Monday, July 20, 2009

kippahs in the club

Miri and I went out the other night with a couple of bochurs we recently met.
We went to a lovely rooftop terrace lounge with a great city view. (despite the name of this post, I have not in fact been to a bonafide club in ..... a while. Although I love to dance, I don't love being danced with by random men - issues of tznius and shomer negiah notwithstanding)

So our new friends were the blue shirt, black velvet kippah type that we all know and love (or at least I do)

That is until we got out of the car on our way to the place.

Off came the black velvet kippahs.

It definitely wasn't the first time I've been out with guys who hide their yarmulkes. But a part of me just still doesn't get it.

They said that they didn't want to do anything that could be a Chillul Hashem. Which I guess makes sense.

Although - if you are the type to wear a kippah, shouldn't you also be the type not to do anything Chillul Hashem-worthy? Or is that asking too much from a bunch of single guys?

But why not just own up to your Jewish pride? (it's not like everyone we met didn't know we were Jewish)

Maybe it's easier for me to say this. As a girl, aside from my non-skanky dress, there really aren't any obvious signs of my Jewishness.

But if there were, would I hide them?


Gavi said...

I diagree - I figure it's better to wear my kippa and behave properly. While the kippa is not even a derabbanan (more of a pretty much universal minhag), taking it off should not be an excuse to lower your standards of behaviour. Halacha applies whether you cover your head or not...

Anonymous said...

Regardless by wearing a keepah you make yourself a larger target. Anything you do or say will be judged on a pedestal (by observers). While it being NY it probably isn't really an issue as it seems it is more normal for jews to be noticed out and about. However in almost every other city out side of Manhattan keepahs are rarely seen and the feeling of insecurity that comes with it is much larger for a guy.

I don't think anyone should judge those guys taking their keepahs off. However I would recommend for the boys who do take their keepah off, to man up or simply not attend the venue in question.

Bottom line is about insecurity. If you're the type of person to be insecure and take off your keepah then you should avoid those venues. If you're strong enough then have at it!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the chilul was the fact that a jew shouldnt be hangin out in a club??

fakewood inc. said...

i think people just need to stop worrying about wether other people are wearing kippahs at clubs. that is a personal feeling and choice. if you are ashamed to wear a kippah in a club then by all means dont whatever makes you more comfortable. although at almost every jewish party ive been there are a lot of kippahs.

fakewood inc. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

even when not doing anything "bad," like even just on a hike, it's sort of refreshing to be somewhere and meet people feeling like the person you are rather than the jewish guy. yarmulkas just dont allow for totally regular conversation when meeting new people. jewish stuff always comes up. so taking off your yarmulka in a club is not as much hiding your religious identity as it is allowing you to not scare people off. not that this can't lead to losing some of your inhibitions... but i guess thats a personal choice.

Moshe said...

All of you who are taking of your kippas in clubs and gyms, the imprint, unless you're bald, is still very visible and you look like a moron. And when hassidim do it with their foot long peios, who are you trying to fool?!

Cheryl said...

Why hasn't anyone mentioned simply replacing the kippah with a baseball hat? My husband does this all the time when we go to a concert or a club. He's a modern guy but never goes without a kippah. Once in a blue moon he'll be wearing a baseball hat instead of a kippah and is told to remove the hat when hats are against dress code or whatever the case may be.
I find it pretty surprising that guys who call themselves frum and look the part - the guys described in the blog entry - blue shirt, velvet kippah - aren't comfortable enough with themselves to keep on their kippah. Were they there to pick up girls? They were with you! And if they were to pick up girls, without a kippah they'd be picking up the wrong kind.

Moshe said...

Baseball hats look stupid, especially in a club. I always wear a kippa and don't care about what people will think or say.

Cheryl said...

I'm wondering, Material Maidel, if you or your friend said anything when the guys took off their kippot - a question or a comment?
What was THEIR defense? Did you let it be known that you were taken aback?

Maidel said...

i'm not exactly shy - of course i said something! exact words: "noo, keep them on! kippahs are a turn-on!"

frumsatire said...

you speak the truth - I always wonder this myself and always wear my yarmulke accept durring three situations

picking up change from the floor

buying porn

or suggested donation museums

Cheryl said...

With that response to the guys, they took it lightly. So I'm assuming you didn't get much of an explanation?

fakewood inc. said...

its all about comfort level i think.

Miri said...

I know this is a detail-but can I just clarify that this WASNT a club-it was a rooftop lounge. club= trashy, lounge= classy. i wouldnt want ya'll getting the wrong impression of MM (or myself).

Jacob Da Jew said...

Actually, I personally do not wear a kippah when clubbing (although its been quite some time since them bad old daze).

Its not from shame, more out of respect. A kippah shouldn't be seen in clubs.

The few times that I did wear one, it was mad weird.

I'm not a "blue shirt, velvet kippa" kinda guy.

Cheryl said...

So it wasn't a club - all the more reason to keep it on!

Anonymous said...


what bothers me about this story is that you didn't feel bad about going to a place that was "bad enough" for these guys to take their kippot off at.

Maidel said...

what's so bad about a lounge?

Israel B said...

I wear mine even when I DJ at clubs. About the only time I take it off is at the gym and thats because my hair is too short to use clips and I dont want it falling on the floor while I'm exercising.

Israel B said...

Oh by the way, the background graphic for this blog burned a hole in my retinas.

Anonymous said...

As a Observant Jew from the deep south I can say this disturbed me, I wear my kipah everywhere I go. Once in a blue moon if I enter a Texas town out in the middle of nowhere I wear a cap, but the kipah isn't for others , the kipah is for me. I could careless what ppl think or do not think of me. As long as I know I am following halacha . I think its sad that a Jew in NY no less feels the need to remove it. The boy/man should have some faith in G-d and some chsupah to face the world as a public Jew. If I can do it Texas , The guy can do it in NY

The Law said...

rav moshe has a responsum on this exact scenario. he says wear it.

Cheryl said...

What's so bad about a lounge, you ask? That's exactly the point. If it's not "bad," why the need to not be recognized as a Jew?

Anonymous said...

its not what's on top, its what's inside...

Anonymous said...

i can see where these guys are coming from...but...not that feel all frummy but i can never lower my self to taking off my kippah! jewish pride man!
when ure on have to wear that unifom!

Adam, no longer, in the Caribbean said...

You'd be amazed at the great conversations I've had at bars when people see my kipah. It forces one to stay on their best behavior, not to mention being a much better tipper.

Skeptic said...

Iggros Moshe YD2:33

Q) And regarding the matter of those who go to a place where people
are involved in licentious behavior like boys and girls dancing
together, and they themselves are also violating the prohibitions on
licentiousness, except that they are careful about all of the other
mitzvas of the Torah, and they cover their heads with yarmulkes:
should one say to them "if you are going to go there (to the place of
dancing) and all the more so if you are going to dance, you should
remove your yarmulkes and go bareheaded in order that people who see
you there won't say that dancing like this is permitted, since someone
who observes mitzvahs and doesn't go bareheaded also goes to such a
place and dances; but when they go bareheaded, people won't conclude
[that it is permissible] since they will say that these people are
wicked and transgressors of all of the prohibitions"

A) To me it appears obvious that one should *not* say to them to
transgress another prohibition [on top of the dancing], even only a
prohibition based on an important minhag like covering the head, and
even according to one who says there would be some purpose to
[removing] it. Nevertheless, one should not say to a person that he
should transgress another prohibition. And also the fundamental claim
here is a mistake, since if the [people who see] know that this man is
a shomer Shabbos who puts on tefillin and prays, and then they see
that he is going bareheaded to places of licentiousness, they will
conclude that there is no worry if people want to go dancing and other
licentiousness, just take off the yarmulke! And we find that there
won't be any benefit [to removing it] except to those who transgress
on all the mitzvahs of the Torah and they know that they are
completely wicked.

And this is certain: that it's forbidden to persuade someone to
transgress even a small sin, and just the opposite: it's incumbent
upon everyone, even on people who sin, that they should fulfill
whatever mitzvahs they are able to; and to teach people that they
should try to fulfill them, even if they aren't able to influence them
to keep the whole Torah. And also, it's straightforward that every sin
which a person does in public, there is combined with it the sin of
chillul Hashem, and when he does only one sin, there will be chillul
Hashem in only this one sin, and when he transgresses another sin [on
top of that], there will be a greater chillul Hashem. And therefore,
G-d forbid to permit someone to persuade others to commit sins on
account of one's reckoning and logic designed to minimize the chillul

And when there are people like this in a city, who are shomrei mitzvos
and they cover their heads, and nevertheless they are involved in
licentiousness with dancing and similar things, it is necessary to
publicize very strongly the issur involved such that people will not
learn from the actions of those who go.

Moshe said...

Wearing a kippa is a minchag. There is absolutely no prohibition of not covering one's head.

fakewood inc. said...

rabbi feinstein seem to disagree with you.

bankman said...

i think its a kiddush hashem to wear one in a "normal" setting, like the one you describe.

as long as the actions are not too outlandish (dancing, picking up chicks, etc)