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Shalom everyone:

I finally got around to purchasing what many people in the US would label a “yarmulke,” but in Israel is known more properly as a kippa. I need one of these to be more respectful in certain places, such as visiting the Kotel (Western/Wailing Wall of the Temple) or going to schull (the Hebrew for synagogue [which is oddly a Greek word]).

Now, when I saw the kippa pictured below in the shuk today, I was uncertain that I was seeing it correctly. I thought that a kippa was supposed to be reverent, and not particularly extravagant or silly. It turns out that there is no religious significance attached to them per se; it is just considered much more polite and respectable to have one’s head covered in the Jewish tradition. Also, given that the shop was called “KIPPA MAN,” perhaps I should have expected a less-than-serious approach to wearing them. In addition to Luigi (and Mario), the kippot for sale featured a variety of patterns, including the Obama campaign’s circular symbol and the word “Hope;” an Israeli Defense Force color scheme and coat of arms; a skull and crossbones, and many more.

Beyond the fact that I am actually alright wearing this lovely piece of art around, Penina (my roommate Zack’s girlfriend) noticed something interesting that I thought I would point out here. Whereas Jewish/Israeli culture considers it much more polite and respectable to have one’s head covered as much as possible, the opposite holds true at home in the US. At baseball games at the Star Spangled Banner and indoors at most points of the day, it is considered impolite, disrespectful, and even outright rude to have one’s head covered – exactly the opposite of the sentiments here.

I look forward to getting people’s reactions once I wear this in public… 🙂


One Comment

  1. I love novelty kippot! There’s a guy in Rothberg who always wears a Maryland Terps one- I’m a big fan!

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