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A Reason to take off your Yarmulka

yarmulka jewish business mitzvos

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23 replies to this topic

#1 adiel

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:50 PM

I recently went with a friend to represent the technical end of his organization. Before entering the meeting with some 'big cheese', he told me that there is no way I ca go in there WITH my yarmulka off. In general, when he is doing business, he doesn't wear it. Other frum co-workers there do not wear it either.

In a separate story, one of my clients went to Germany and he told me that, he too, didn't wear a yarmulka whilst doing any business there.


Is there anything wrong with these scenarios?

Also, what would it take for you to take off your yamulka (presuming that you wear one)?
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#2 Savannah

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:55 PM

Germany is one place where you should davka make a point to wear your yarmulke.

#3 spectra

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:24 PM

Doesn't it seem like, if you wear one, that would be a place that you would want to wear it.

I have gone to suit and tie events wearing casual clothes. I had several people come up and tell me that they wish they didn't have to wear a suit. Kind of a show of respect for my choice.

If someone judges you for that, then you will know. You could always place a kippah on the roof of the building.

#4 LoveToLaugh

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

I think that its understandable if you are working with very high end folks to leave the yarmulka out. There are several pretty famous Orthodox Jews who often go without yarmulkas when working with government officials, high profile clients, etc. But there are also some in similar feilds that do wear yarmulkas.

So I don't really know. And given that I'm a woman I don't really have very strong feelings one way or another.
God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.

#5 LoveToLaugh

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:02 PM

Two pretty well known people that generally don't wear yarmulkas to work but are shomer shabbos, kashrus, etc and I know their families and they are pretty typical frum families

Ben Brafman
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Sheldon Silver

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God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.

#6 greentiger

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:15 PM

i think its just a personal insecurity thing. Like is the hotshot going to look at you and think "oh hey he's wearing a little cap on his head he's an idiot." or can you make a good impression regardless?

In my husbands field of work he meets many people who have never come in close contact with jews before. Some of which are rich influential arabs. Often he gets a funny look at first but they follow his cue and after 3 seconds they see he is "with it" and is a normal guy and no one minds. There have been some very rare potential clients who walked away as soon as they saw his kipah but if someone is that openly anti semetic there is no way he would want to be doing business with them anyways.
Treat each day as your last; one day you will be right

If a man stands in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

#7 LoveToLaugh

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:19 PM

i think its just a personal insecurity thing. Like is the hotshot going to look at you and think "oh hey he's wearing a little cap on his head he's an idiot." or can you make a good impression regardless?

In my husbands field of work he meets many people who have never come in close contact with jews before. Some of which are rich influential arabs. Often he gets a funny look at first but they follow his cue and after 3 seconds they see he is "with it" and is a normal guy and no one minds. There have been some very rare potential clients who walked away as soon as they saw his kipah but if someone is that openly anti semetic there is no way he would want to be doing business with them anyways.

I don't think its neccesarily the 'he's wearing a cap, he's an idiot' thing as much as 'he's a religious Jew' thing. And I understand not wanting to massively stand out when you are meeting with super important people. Thats interesting about your husband, good for him for sticking to his principles and I'm glad he's got mainly positive results.
God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.

#8 greentiger

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:25 PM

I don't think its neccesarily the 'he's wearing a cap, he's an idiot' thing as much as 'he's a religious Jew' thing. And I understand not wanting to massively stand out when you are meeting with super important people. Thats interesting about your husband, good for him for sticking to his principles and I'm glad he's got mainly positive results.

Right thats why i feel its a security thing. The fear isn't about the actual impression you will make. The fear is about standing out.

I will add though that when we are in public places where one doesn't encounter religious jews, mh will wear a hat or cap just to be a bit less conspicous, but not remove it altogether.
Treat each day as your last; one day you will be right

If a man stands in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

#9 rvn2590

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 10:50 PM

There are lenient halachic decisions concerning wearing a kippah in business situations. It is a personal decision. One scenario which has had me take off a kippah is stopping to go to the bathroom at McDonald's when traveling.
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#10 Pinchas

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 03:27 AM

Germany is one place where you should davka make a point to wear your yarmulke.


My father did on a few business trips he went.. said he got a few stares. They also didn't expect him to be speaking German to them for some reasons. But today Berlin has a significant Jewish and Frum population...

Anyway, I don't think it's ever okay not to wear your Yarmalka and in most cases you should even wear your tzitzis out. If there is some place where you are afraid to be a proud Jew and do both... you probably shouldn't be visiting there or living there...

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#11 Shoshi

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:36 AM

From what I understood, wearing a kippah (besides when praying or saying a bracha or when in a synagogue), is a minhag not a halacha. So what would be the problem with only wearing it when praying/i.e., not at work?

#12 Pinchas

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

From what I understood, wearing a kippah (besides when praying or saying a bracha or when in a synagogue), is a minhag not a halacha. So what would be the problem with only wearing it when praying/i.e., not at work?


It demonstrates that you are more afraid of man than G-d...

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For the record, IRL he is a really nice guy! - HappyDuck, Z"L


#13 Shoshi

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 09:43 AM

I suppose. Men/people are less loving/understanding than G-d.

#14 israeli4ever

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:23 AM

While I understand people's decision to not where a yarmulke in certain situations, I do not agree with it. I cannot think of a case where I would take mine off to make a different impression.
Disclaimer: The comments made by this poster do not necessarily represent an actual opinion, they are merely the latest output of an infinite amount of monkeys working on Shakespeare
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#15 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:06 PM

I make it a point that even if I take my Yarmulke off, there will be NO doubt in anyone's mind that I am a Jew... In fact, that is one of the compelling reasons I have a beard and peyos, I don't WANT to be able to just take of my kipa and blend in or "put a hat on"....
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#16 justbatya

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:42 PM

Germany is one place where you should davka make a point to wear your yarmulke.


Disagree, and it ain't because of the Germans. When I lived in Berlin the boys at the Lauder yeshiva were davka not *allowed* to go about with Yarmulkes on the street.

My poor SO still thinks that a Batya is a what, and not a who.


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#17 Snag

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:38 PM

Interestingly, I'd think Germany would be a place where you would have less of a problem taking your kippah off indoors, given that its native rabbonim were among the great proponents of that heter.
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

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#18 Snag

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 10:42 PM

http://www.hashkafah...__fromsearch__1
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

-Mark Twain

#19 rvn2590

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:56 AM

It demonstrates that you are more afraid of man than G-d...


Not true because G-d has not commanded the wearing of a kippah. It has because an almost universal custom so it may actually be a sign of the opposite.What will the Plonis say if they see me not wearing a kippah....
טובה הארץ מאד מאד

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#20 Pinchas

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:29 AM

Interestingly, I'd think Germany would be a place where you would have less of a problem taking your kippah off indoors, given that its native rabbonim were among the great proponents of that heter.


Germany today is a very different place than it was 100 years ago.

Not true because G-d has not commanded the wearing of a kippah. It has because an almost universal custom so it may actually be a sign of the opposite.What will the Plonis say if they see me not wearing a kippah....


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For the record, IRL he is a really nice guy! - HappyDuck, Z"L





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