Saturday, December 7, 2013

Going without a yarmulka at work


"In the matter of a person who needs to find work, and must meet with the heads of the office. He is told that he will have to remove his hat from his head and sit bareheaded, without a kippah, also known as a yarmulka. If he were to wear his kippah, they would not hire him. Further, the person who has been working to get him this position says he will be personally harmed for having presented this person as a candidate… 

"Further, the candidate needs this job for his living there in Denver; he cannot find work with people who will not care about his kippah…

"It appears, in my humble opinion, that as far as law most opinions agree that refusal to walk bareheaded in public is an act of piety… and since it has become universal Jewish practice, it is no weaker than any of the customs of the holy Jewish nation. However, it is no stronger than any of the Torah’s actual active commandments, and the law is that in a case of great loss, one is not obligated in an active commandment.

"There is also the view of the Turei Zahav that a prohibition against being bareheaded applies here, because bareheadedness is the practice of the nations. In that case, it is a prohibition, and any potential financial loss does not override the prohibition! But there are those who disagree with the Turei Zahav…and in a case of great loss, like this, one may depend on them."

(Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe Orach Chaim 4:2)

Have a great day,

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