Kippot

thehyrulefool asked:

Does one have to be a practicing Jew for their antisemitic experiences to be valid, or are descendants that don't practice not 'really' Jewish enough to experience antisemitism.

Any kind of Jew can experience antisemitism. Practicing, non-practicing, matrilineal descent, patrilineal descent, convert, Ashkenazi, Beta Israel, Reform, Hasidic, and so on.

Antisemites (generally) don’t split hairs over how observant a Jew is or ask themselves “well, does she go to synagogue on Shabbat?” or “does he daven daily?” before they choose to target that person. All they care about is that the person is, to their knowledge, Jewish or a “Jew-sympathizer.” Observance of the halakhah just doesn’t tend to be the determining factor, and gentiles are often ignorant of halakha and Rabbinic teachings anyway.

That’s not to say that observant Jews, particularly those who wear traditional garb or things like kippot, cannot be easier targets for antisemites. People who are visibly Jewish can be targeted for antisemitism without ever having to say “yes, I am Jewish” or reveal a very Jewish surname. In addition, people who live in Jewish communities or are associated with Jewish organizations can be more easily targeted just out of the fact that it’s easier to tell that they are Jewish.

It’s worth mentioning that Jews who are not observant can also be visibly Jewish, whether because of genetics or due to wearing items such as Magen David necklaces, and can also be involved in Jewish organizations and the like. Religious observances isn’t the determining factor of “how Jewish” a person is, and how a person sees themself and presents themself to the world is very important.

Just a general FWI about Jewish Tradition- based as a response to things I’ve seen online and outside tumblr in the past few weeks. (Note: My cultural background is with conservative and reform synagogues only. All of this may not hold for more orthodox practices.)

If you are visiting a synagogue and you are not Jewish, do not wear a Talit. It’s religious garb that has holy connotations, and it’s not something to violate because you think it’s a ‘pretty scarf’ or you’re 'just respecting the culture’. Even Jews do not earn the right to wear one until they have become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. To do so otherwise… It’s mildly sacrilegious.

However, please feel free to don a kippah (yarmulke, skull cap, whichever vernacular you choose to use is fine), regardless of your religion. You are in no way told to do this, but with this it is a sign of respect, and for those that are more spiritual, a sign of separating yourself from God (whatever your interpretation of that may be). It has no specific 'rite’ of passage to wear these. (However, if you’re unsure, ask one of us. We like questions.)

Just keep these in mind next time you visit a synagogue.

peculiarleah asked:

What are your thoughts on women wearing a kippah?

I took a class a couple years ago on contemporary Jewish issues, fittingly named “Contemporary Jewish Issues.” One of our many contemporary issues under discussion was the kippah. The rabbi/professor explained to us that because women have a constant (or at least monthly) reminder that our bodies are influenced and (benevolently) governed by Hashem’s power, we have no need to wear a separate article of clothing to do the job. 

But that didn’t sound just right to me, considering the fact that not all of the men who wear the kippah that I know do so to tie their corporeal experience to Hashem, nor do all of the Jewish women I know menstruate or have ovaries (and some of the men I know do; does that mean that they shouldn’t wear the kippah?). Like all retroactive explanations for ancient traditions, that rabbi’s explanation should be taken with a grain of salt. Many men I know who wear the kippah want to feel connected to Hashem, to be reminded of their membership in Am Yisrael, to drive them to behave in a way that they feel should represent Jews. If a woman wants to wear a kippah for all of those reasons and more, both in and outside of the synagogue, I can’t see how even the most stringent of rabbis could oppose it on halachic grounds.

I should mention, too, that in the Orthodox synagogue I grew up in, it was very common for married women to wear a kippah in lieu of a doily, hat, or wig to cover their hair while in the sanctuary. If a non-married woman put on a kippah, I don’t think anyone would have given her any trouble for it.

thelostprincessfaith asked:

My synagogue (a conservative synagogue) required all males, jewish or not, to wear kippahs during services. The only time goyim really ever attended was for bar and bat mitzvahs but it was still required out of respect.

That was pretty much the same with me growing up. But there is certainly room for divergence of opinion on the subject, based on some of our reblogs.

Is it appropriate for non-Bukhari Jews to wear Bukharan-style kippot? I know that here in the US at least they’re often treated as a more feminine/feminist style of kippa for women who want to wear one (like me), but is that appropriate, or is it appropriation? I’m Ashkenazi, and I don’t want to overstep any bounds.

And if it’s not appropriate for an Ashkenazi Jew to wear a Bukhari-style kippa, what are some alternative styles of kippot that are easier to keep on one’s head (I’m Autistic, so I’m not always very coordinated, and one of my more frequent stims is tilting my head up or to the side)?