Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Monday, May 31, 2004

Yarmulkas anyone?

I was standing outside shul today, a few minutes before mincha, when I was approached by two people who didn't look too religious. One of them asked me, "can you get an extra yarmulke from my friend?" Considering I had just bought mine yesterday after my old one fell off the face of the earth, I had to say no. Which brought to mind the following point:

In many modern-Orthodox shuls, there are bins in front of the sanctuary containing yarmulkes and taleisos. These come in quite handy for the non-frum and others who don't wear one all day and want to daven mincha. I beleive that every shul should have one. By having one, we are basically appealing to all Jews- we are inviting all Jews to Shul, whether they're as frum as we are or not.

The arguments against it are that in an Agudah-type shul, there is no demand for it. I beleive that in spite of this, there's no reason not to do it. The expense for putting up a bin and putting in a few satin yarmulkes is no bank-breaker. Besides, I remember a similar incident to the one above happening a few years back in my Agudah, when a large group of Russians came to daven, and a similar frantic search for a yarmulke and talleisos took place. So there IS a need (granted, not a huge one) for the yarmulke bin.

The other argument against it the old "it doesn't look good" argument. "It looks too modernish." What? It doesn't look good to be looking out for other Jews? It doesn't look good to invite all Jews in? I'm not asking these shuls to have doily bins for the women (not a bad idea, either), but I can't see what's too hard about yarmulka and tallis bins.

I know of one Yeshiva that has a hat-and-jacket g'mach. Now, this certainly is a nice thing (after all, have you ever seen a g'mach that wasn't nice?), but I believe that having that g'mach while lacking the yarmulka-tallis g'mach reeks of the awful "if-you're-not-as-frum-as-me-you're-not-Jewish" ideology.


Blogger Lis said...

I totally agree that every shul should have yarmulka bins. So those who doesn't have a yarmulka can just get one and enter the shul without having to bother where he can get one. And the yarmulkas should be uniformed so there wouldn't be any argument if it's to modernish or whatnot.

Lis @ Best Kippah

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