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Can I take off my kipah under certain circumstances.

  

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Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

not sure: why do men have to wear a yalkmuka at all times? if one wants to be religious does it have to be worn?

not sure: if its to remind us that G-d is above, is it still needed if one is aware of that even when not wearing one?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: when we wear a reminder on our head that is not because we don't believe so inside. It is to reinforce what we believe, and turn it into an action.

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: in other words, the question would be similar: should someone wear a wedding ring even if they know they love their husband inside?

not sure: can a man be religious if he doesnt wear one?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: what is religious? it is a made up term :-)

not sure: to be religious is to keep the laws of the Torah, most importantly shabbos and Kosher

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: ok -- that is one definition of religous. A more common definiton of religious is someone who follows ALL the laws of Judaism which includes wearing a Kipah. But hey, if you are not ready to wear a kipah, don't let that stop you from eating kosher or keeping Shabbat

not sure: what i want to know is if its as important as the other laws?

not sure: when it comes to laws instituted by the rabbis, are they as important as laws from torah?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: For most practical purposes a law from the Rabbis needs to be adhered to like a law from the Torah. After all it is the Torah that says follow the laws of the Rabbis. In certain cases a rabbinic law can be more lenient.

not sure: in the case of a yalmuka?

not sure: i wear a yalmuka, but at work and if im in a club i would take it off

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: the question is, if you really love G-d, why would take off the Yarmulka in certain places

not sure: so as not to have pl look at jews in a bad way

not sure: for example, if im at a club its not apropriate

not sure: and at work i dont want to stand out, i dont want to be judged just from wearing a yalmuka

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: if you are in a club its not appropriate?

not sure: not really, so thats why i would take off my kipah

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: are you saying that it is not appropriate for you to be there

not sure: it is not, however i enjoy it and would like to go, so I take of my kipah so pl dont know im jewish

not sure: therefore its no longer not apropriate to be there

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: aha -- so in G-d's eyes it is not appropriate. So you will put G-d (the kipah which reminds you and others that G-d does not want you there) in your pocket, and at the same time you will tell me you don't need the kipah because you love him without it?

not sure: wow, i never thought of it like that

not sure: its needed so as not to be in that situation where u would take it off

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: bingo!

not sure: :)

not sure: thank you

not sure: you really brought some clarity to me

not sure: thank you for your time

not sure: have a wonderful day!

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: my pleasure - and keep doing the right think, you bring clarity to the world

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

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COMMENTS

Can I take off my kipah

Posted by: Arnold Kaufman, Cleveland, Ohio, USA on Mar 16, 2009

I found this conversation very interesting because I had the same question several years ago. I found that when I wore a kipah in new places, where I was, in fact, self-conscious about it, I was very aware of my behavior. I felt that by wearing a kipah, I was publicly identifying myself with a group. This then said to me that my behavior would reflect on the larger group due to the perception that I represent the values of Juaism as a whole, and I was careful to act appropriately. Another analogy that I can give that maybe is easier to relate to is that I had the opportunity to drive a friend's antique car to to the shop for repair. He happened to be running for public office and had a campaign sign on the side of the car. I was very aware that my courtesy while driving with this sign would reflect on my friend and his chances of being elected. This is, I beleive, the purpose of the kipah: to continually remind us to act in a way that reflects positively on our fellow Jews.

Wearing a Kippah

Posted by: Larry, Ann Arbor, MI on Mar 16, 2009

I had worn tzitzis for 7-8 years without a kippah (except at home and in shul of course), because I also did not want to bring attention to myself. However, I started wearing my kippah all the time about three years ago and found that I made an extra effort at maintaining good behavior and midos, specifically because of that "extra attention". Just as bad behavior will reflect on Am Yisroel- acts of kindness, good business dealings and friendliness will also reflect, positively.

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Best of AskMoses » Jewish Identity

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Kipah
(pl. Kipot). The head-covering worn by Jewish males. Serves as a constant reminder of the existence of a Higher Being.
Yarmulka
The head-covering worn by Jewish males. Serves as a constant reminder of the existence of a Higher Being. Also known as a Kippah.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.