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Does My Kippah Make Me a Target?

Sunday, 2 June, 2019 - 10:40 pm

Question of the Week:

 

My work takes me to all kinds of places, and often I find myself in neighbourhoods that are pretty hostile to Jews. My friends are telling me that I should remove my kippah as I am endangering myself by being openly Jewish. I wear my kippah with pride, but am I making myself into a target? 

 

Answer:

 

There are two ways to wear a kippah. You can wear it on your head, or you can wear it in your head. 

 

Wearing a kippah on your head means it is an article of clothing, an accessory, an external addition to your self. 

 

Wearing it in your head means it is part of you, it is a fixture, a piece of your very self. It is not just what you wear, it is who you are. 

 

If your kippah is on your head, you can take it off. If it's in your head, then you can never remove it. It is you. And you can't stop being you, even if others don't like it. 

 

We need to take every precaution to ensure our safety. Take a course in martial arts, carry pepper spray, go out in groups. But we can't stop being who we are. Once we retreat from our own identity, we are already a victim, even if no one tries to harm us. 

 

Learn self-defence. But never forget who that self is that you are defending. It is a head with a kippah. 

 

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss

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