Pros and cons of two kippot

And one more thing about this whole kippah thing that I just posted about.

Since my Bar Mitzvah, whenever I’ve had to wear a kippah, I’ve worn the one that my dad had made for my Bar Mitzvah. It’s a knitted kippah, but not as small, lightweight and flexible as your classic Modern Orthodox kippah srugah sort of thing. In short, it’s hard to forget that it’s there. I can always feel it, bearing down on me. (I put those words in italics to give you a sense of the little involuntary curl my lip developed as I typed them.)

But I recently came into possession of an assortment of the smaller ones that are so common among habitual, non-Chareidi kippah wearers. So far, I’ve been wearing one of those to services.

Pros of wearing the bigger one

  • Forgetting it’s there: It’s become an issue of identity: I don’t wear kippot and I’ve made a conscious chose not to. So it’s good to wear one that’s slightly uncomfortable. It means I can never forget it’s there and accidentally become accustomed to wearing one or forget to take it off when I leave.
  • It’s green, which is my favorite color.
  • It’s a slightly odd shape and it’s a brighter color so it stands out. It lets people know that I don’t usually wear one.
  • My dad got it for me. He has a matching one in blue.

Pros of wearing the smaller one

  • It’s more comfortable. What I said about the pros of wearing the bigger one aside, it might better to wear something that allows me to be relaxed about it than to wear something that reminds me I’m doing something I object to doing.
  • It’s more innocuous in size and color so I look less like some uncouth loon who doesn’t know what he’s doing. But I kind of like being that guy, so maybe this is a con? Damn.

Whatever. You get the point.

Your inevitable suggestions that I’m over-thinking this are not needed at this time.

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5 Responses to Pros and cons of two kippot

  1. Laura June 12, 2011 at 4:06 am #

    Nakedhead—
    I like this issue, because I can never understand how anyone wouldn’t want to wear a free symbol every single day. It’s like an adventure. It’s way more interesting than having a Star of David which really only makes a nearly-meaningless cultural statement. With a kippah (or tzitzit for that matter), no one’s going to ask you if you want to come to their bacon party on Saturday, for example. (The added plus is no one will think you’re a raging feminist for wearing it!)
    Although I have to admit that I did once wear a Ninja Turtles kippah, and it weighed about seven pounds and I had to keep checking whether it was fallen over sideways, which it always was. So I’m starting to see some of the potential problems.

    • David A.M. Wilensky June 12, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      It’s way more interesting than having a Star of David which really only makes a nearly-meaningless cultural statement.

      Agreed. Despite the whole name thing, I don’t much care for the Star of David as a universal Jewish symbol. If I had to pick a visual symbol, I’d go with the two tablet or a menorah.

      With a kippah (or tzitzit for that matter), no one’s going to ask you if you want to come to their bacon party on Saturday, for example.

      Too bad. I like bacon.

  2. Jasper @ Best Kippah June 13, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Since you don’t like wearing a kippah, maybe just wear a the smaller one. At least you’ll just forget its there. You can also wear a black one, so it’s not that obvious..

    • David A.M. Wilensky June 15, 2011 at 9:50 am #

      Oh, I’m definitely not gonna wear an all-black one!

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