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HALACHA-----removing yarmulke & chillul hashem?

Lizard Posted - 27 November 2000 14:02


I wrote before you must have not got it. I asked about my 16 yr old brother who always makes a chillul hashem in public am I correct in telling him not to wear a yarmulka when he goes among non-Jews?

MODERATOR Posted - 27 November 2000 14:05


No, you can't tell him that. Not wearing a Yarlmuka is an aveirah, and according to some poskim, it is an Issur D'Oraisa. You cannot tell someone to do an aveirah.

Lizard Posted - 29 November 2000 14:04


My logic was that if we allow a person to take off his yarmulka to work then why not allow him to take it off to save him from embarrassing the Jewish community and making a chillul hashem. I know there are poskim who are lenient about not wearing a yarmulka indoors although we don’t pasken like them could we be lenient indoors?

MODERATOR Posted - 29 November 2000 14:28


The heter to not wear a Yarlmuka at work is weak and should not really be used. If you have dire circumstances, you should call a Rav and deal with it on an individual basis.

But even such a heter is not the same as your case. The guy going to work did not choose to do something that would make him take off his Yarlmuka. He cannot choose to both make a parnasa and wear the Yarlmuka.

Over here, your friend himself is willingly choosing to make the chilul Hashem, and so instead of telling him to take off his Yarlmuka we would tell him you don't need to take off your Yarlmuka, just behave in public. If he doesn't, that's his choice. It's not a "shas hadchak". Perhaps losing your job is.

Lizard Posted - 01 December 2000 16:11


Moderator, with all due respect the main reason a yarmulka is worn is kavod shamayim here the opposite is occurring and being that there are Achronim who say nowadays wearing is just a minhag (albeit universally accepted) here where the purpose of wearing a yarmulka is being defeated why shouldn’t I tell him to remove it if he's making a chillul hashem.

MODERATOR Posted - 01 December 2000 16:38


The purpose of the Yarlmuka is the Yiras Shamayim of the wearer, not the observers. If wearing the Yarlmuka would give him less Yiras Shamayim (which makes no sense) then we would have your question about its purpose being defeated. As it is, that is not the case.

And there are poskim, such as the Taz, who rule that wearing a Yarlmuka is a D'oraisa obligation.

The issue here is different. By not wearing his Yarlmuka he will avoid the additional sin of Chilul Hashem.

And although it is true that not wearing the Yarlmuka may avoid a possible chilul hashem, and if he is going to do an aveirah in public it is better if he does NOT wear his Yarlmuka during the sin, we cannot just tell him to walk around the streets without a Yarlmuka because of that.

I also agree with 1Who, that if he were to decide to no longer wear his Yarlmuka in the street it will likely further distance him from frumkeit.

And you have no way of knowing if wearing his Yarlmuka does in fact provide him with some small measure of restraint on some level. Could be there are still things he would be ashamed to do because of his Yarlmuka. Or people he would associate with. OR -- and this is important -- it may prevent certain people from associating with him.

Lizard Posted - 04 December 2000 17:48


I'm sorry for not being clear. I had no intention of telling my brother to stop wearing a yarmulka altogether. The ONLY time I ever would tell him to take it off was in a specific situation where I was sure a chillul hashem would be made. His behavior in certain places is out of control.

I don’t think you are disagreeing in this situation...?

MODERATOR Posted - 04 December 2000 17:52


Correct. But don't tell him explicitly to take it off, tell him that by keeping it on he's making a chilul hashem. The reason is because people have a tendency to take such statements (like take it off) as a stamp of approval, like since he's following your instructions, he feels like even though he's doing an aveirah he's still being religious.

dmharris Posted - 11 December 2000 15:45


How is it a chillul hashem for someone to wear a yarmulka in public? I'm just curious as to your reasoning behind that. Are you embarrassed to be known as a Jew?

MODERATOR Posted - 11 December 2000 18:32


It's a chilul hashem for someone recognizable as a Jew to do an aveirah in public. if he takes off his Yarlmuka while doing the Aveirah he is not recognizable as a Jew.

Taking off his yarlmuka is an aveirah in itself - an issur d'oraysah according to some poskim. But if he's going to do the aveirah anyway it will avoid the chilul Hashem.

Nachalat Shimon Posted - 15 January 2001 20:29



how could kippah possibly be argued d'oraita? I always thought it was just a custom originally kept by pious Jews all the time, and during prayer only for everyone else?

MODERATOR Posted - 15 January 2001 21:58


The Taz holds wearing a Yarlmuka is a D'oraisa.

Regardless of its origins, today a Yarlmuka is the customary Jewish mode of dress, and it clearly distinguishes Jews from non-Jews. When you have such a clear cut Jewish style of dress, it becomes Chukas Akum to use the clearly non-Jewish mode of dress, that is, bareheaded.

omigosh! Posted - 22 January 2001 17:52


Can't lizard’s bro. wear a hat or s/t that will cover his head but won't make him specifically recognizable as a Jew - as would a yarmulkah?

MODERATOR Posted - 22 January 2001 20:03


Yes. Of course.

annoyed Posted - 18 April 2001 15:42


Hey! I once heard a story about two Satmar guys who went to an inappropriate place in their full Chassidic attire. I think that is a big chilul hashem and if they are already going to go to those places don't go in your long peiyos and your kapote

ptgard2281 Posted - 18 April 2001 22:19


I feel the same way when I see yeshiva kids and other recognizable Jews smoking --according to the torah, you aren't supposed to damage your body and that's what smoking does. aside from the torah, seeing Jews with cigs hanging out of their mouths give the wrong impression of who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to represent.

jj Posted - 20 April 2001 3:59


annoyed, your 100% right that its a big chilul hashem, but in defense of them, I would just like to say that they have been brought up so differently, meaning that they most of the time have much less shaychis to goyim as litvishi bochrim would. so for them, they look at it as he wears this, I wear this, it doesn’t make a difference and they don't chap as much as litvishis that its a chilul hashem, this is just a part of their lives, he wears a tee shirt, I wear a beketshi why should I take it off?

I’ve been wearing it all my life. also, like by what mod was saying before about yarmulkas, if a chaisdihsi guy does avayros and would go c"v to a movie, he would still go in to shul go in to the Rebbe, meaning he still has a shaychis with a frummi chevra (maybe "bummish", but they still are part of what you would call "chasidish", and would still raise his children in such a way) but if he decided, you know what since I watch TV I’ll stop dressing chasidish, he'll stop having shaychis more with those type of people, he'll have a whole new different lifestyle where the Rebbe doesn’t fit in and he would be embarrassed to go to the Rebbe because he looks so different than he used to, and its much harder to get such people back

e Posted - 20 April 2001 14:38


I know what you mean. where I live there are "Frum" guys who smoke, hang out with girls etc and go clubbing. But they are always very sure to keep their yarmulkas on. But what is the point?

It’s like a total contradiction. On the other hand it would be bad if they didn’t b/c then they would be telling the world that they don’t really give a damn about Yiddishkeit and are embarrassed but what are better options?

That people say, oh there those frum Jews who are scums. It would be better if people didn’t know they were Jewish. I mean the yarmi on the head, the girl hanging on the arm the alcohol in the other hand and the cigarette between the teeth. I mean, helllllllo????

MODERATOR Posted - 23 April 2001 16:48


Some of them keep their Yarlmukas on because they still want to be frum in other ways - it’s not a contradiction for a person to violate the Torah and still be frum. That’s what the Yetzer Horah's job is all about. Still others keep their Yarlmukas on as sort of an in-your-face message to their parents and rabbis, saying "You can’t control me."

Others, don’t forget, simply identify themselves as Modern Orthodox and think its OK to run around with a girl on your arm with a Yarlmuka; some of these clubs are considered accepted, normal places to bring your Modern Orthodox date.

Either way, it’s a mess. This is what the Mishna means when it says "aveirah goreres aveirah". You run around with the girl, you are then forced to either (a) make a chilul Hashem or (b) take off your yarlmuka, both of which are aveiros.

e Posted - 23 April 2001 22:14


Actually the main point behind all of this is hypocrisy and perfection. for example just because someone goes to a movie its doesn’t make him an apikorus. Maybe he still wants to be frum, but isn’t managing not to see movies right? But that doesn’t mean he should take of his yarmi.

On the other hand it is for sure a chillul hashem. but no one can do all the mitzvos so does that mean he mustn’t do any because it’s hypocritical?

For example, I was thinking the other day I don’t daven or really say Brachos or wait between meat / milk as a few illustrations. so when sfirah started I thought I don’t do any of that but I keep sfirah. where is my congruency? But then I thought that so doesn’t mean I must throw it all away right?

It’s impossible to make it al in sync or else any person who ever did something bad would say ok stuff it all. Which is insanity. you got to do what u can. but if you gonna go clubbing, u still should take your borselino off!

ptgard2281 Posted - 24 April 2001 17:09


You are right, e, but you have to use your head just a little bit. I know girls who wear pants and have the decency not to walk into boro park without a skirt on. I know of couples from Williamsburg who go clubbing, but leave their neighborhood like they normally would dress and then change sometime before they enter the club.

I know a family who doesn't keep kosher, and when my family visits their house, they make sure to have kosher food and plastic utensils and stuff. We can't control what others do, and they have their reasons for being able or not being able to do certain mitzvos.

If a person can't do certain mitzvos on a constant basis, though, they should at least try to adhere to them in certain situations so as not to make others feel uncomfortable and give off a bad impression.

e Posted - 24 April 2001 22:40


Yeah moderator, but trust me the guys I am talking about are NOT M.O. they are as chareidi as you get and the clubs are not places to take their dates. but m.o is also a bit dodgy on that side b/c ppl meet ppl and they think they seem all nice and frum and then the girlfriend pops up and bli doesn’t really exist and its like what the heck? so even if they are MO or whatever it still makes a chillul hashem b/c ppl don’t investigate they just immediately think, oh what a faker


e Posted - 25 April 2001 17:17


Yeah of course but there is the whole other side: being true to what you are and not embarrassed. And don’t hide your true identity. it should be "this is who I am - if you don’t like it I don’t care, this is me". But with frumkeit its hard. where do you draw the fine line between being open about yourself and chillul hashem/ impression?

MODERATOR Posted - 25 April 2001 17:25


When you do an aveirah its not your true identity. The true identity of a Jew is his Neshomah, which always wants to do Mitzvos. The Yetzer Horah is a synthetic attachment that encourages you to do things that are not "you". Kind of like a controlled substance.

So if lets say you’re drunk and you’re acting disgusting. Would you say to throw up or act stupid in public because that's "who you are", and be proud of it?

Nope. When were drunk and we say stupid things its the alcohol talking not us. When someone decides to allow the Yetzer Horah to control him, he’s not being himself, but rather allowing the outside controlled substance, the Yetzer, to mess with his head and make him act ugly.

Its nothing to be proud of.

You should be proud of who you are, but your sins are not "you". They’re actions that you allowed someone else - the Yetzer Horah, a.k.a. Malach HaMaves, a.k.a. the Satan - to convince you to do, against your own nature and contrary to who you really are.

A very, very important fundamental of our religion is that our Yetzer Horah is NOT us. Its like a drug that is injected into us. Our job in this world is to "fight the trip" and act like ourselves despite the drug.

But whereas a regular drug or alcohol may be stronger than your will, we are fair opponents to the Yetzer. We can beat it if we choose.

black Posted - 07 June 2001 17:00


I asked a rabbi about a person who wears a kippah on the street while lets say... drinking, doing drugs, having sex, etc. and he said that one is allowed to ask the person to remove if he is deliberately wearing it to make a statement: "I am a Jew, look at my head, but I don’t care..."

if I saw a woman in a sheytal/wig in a bikini on Venice beach in California would you say its still a "mitzva" for her to be covering her hair and so I couldn’t ask her to remove it??? like it actually has ANY meaning to her --- obviously no more meaning that a kid who wears a kippa and tzitzit hanging out just to prove that he doesn’t care about being a Jewish example or Jew all together...

chillul hashem is one thing but hashem bashing??? c'mon...

black Posted - 07 June 2001 17:06


Oh by the way --- should you take off you’re kippah in the mc donalds line while ordering a cheese burger with a large fries and a coke???

I think the problem is that a lot of people keep thinking that if the boy keeps his kippah on he'll "shape up"... some kids need more than that. some adults do too.

there are some things that are more socially accepted by the modern orthodox - I give you that one - but certain things aren’t acceptable for any people... regardless of religion. I don’t think a person should wear a symbol of Judaism unless they are doing it in the name of god or at an appropriate time. maybe not while selling drugs on a street corner, or picking up prostitutes... and YES unfortunately it happens to Jewish kids a s well.

MODERATOR Posted - 11 June 2001 18:09


How do you know what the persons intentions are for wearing the Yarlmuka, unless ho told you, or you can read his mind?

True, it is a Chilul Hashem for a person to look Jewish while doing a public sin, but it is also a sin for a person to take of his Yarlmuka. There is no Heter for him to take off his Yarlmuka, and there is no heter for him to eat in McDonalds.

Taking off his Yarlmuka is the lesser of the two sins, but it is still prohibited for him to do. By eating in McDonalds he put himself in a no-win situation where the only way to avoid Chilul Hashem is to do a sin. He still gets punished either way, the only question is which is he punished for more.

Wearing a Yarlmuka is more than a "symbol" of Judaism. According to the Taz and other poskim it is a D'Oraisa obligation.

totally agree Posted - 15 June 2001 2:37


Like someone previous mentioned, im not 100% sure who it was, but even though at least he's wearing a yarmulke, or she’s wearing a shaitel, does that give them permission, to have liberty in whatever they please, if I would see someone wearing chassidishe cloths and then walk into McDonalds, or go c a movie, my first thought would be, wow! a chassidishe person doing this and that.... what they do make up new halachos when I was sleeping last night..?

It's very confusing, lets say your teacher says oh! look up to these great chassidishe ppl, but then u c them smoking and going to movies??? what do you do? how can ppl be so hypocritical?

How do we grow up in such atmosphere, and I know you'll prob, answer, oh! its there way of life let them do as they please. but what about the ppl on their way of becoming frum? How can they look up to ppl like this?

Here they are being told and taught, this is wrong don’t do that, better not to do this... and then they go see ppl doing these things!?!?!?!?

MODERATOR Posted - 21 August 2001 20:46


Even people who dress Jewish have a Yetzer Horah, totally.

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