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politicians should not wear yarmulkes either - why do they?

Reader comment on item: Hijabs on Western Public Women

Submitted by Orthodox Jew (Israel), Apr 8, 2008 at 04:59

Dear Mr. Pipes,

Thanks for your important work. I am an Orthodox Jew, and have never understood why politicians wear yarmulkes, or skullcaps, at religious sites. Jewish law requires that only Jews follow Jewish laws (unlike Islam, which seeks the whole world to follow their teachings) and do not seek converts or encourage non-Jews to follow Jewish practices.

That said, since it is a sign of respect to cover one's head at a holy site such as the Western Wall, politicians should simply wear a hat - a man could wear a Stetson or a non-sporty cap, a woman could wear a Beret or fashionable Easter-hat. This would clearly not be religion, but would still be respectful. (In fact, it makes me uncomfortable to see politicians who are non-Jews wearing a yarmulke.'t even realize that the kind of yarmulke you put on shows what religious group you belong to - so they are making statements about identity with no knowledge. ) Similarly, Western women meeting Islamic figures who wish to show respect can wear a hat. This hat would cover their hair but would not be a symbol of religion or religious oppression.

The picture of Hilary and Chelsea Clinton beaming next to a murderer like Arafat - who ordered the murder of innocent Americans as well as Israelis - is heartbreakingly sad.

Submitting....

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