Sunday, January 16, 2005

If you are going to wear the hat, be the hat

I grew up being the only one(along with other members of my immediate family) to waear a kippah in my school. You haven't lived until rich spoiled Presbyterians throw pennies down the hall to see if you will go pick them up. Even now, frequently, in my metropolis, in my office, and many other places, I am the only one wearing a kippah. I know that I am seen as a representative of Judaism. Not only that, but a representative of orthodox Judaism by other Jews. Knowing this(and also, because I was brought up properly), I am very careful about not making a scene, being nice to people, because I know that my poor actionswill be attributed to "those Jews". Even if I have to legitimately return something to the store(broken, or not working, etc) I take off my kippah, so they wont think "that money grubbing Jew is trying to take advantage of the system."

In shul this week, a few visiting 16-17 year olds got into a shoving match in the back of the shul during aleinu. I had to break it up. The guy sitting next to me looked at them, shook his head, and said "and you are wearing hats." and peyos. and suits. Not many in my shul wear hats. seems to me, your clothes should reflect who you are. I know many people who wear hats and suits and they are perfects examples of bnei Torah and middot. People to look up to respect, and aspire to imitate. In retrospect, I am kind of glad the boys weren't wearing kippot serugot. That would have looked bad for my mode of dress. But I guess the guy in my row expected more out of a hat wearer than a kippah serugah wearer. Go figure.

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