Though avoiding needless confontation is a worthy goal, I’m not sure what this says about standing up for one’s deeply-held beliefs:
An Israeli barber has fashioned what he calls “magic” yarmulkes out of hair, designed to allow religious Jews to cover their heads without attracting unwanted attention from anti-Semites.
Shalom Koresh said his skullcap, known as a yarmulke in Yiddish and a kippa in Hebrew, was inspired by rising anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. He said he has seen particular interest from buyers in France and Belgium.
“This skullcap is washable, you can brush it, you can dye it,” Koresh said in his salon in central Israel. “It was created so people could feel comfortable going to places where they are afraid to go, or places where they can’t wear it, and feel secure.”
The skullcap could also serve Jews traveling to the Middle East, where they encounter hostility in many Arab countries.
Koresh’s hairy skullcap, which he has dubbed the “Magic Kippa,” comes in an array of shades and colors. He sells them online, starting at 49 euros (56 dollars) for synthetic hair and 79 euros (91 dollars) for ones made of natural hair. The skullcap can be fastened onto the wearer’s real hair with hidden clips.
One yarmulke fan, in the comments, explains the magic of non-toupée religious headgear:
When an orthodox Jew is wearing a yarmulke, it is harder for them to violate any of the commands in the Five Books of Moses, because the yarmulke reminds them G-d is watching them. When you look like everyone else, you are less self-conscious, and it is psychologically easier to violate a command. …
When I was a 22 year-old, single, Jewish student, I once had need to knock on a stranger’s door. The most beautiful female I have ever seen in my entire life completely opened the door of her home, and stood facing me stark naked, not wearing a stitch of clothing. I immediately averted my eyes, and continued to speak as if she were fully dressed. I don’t know if I would have had the same resolve or behaved the same way, if it wasn’t obvious I was representing my religion.
True story, bro.
We learn from Antonio Hernández‘ An Around-the-World History of the Skullcap and its Modern Socio-Political Significance that Koresh’s magic yarmulke brings the wearer full circle to the skullcap’s pre-Judaic and pre-Islamic origins:
Western fashion and Catholic Church historians tell us that the Greek pilos (“topper” or “head-pile”) of black felt is the mother of all skullcaps. This Greek skullcap and its name come down to us directly from the older Proto Indo-European word p’lo (pronounced PEE-loh), which means “hair”.
(Image via Shutterstock)