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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Hasidic Coast Guard

Interesting piece in tomorrow's NY Times about a Chasidic Coast Guard Auxiliary applicant who has passed all of the eligibility requirements and was ready to sign up for duty - until his commander pointed out that he cannot work as a Coast Guard auxiliarist and wear his yarmulka.
Wearing a visible piece of religious garb violates Coast Guard regulations. It says so in the Coast Guard manual, right between "Umbrellas" ("Plain black or navy blue, expandable, straight handle. Must be carried in left hand.") and "Backpacks" ("Must be carried in left hand when in uniform"). "Religious Items," the manual says. "Concealed or worn only during religious services."

Mr. Rosenberg's main skullcap, a black velvet model, is about six inches across. On occasions when Coast Guard protocol calls for wearing the official cap, including most outdoor activities, it would conceal the skullcap.

But indoors, auxiliarists are not supposed to wear their caps. (They are also told not to wear them while walking to a plane at an airport; a blast of prop wash could lead to the undignified sight of an auxiliarist chasing his bounding cap across the tarmac.)

What is most interesting is the fact that other organizations, as well as the US Army, have changed similar laws to allow for skullcaps and other religious headcoverings, yet the Coast Guard has still not found a way to acommodate Mr. Rosenberg. A particular amusing attempt on the Coast Guard's part to try to make things work:
Mr. Rosenberg said his flotilla commander, Arthur Ramirez, of the auxiliary unit based in Lincoln Park., N.J., tried to accommodate him.

"Is it possible," Commander Ramirez asked in an e-mail message, "that you could wear a 'miniature' yarmulke, small enough to be concealed by your hair?"

It would have to be very small indeed. Mr. Rosenberg is bald on top.

In any event, it does seem that the Coast Guard's uniform board is considering a change in the laws, on "whether to relax the restrictions on religious accessories to bring them in line with armed forces policy" - and according to a spokesman, had been considering the switch before Mr. Rosenberg's story was even called to their attention. I am sure that doing so would not compromise the integrity of Coast Guard operations.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Coast Guard uniform comes with a hat, why not wear that instead?

3:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW it's worth, the Coast Guard Auxiliary is an official auxiliary of the Coast Guard. Auxiliary members are not actual contracted members of the military. They are unpaid volunteers. As an auxiliary member, he is unlikely to have a desk job. Rather, he will be working outdoors -- so wear the cap that comes with the uniform -- problem solved.

3:22 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

Thanks for posting this OM. Being someone who cares quite a bit about this topic, I can certainly identify with it. I hope everything works out in the end and that Mr. Rosenberg can wear his yarmulka.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr.Rosenberg should be kvetching a bench in kollel,not doing goyish things

3:54 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

I hope the last anonymous was kidding.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Grumpus said...

I would bet he's not kidding. After all, we Jews don't have to serve the country that provides unprecendented protections (with Hashem's help) to us. Better we should spend our time doing less and wanting more. Let the stupid goyim protect us!

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I better stop joking around.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

Why does this need to be in a newspaper? had he just put a cap on this whole issue wouldn't even exist.

6:13 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Why does this need to be in a newspaper? had he just put a cap on this whole issue wouldn't even exist.

It says why that wouldn't work in the part of the article I pasted. They are not allowed to wear their hats indoors, or in certain outdoor situations.

8:08 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

On another note, what does this say for those who are able to wear their yarmulkas at work, but choose not to?

9:08 AM  
Blogger Taboo said...

I don't know, Must. What does that say about those plainly inferior beings too insecure to flaunt their Jewishness in everyone else's much smaller noses. Perhaps their job entails work or clients that they'd rather not proclaim to the world are representatives of Orthodox Judaism. Perhaps they were discriminated against as a result of their religious observance. Perhaps they were traumatized as kids by a gang of yarumulka wearing ninjas and can't bring themselves to don the offending skullcap as a result. Whatever the reason, how is it any of your concern, and what gives you the right to be so judgmental? I'm curious why it is that you've chosen to elevate this one symbol of Jewishness (because it's really not a "major" sin to not wear a yarmulka) as a symbol of superiority with respect to one's choice about how to observe and/or display their Jewishness to the world.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

When I was active duty Navy, I was allowed to wear my kippah in uniform (due to DoD and Navy Uniform Regs) but only after submitting a 'request chit' signed by my commanding officer and with the understanding that I could not wear it in situations that would pose a safety hazard (i.e. on the flight line). I used to have to carry the OPNAV Instruction in my pocket (and a copy of the request chit) to show to the various senior enlisted and officers that I met.
I was also once told that I was really hurting my chances for promotion due to my religeous intolerance shown by my wearing a kippah.
Anyway, Navy is Department of Defense and Coasties are Department of Transportation so obviously different rules, but I'm amazed that the Coasties are so far behind on the issue.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous jdub said...

Coast Guard is in the Dep't of Homeland Security, not DOT any more.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Then I stand semi-corrected. Either way DoD and DHS are different departments and have different rules.

And just another point, as to the Coast Guard uniform coming with a cap, so does the U.S. Navy uniform. When I was on sea duty I thought I could get away with just wearing my cap, but there were several situations when I was required to enter officer's offices, mess decks, etc. where the issued cap was inappropriate and required to be removed. I'm sure the Coast Guard would have similar rules in that regard.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Who is Ortho? said...


Agreed -- Must is indeed judgmental, but your venomous attack is more likely a product of your own guilt for not capping your top in the workplace (or, less likely, a product of being attacked by yarmulke-wearing ninjas as a child).

What's next, Taboo, asking Must if he funds the cost of his own yarmulkas?

Must: You obviously posed a rhetorical question but, in any event, what are your thoughts on men not wearing yarmulkas in the workplace (when no express restrictions apply)?

5:16 PM  
Blogger OrthoEvra said...

Actually, Who, your yarmulka-funding question is not that off base. If a person's financial security is completely not dependent upon the perception of others, to wear or not to wear a yarumulka is a much easier decision. Take, for example, the technology industry, which pioneered casual dress in the office as a result of the amazing success of quirky, non-traditional megageeks in ratty jeans. Much easier to wear a yarmulka or any other nontraditional garb in that industry than in companies where conformity is prized, for reasons having nothing at all to do with one's religious observance or pride in being Jewish.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Who is Ortho? said...

Excellent point, Orthoerva. And now that we know Orthomom is a non-traditional megageek in ratty jeans, it's time for me to select a new screen name.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...


1. While I don't have an answer to your question, methinks that yarmulka wearing is not an issue for Orthomom.
2. I think you are giving us waaaay too much inforamtion about orthevra. Check again how you spelled his (or her) name.

7:26 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Don't worry about them, Krum. It seems the Red Shul chevra has moved on to my blog.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous orthoevra said...

Methinks you are best off not thinking too much, Krum. Unless, of course, there is some secret message encoded in your mispelling of the word "inforamtion"? Incidentally, according to your logic regarding women and yarmulkas, you really should not be commenting on OrthoEvra.

7:44 PM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

lol Krum :)

First of all, I'm not judgemental. When I add a post to a blog, or add a comment to someone else's, I'm not passing judgement, but merely offering either an opinion or another way to look at the issue at hand -- usually to promote further thought or discussion. By stating that I'm judgemental for posing a rhetorical question, I believe you are the one who is being judgemental.

From a personal standpoint, I'm certainly not declaring that telling the world that you're Jewish by proudly wearing your yarmulka is a goal by any standards. I tell stories about yarmulkas because I believe on some level it defines who I am -- to ME, not to others. I know that *I* act differently when I'm wearing a yarmulka than the times that I am not. If you know me (and many people do), I'm not one who cares much about what others think of me, but I do care a lot about what *I* think of me.

So to answer the question directly, obviously, each person makes a decision as to what works best for them. If someone decides that wearing a yarmulka puts him at a disadvantage, then that person has his reasons. I have all the respect for that person. But at the same time, I have a tremendous amount of respect for someone who considers his own values as being tantamount to those challenges presented to him in his workplace.

If you still think I'm judgemental, then so be it. I don't need to justify my feelings. Sorry for hijacking your blog OM.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Ah. I see. Must's stragglers. Must is gonna to be the guy who you would invite for shabbos except for the fact that he always brings along his alcoholic half brother.

OrthoE, my comment was directed to Who, not you. But I am not sure what you mean by my "logic regarding women and yarmulkas," other than women don't wear them. (See, being a mom, OrthoMom is most likely a woman.)

8:02 PM  
Blogger Who is Ortho? said...

Must: A Red-Shuler? This changes everything. :)

Yes, Must, do it for yourself; but why the need to look at others? As you know, the Talmudic source for the kippah is at the end of Meseches Shabbos, and involves the mother of R' Nachman (I believe) insisting that her son's head be covered at all times. When his head covering once fell off accidentally, he was inclined to steal a fruit from a tree. My point is that you have the right idea (i.e., that yarmulkes are worn as a reminder to conduct yourself properly in the workplace and elsewhere), but clearly the wrong approach ("what does this say for those who are able to wear their yarmulkas at work, but choose not to?"). I’ve read your blog, Must, and this is not the first time you’ve looked at others’ actions to form an uninformed opinion.


"Don't worry about them, Krum. It seems the Red Shul chevra has moved on to my blog."

Why the negativity, OM? We're not even acquaintances yet, and already hostility? I'm sure nothing derogatory was meant by "the Red Shul Chevra," but why the need for "Don't worry about them?" I'm not entirely certain who you are referring to when you say "them," but have "they" done something to you or your blog?

8:27 PM  
Anonymous OrthoEiver said...

Mommy: Now why would you go and assume that? Oh and MUST it's not called hijacking...it's called sabotage...

Hey Krummy, you don't know who your up against. Things may just get a little Salty, and I'm pretty sure your about to get smeared. Take it from someone who's a straight shooter....if you know wad I mean?

8:38 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

umm...ortheiver, I think you made a mistake in your comment. I read and re-read your first "paragraph" and there aren't any penis jokes. Not even one.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous OrthoEvra said...

To be clear, Krum, yarmulka is to man as birth control patch is ___. Yes - you got it . . . woman. Well done - now do you understand the phrase "logic about women and yarumulkas?" (see, being a man, you've probably never used the birth control patch) Now you can get back to penis-hunting in the posts.

11:33 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Come on, please. This is a family blog.

11:35 PM  
Blogger OrthoTricyclen said...

OrthoMom: be gentle, it's my first time (with you).

Must: I have a few questions.

- Do you ever speak lashon hara?

- Do you ever miss a minyan in all your travels?

- Do you ever watch a movie with nudity? (and are you wearing a yarmulke when you do so?)

You are not perfect, far from it, in halachos that are far more severe than the non-halacha of yarmulke wearing in the workplace (or elsewhere). Yet you latch fast to this one minhag and cast aspersions at all others who differ. You try to backtrack by saying it is all about you ("enough about me, let's talk about you. What do you think of me") yet you cannot run away from your -- yes, judgmental -- statement about "what does this say" for the non-yarmulke wearers. What is it with you and this obsession - did someone stick a yarmulke up where the sun don't shine when you were a baby?

"On another note, what does this say for those who are able to wear their [tsitsis hanging all the way out] at work, but choose not to?" Oh wait, you don't do that? Sorry, I picked the wrong one.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous OrthoEvra said...

family blog? that's funny, mom. do you have all 4 of your kids posting with you? tell me, how DO you do it all - work, kids, a full time blog, and time to ponder the wonders of everything from gedolim cards to the red shul chevra. what's your secret? i mean it with the utmost respect - seriously.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

What ingenuity, Orthotri. I doubt pilfering and rehashing my comments from earlier today will get you a more satisfying response from this venue.

12:08 AM  
Blogger O Brother Where Ortho? said...

I'm actually thinking about writing a book on this subject - "Yarmulkes for the Soul", Tales of a Yarmulke Wearing Traveling Salesman. It's a working title.

I really should go to sleep...I'm shooting blanks.

1:30 AM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

All of you are so right. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm a judgemental person with no integrity. One day, I aspire to be as witty and smart as all of you.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Evra, by that same reasoning, you are a she, yet your facility with SAT-like parallels throws me off from what I hear about women and standardized test.

But back to my earlier comment, OrthoPatch. It had nothing to with the legitimacy of our hostess commenting on yarmulke wearing. Rather, it was directed to Who's, shall we say, krum, reasoning regarding her choice of attire. Given what Who seems to think of you, you should spend less time defending his remarks.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous orthoevra said...

I like your style, krum, but your logic is still flawed. I was never the one refuting mom's ability to discuss yarmulkas. That was exclusively your holeyness.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

"I like your style, krum, but your logic is still flawed. I was never the one refuting mom's ability to discuss yarmulkas. That was exclusively your holeyness."

Maybe I am missing more than a hole in the middle, but can you please point to where I said that? And whatever happened to Who?

9:58 AM  
Anonymous OrthEvra said...

Here you go, Krum:

1. While I don't have an answer to your question, methinks that yarmulka wearing is not an issue for Orthomom.

As for where Who is, I dunno where Who is or what's on next, but maybe ask brother where art thou, since i'm certainly not Who's keeper.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I think that the Coast Guard Auxillary ought to change its unifrom regulations, I should point out that the wearing of a headcovering is not 100% necessary.

I used to have a UO rabbi neighbor who earned his living as a systems analyst for AT&T. This was back in the bad old days (about 25 years ago) when there were still memories of anti-Jewish sentiments being publically expressed. So Rabbi Frummer had a minhag of omitting the kippah for work. It sure threw mw for a loop the first time I encountered him getting out of his car bareheaed, and I was told that it did confuse his young son. ("Why isn't abba wearing a yarmulke?")

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Orthoeiver said...

MUST: Serious question for you…careful it may be a trick one. Which is worse, not wearing a Yarmulka or not wearing Tzitzis (and I don’t mean wearing them out, I mean not wearing them at all)?

Krummy: Are you a soft one (like the one’s from bagel island) or are you hard (like the one’s from bagel hole)? You see, I’m a Young Turk so I know about both of them.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Krummy: Are you a soft one (like the one’s from bagel island) or are you hard (like the one’s from bagel hole)? You see, I’m a Young Turk so I know about both of them.

How nice. The Red Shul Junior Minyan has discovered my blog.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Orthoeiver said...

That’s pretty funny Krummy, but tell me where does your hole fall in this wonderful community called the Five Towns? Are you a Country Clubber? A Young Turk? An Old Turk? A Rebbe? Are you just the all knowing Fool on the Hill? You seem to have everything figured out, but do you know why you live here?

11:43 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

You seem to have everything figured out, but do you know why you live here?

For the eiver jokes.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

Sorry to deflate you, Eiver, but I know the Young Turks, and you sir are no Young Turk. You live on the wrong side of the tracks, your wife works, and you have no relatives in Antwerp. I'll bet you don't even know anyone with a summer home in a certain luxorious catskills enclave. Young Turks are born that way - stick to the chevra you know.

12:12 PM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

What do tzitzis have to do with anything? I already admitted that you're way smarter than me. We already know you are way better looking than I am. I could never be as good as you.

On a more serious note, you obviously know who I am, so if you have something to say to me, see me in person and say it to my face. Or is your ego not big enough as it is and therefore requires that you display it for all to see here on someone else's blog?

I already said before that I feel no pressure nor need to justify that which I post. I certainly don't have to answer "trick" questions. If your intent is to prove me wrong, then your mission is accomplished. I have no problem with being wrong.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Taboo and Eiver, I would love to continue this discussion regarding the precise demographics of Young Turks, but in deference to our hostess, we should really be playing this game in my backyard.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous taboo said...

Agreed, Krum. See you on your own turf, and in the spirit of Eiver, make sure the lawn's mowed, and leave the back door open.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Orthoeiver said...

Taboob: You wanna play again? I commend you for your persistence but if you wish, let’s have some More Fun. Why don't you take a look back at Krummy’s oh-so-conceited description.

Isn't it great how everone says they'e not being judgemental and then they all proceed to spout their Jack Handyish thoughts, which are neither original nor cleverly put.

Great backdoor comment, but I didn't go to Torah Temimah.

And to the psuedo intellectual Krummy: Knock Knock...

I got to get back to work.

1:16 PM  
Blogger rebba shlita said...

lets get this right dont wear a yalmuka b/c of fear of being jewish yet leave early on fridays.....
my freind when he was interviewing at law firms while still in school opted to leave the beanie on while many of his freinds took it off. well these non-wearing yalmuka freinds got quite the suprise when a partner of one of the firms showed up with a long beard and a yalmuka the size of oklahoma.
i wont even get started on the ones that shave during the 3 weeks sfira and chol hamoed.
i am not judging but what i dont understand is the ones that do it without asking first, they just figure well i am in the business world so of course i shave and dont wear a yalmuka. thats what i dont understand.the proper procedure is to explain to your boss, and then if hes against it ask a rav.

3:05 PM  
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6:09 PM  
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6:22 PM  
Blogger O Brother Where Ortho? said...

Eiver, I actually did attend Torah Temmimah. Hot KOKO was my first grade rabbi and my principal for 8 years. He never attempted to pet my orthoeiver, In fact, I never got so much as an inapproriate tickle! I'm considering filing a law suit against him because of the lack of affection and physical contact I received. I thought I was ok but now that I find out that everyone in school was gettin' busy except me, I'm traumatized. Any of you know a good Jew lawyer who would take my case?

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Until now, I've never posted anonymously, but today's back 'n forth was just brought to my attention and -- for various reasons -- need to respond using an anon. Taboo is not me, and I'm both complimented and insulted by your suspicions. Complimented because of the quality and creativity of the writing; insulted because your suspicion is in fact an allegation that I’ve been less than truthful.


Yearning For More Fun

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Orthoeiver said...

My Fairest apology. I've had stressful day at work and did not have the creative juices flowing today. I need to go home, grab a cold Molson and watch an old movie with Gregory Peck, Mary Badham and Robert Duvall.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Taboo said...

Truly sad to have missed the pleasure of your company today, Eiver. See you over at Krum's, I hope. Time to cut the apron strings, Momma's boy.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gregory Peck, Mary Badham and Robert Duvall? Funny, this may be a case of mistaken identity -- but you strike me as more of the Sandman type...

Enjoy your night. Hope you have More Fun tonight or, at the very least, finally some Guilty Fun.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous OrthoEver said...

I'd say this new intrigue has reached its summit. And now that I can see the forest for the evergreen trees, I will center myself and start a new.

Anon: I thought you knew how to spell? Maybe Krum should add a new category for the five towns....We have Turks, young and old, how about Puritans? Natural Born ones that is.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, new intrigue. My search has spanned thousands of miles -- from the Atlantic to the Pacific --and my only conclusion is that we have a Mass. Bay Colony Puritan among us. Can it be an original Pilgrim, or simply a Mayflower wannabe?

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to catch some Zzzzzzs..., Taboo. Hope you had a good time today.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Rebbe T'lita:
In the example you chose, a law firm, you don't have a boss. In a big NY 200-900 lawyer office you are evaluated by your peers and everyone who you come in contact with including legal support staff and senior associates, counsel partners etc.
Regarding the anectode you mentioned, please remember that is only one story. Also that heimish guy (Twersky?) couldn't hire all of the guys wearing yarmulkes and in fact he didn't have the power to hire any of them, the decision is made by committee based upon the evaluation of a few attorneys. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy without the yarmulke actually got the job. Regardless, some of the yarmulke wearers had to interview at other firms and there someone from Oklahoma greeted them at the door!
How about this anectode: a guy interviews (this year) at a bunch of NY firms with a yarmulke and gets no results (he has good grades and the economy is at an uptick, in fact they are still hiring!), so he removes his yarmulke and goes to an interview with a great firm. One of the interviewers (out of 4-6) is actually a partner and is wearing a yarmulke! They talked through the whole interview about the situation and serious choices young kids have to make. So isn't it ironic how he got the job by not wearing a yarmulke punkt at the firm where he was interviewed by a yarmulke wearing fellow. And if he would have worn the yarmulke, the frum guy would have recommended him sure, but would the others have? don't be so confident and flippant on someone else's cheshbon, especially someone who cares very deeply about it and loses sleep over the fact that he can't enjoy the privilege of self-identity that you are so proud and thankful to have.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Who is Ortho? said...

1:18am Anon:

I'm very confused about your position. Is your point that one never knows, so don't judge? If so, good point.

As someone with experience in these matters, I firmly believe that wearing a yarmulke at most law firms is a non-issue to most interviewing lawyers. The overriding potential issue is that you're an observant Jew, and cannot (or, as some think, “will not”) work on Friday night, Saturday and most Jewish holidays.

And even that aspect is a non-issue for most interviewing lawyers. Unless, of course, the interviewing lawyer is "frum," in which case, s/he has personal interests to consider.

Aside from the obvious personal interest of hiring someone who cannot “cover” for you on days you’re not around, I also tend to be more critical of Ortho-dox Jews who walk into my office (especially if wearing a yarmulke) since, inevitably, their actions have the potential to reflect poorly on my religion and, by extension, me.

Bottom line: Know yourself. If you're an embarrassment to our religion (outwardly, at least), keep the yarmulke in your pocket. If you're someone our religion will be proud to associate with (outwardly, at least), keep it on. But one word of caution. If you're observant and decide to keep it in the pocket, make it abundantly clear to your interviewers (or at least the most senior partner that you meet) that you have "special needs" (i.e., approx. 26 hours vacation/week plus weird holidays). Non-disclosure is deceitful, irrespective of whether an employer is “legally permitted” to consider your religious observances as a factor.

End of Message

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post, I like your use of clear line breaks and punctillious punctuation.
I wonder however where your firm belief that yarmulke is a non-issue comes from?
Many students (and attorneys) have told me they disagree based on personal experience or observation. I include myself in this group. While it is true that it is almost impossible to find out the real why you weren't hired (I did once find out why) trends are noticed. Also, experiments are conducted. That's right, with a control group. The same person wears a yarmulke for 5 interviews and doesn't wear one for 5 interviews. Sometimes (my case, a close friends case and some others - see the anectode above) a bias is shown. Of course you can blame it on outside factors, or say that you wore the yarmulke to the wrong firm but after a while that counterargument doesn't hold water.
Anyway, treat this informal post as a question rather than an attack or a judgment. I really want to hear what you have to say.
Also, would you say that it's a non issue for any large firm in NYC or even in DC, Cleveland, Chicago, LA and other large markets?

2:21 AM  
Blogger rebba shlita said...

it wasnt twersky and the story was just a side point. i do understand and respect what you are saying but i think the problem these people have is not the yalmuka, but what it represents. i had an interview many years ago at a big firm and as always was wearing my yalmuka the interview was going great until i mentioned fridays to them. i then got a job at a larger firm (again wearing a yalmuka) at wich point to my suprise they mentioned fridays to me and that they had no problem with it they then threw me saying that they are jewish but not my kind of jewish. i believe the problem to people hiring is they see jewish an that means early fridays and no saturdays.
but once you are hired not to wear it b/c you dont feel comfortable, that was my point. people and yes i am speaking from people i have spoken to and know that they just do it without explaining to their superiors. thats what i dont understand. the ones deciding for themselves and not asking. we should be proud of who we are and behave in that way as well.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the Rebbe Shlita, great response. But. . . first of all, I think you are saying something different from the previous guy and that's fine, it's just important to diffrentiate btwn the different viewpoints.
You mentioned that you have a problem with those people who got the job by not wearing a yahmukuh (the way I say it- I'm fum Brooklyn);) and then continue not to wear it on the job without asking a Rav. Are you implying that it may be recommended to not wear it on the interview but then to show up at work with it? My friends and I thought of that and considered it a huge chilul hashem. 1) You are misrepresenting yourself. 2) you are sending a clear signal to your interviewers and anyone who met you during the precess that you thought they are bigoted and discriminatory. That is quite an insult, they may be very hurt. How will you explain to them that you were only trying to protect yourself from their colleague who misundserstands religious people and percieves them as a threat or some kind? I don't think deception is the way to go - what do you think?

Also, a sidenote relevant to this discussion in general: a frum partner at the Big 4 who doesn't wear a yarmulke gets a lot of comments from his clients and people at the firm about all the yammies (yamulke wearers) flooding the firm; it doesn't matter whether they wore one at the interview - they get flak even for wearing it on the job. That could hurt their client retaining capabilites and in turn their chances for promotion. Interestingly enough, the frum partner is openly frum and the bigoted haters are usually jewish.

1:55 PM  
Blogger rebba shlita said...

i am not saying that they dont wear it on intervview and then wear it on the job. my point is they should be consistent but with asking a halachik authority.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

R Moshe ztl said you shouldn't wear if it will cost you the job. I think that is settled and clear. Can we agree?
The problem, I think, is applying the law to the facts. The facts differ based upon location, industry, quality of the interviewee's resume, personality etc. That is where a Rav could be helpful, I agree. But usually the person will know the situation better than the Rav don't you think? The Rav doesn't know GPA cutoffs at all firms and how much certain types of work experience are worth etc.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Moishe Lewack said...

Regarding policies that prohibit wearing of yarmulkes, I agree with R Moshe (Feinstein) ztl, "You shouldn't
wear your yarmulke if it will cost you your job." I almost learned this lesson the hard way.

As an Orthodox Jewish Coast Guardsman with 29.5 years of active duty, I wear my kippah (yarmulke)
every day at work. I have been a Jewish Lay Leader for almost 8 years in the Baltimore - DC metro area.
At one command where I was a Jewish Lay Leader, I went to my Chain of my Command and told them
I was an Orthodox Jew and it was a religious custom to wear a kippah. Since, I was also the Jewish Lay
Leader they had no qualms about me wearing a kippah at work. BTW, I also wore my tzitzit under my uniform.

However, when I was transferred to my present command and asked to be the Jewish Lay Leader there,
there was much opposition to me wearing my kippah by peers and chain-of-command. Part of the
blame is mine, as I had written permission at my previous command to wear the yarmulke, but per
uniform regulations, the waiver did not apply to my present command. I was told that I was not
allowed to wear the kippah off-base, in uniform. The other part of the problem here, was ignorance
of non-Christian religious customs and the other was anti-Orthodox Jewish sentiment.

Much of the objection to my wearing a kippah in uniform since I joined the Coast Guard has come from
other Jews. I don't understand why Jews are embarrassed to be seen as Jews, when Christians in the
Coast Guard and other military services make no effort to hide that they are Christians (nor should they).

Nevertheless, my motivations for wearing the kippah are not just to identify myself as a Jew, but more
importantly to show respect to/for Hashem.

More later ...

Moishe Lewack

7:39 PM  
Blogger Moishe Lewack said...

Regarding the wearing of a kippah in uniform:

To support my position, I sought rabbinic guidance from my rabbi and other Orthodox rabbis
in the Baltimore - DC area. Most of them supported my decision to wear a kippah in uniform.
My rabbi, a local Chabad Rabbi, said it was a religious imperative. He wrote a letter of support
(to my command) supporting my decision to wear a kippah in uniform and cited Rabbinic sources
explaining why it was a religious imperative.

Many of my friends, many of whom are not Orthodox Jews, can't understand why I would risk my
job over a non-halachic requirement. For me, it is a religious imperative that I wear my kippah.

Regards, Moishe Lewack

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