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.