I was wearing my kippa I could go up to any Jew and ask questions and get treated nicely. In Auckland a non Jew came up and asked me some questions about our holidays, seemed he wanted to know but had not found anyone to ask. I felt lucky to be the guy who had answers for him 🙂

  • silk tallit December 16, 2010, 12:23 PM

    Absolutely I do. My yarmulke is part of who am I am and I don’t have a reason to be a shame of that.

  • Anonymous December 18, 2010, 7:51 PM

    yo i wont recomend wearing it in eygpt-they might stab u. I WAS THERE!!!!!

  • Rohr December 19, 2010, 1:36 PM

    I am glad you wrote this. This has been a topic for me in my head as of late. Wanting to wear it more often (and yes, I too am a black suede wearer for the same reasons – especially with dreads; like I have now), yet not wanting to be questioned about why I am doing so from people I know. People I do not know won’t say anything; they have no reason to. You see, I have always been a Jew, just secular. Recently I have finally taken more action and am starting to quench my long standing desire for practice, and my family is laden with gentiles who are VERY supportive of those of us who are not; yet I still do not feel like being asked all the time… same goes for my co workers.

  • Ivan December 27, 2010, 4:27 AM

    As an all-but-secular Jew who has never worn his kippa outside of shul, I will affirm that it always gives me pride when I see Jews in my neighborhood (Modern Orthodox or Conservative, not many Hasidim) wearing their kippot on the street or subway. Keep it up, maybe once I’m out of college I’ll join your ranks.

  • Grant May 18, 2011, 9:01 PM

    I don’t wear mine in public because I’m afraid of the anti Semites that might be in public or being made fun of which happens to me often when I wear it in public.

  • Uri May 31, 2011, 7:28 PM

    I actually have found that wearing a kippah all the time has a different affect on those around me. At first I thought that I would have to watch out all the time (for people hassling me or just anything) but I feel like there are so many people that just dont want to deal with us jews that they actually ignore me more. Especially when I am on the subway in a bad area, I feel like I am actually oddly insulated with my yarmulke. Weird huh?

  • Karen puontkowski August 23, 2018, 4:37 PM

    Isn’t it really the same as a Christian wearing a cross, a Catholic carrying a rosary? Im not a Jew but think one should be proud to profess their faith with these symbols. I was taught one should be prepared to die for defending your faith, and to lie or hide your faith means that you are not a true believer.

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