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I don't observe the Shabbat -- why should I wear a Kipah?

  

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

Matt: Good afternoon. I first want to say that I think this web-site is wonderful.

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: thank you!

Matt: That one may speak directly with a rabbi one-on-one is marvelous.

Matt: You are welcome.

Matt: i wanted to talk about Kipah and Shabbos [Ed. note: Shabbat] and stuff

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: ok - let's go through one piece of "stuff" at a time :-)

Matt: My first question is as follows: I am not shomer shabbos [Shabbat observant] though I want to be. I have only recently started to observe Kashrut. That said, I like wearing a kipah. But, since I am not shomer shabbos, I feel wrong doing so. Especially when shabbos comes and I take it off. What do you think I should do? wear one or not?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: In my opinion you should absolutely wear one, and here is why: 1) Just because you can't have a million dollars, that doesn't mean you should throw out the thousand that you have - i.e. just because right now you are not able to fulfill all the commandments you want to, that doesn't mean you should stop fulfilling the ones you are able to

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: 2) the point of the kipah is to remind us that G-d is constantly watching us. In practical terms wearing a Kipah will be a good and positive encouragement to continue to grow and do more of G-d's will

Matt: am I not committing a chilul Hashem [desecration of G-d's name]? on thursday people see me with a kipah on and the on saturday those same people see me driving my car!

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: as in point 2) perhaps that will make you drive the car less :-)

Matt: Also, I have a girlfriend. Is it not wrong for me to be seen with a girl, holding hands, eating-dinner etc., etc. with a kipah on?

Matt: (Kosher dinner of course!)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: again go back to point 2 :-)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: but let me tell you another story

Matt: I'm listenting :-)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: The great Rabbi Levi Yitzchok or Bardichev once came out of synagogue and saw a man in his Tallit and Tefillin fixing his wagon. Now an ordinary person would have gotten mad - how dare this Jew be fixing his wagon in middle of prayer! Not so the Rabbi of Bardichev who always seeked to judge jews favorably...

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: He looked up to heaven and said: Master of the universe, look how special your children are, even while fixing their waggon, they are praying to you!

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: and so I would say the same for you - you want to be more observant and are on the way to doing so; keep it up! And if some times there is an awkward situation you can a) remember point 2) above, and b) remember this story and say G-d, look i know this is not perfect, but I got my kipah, i am thinking about you, and one day i will correct this too

Matt: hmm

Matt: makes sense

Matt: how should i deal with my parents yelling at me and calling me a hippocrite and stuff like that?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: tell them the million dollar parable. Say you are on the way to doing more, and you are not going to lose on the things you could do just because there are other things you can' t do (as of yet)

Matt: alright, thank-you.

Matt: I appreciate your advice and counsel

Matt: You seem like a awesome Rabbi.

Matt: Kol Hakavod Lecha! :)

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: all the best to you! Keep up the good work!!!

Matt: thank-you

Matt: take care

Matt: kol tuv

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

wearing a kippah all the time

Posted by: Anonymous, sugar land, tx on Mar 25, 2008

my husband started wearing a kippah full time about 2 years ago. We are not shomar shabbos, we drive to shul every saturday. I cannot begin to tell you the respect that he receives everywhere he goes. (even with his happy face kippah on ) It is amazing! Be proud to wear your kippah, afterall, something is better then nothing. Also, so many American Israelis all wear their kippahs full time. It doesn't have to mean you are so religious, it's just a reminder that G-d is present.

Exactly!

Posted by: Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY on Mar 25, 2008

I agree with the Rabbi when he says it will lead you to do more mitzvahs. I was in a similar situation as Matt and I even went into non-kosher restaurants and sat down to eat. But I was proud to be a Jew. I wasn't eating Pork but it still wasn't 100% kosher. I still felt like be a proud Jew is what was most important. In time, about a year later, I beame Shomer Shabbos and Kosher. It all started by me saying who am I kidding? Myself? Sure there were remarks but I didnt pay them any mind. Slowly but surely I got into it and even started learning with the Rabbi's and the Rabbi's son. Here I am 3 years later a full-fledged Lubavitcher! Sure it takes time but the fact you are a proud Jew and not afraid to show it is the reason the World was created. Hashem is smiling down on you maybe even laughing a little watching you struggle with the challenges he puts us through...Then one day you look in the mirror and see what difference you did for your creator and thats when his smile shines!

"I don't observe the Shabbat -- why should I wear a Kippah?"

Posted by: Anonymous, Honolulu, HI on Mar 25, 2008

Until recently, I felt strange wearing kipot without being frum. As time passed, however, it became odd NOT wearing a kipah. I now wear tzitzit as well, and I find that the more mitzot that are observed, the more you want to fulfill!

Just for thought...


RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Should I do them?
Daily Life » Clothing » Kippah

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.
Tefillin
Black leather boxes containing small scrolls with passages of the Bible written on them. Every day, aside for Sabbath and Jewish holidays, the adult Jewish male is required to wrap the Tefillin--by means of black leather straps--around the weaker arm and atop the forehead.
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.
Kashrut
Laws of Kosher (Jewish dietary laws).
Hashem
"The Name." Out of respect, we do not explicitly mention G-d's name, unless in the course of prayer. Instead, "Hashem" is substituted.
Tallit
A prayer shawl. A large four-cornered woolen garment with fringes attached to its corners in a specific manner. This garment is worn by males during the morning prayers, fulfilling the Biblical obligation of attaching fringes to four-cornered garments.
Kipah
(pl. Kipot). The head-covering worn by Jewish males. Serves as a constant reminder of the existence of a Higher Being.
Levi
1. Name of Patriarch Jacob's third son. 2. A Levite -- a Jew who is a patrilineal descendant of Levi. Levites had special duties in the Holy Temple, and are still accorded special respect.
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.