When going to a job interview, if a person suspects for whatever reason, that he may be unfairly discriminated against if he wears a yarmulka, is he allowed to omit wearing it? Would this be considered genevas daas?

related 1 and 2

  • 1
    See this answer to related question 1:judaism.stackexchange.com/a/8361/4504 Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 21:53
  • 1
    This underlying halacha is not just pertinent to job interviews. A more general form of the question can include job interviews as an example
    – bondonk
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 22:13
  • I remember hearing a shiyur on Thanksgiving where the presenter said he got a psak allowing it.
    – rosenjcb
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 22:22
  • Rav Moshe Feinstien in Igros Moshe (C”M 1:93 and O”C 4:2) allows one to forego wearing a yarmulke if wearing one would negativly impact his parnassah Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 11:34
  • What are you going to do once you get hired?
    – Ani Yodea
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 14:56

2 Answers 2


Interesting. I don't recall ever seeing this question raised when the poskim talk about not wearing a kippa, which would lead one to say it is not a problem.

There are a couple of points to consider. First of all this would be what we call the viewer tricking himself, which is muttar. By that I mean the boss made an assumption on his own volition without the worker saying a word. Much like a homeowner opening a barrel of wine before his guest and the guest thinks it was done in his honor when in reality the homeowner needed to open it anyways. The gemara says this is muttar. As long as no steps are taken to trick the one observing such as dying the hair of an old slave to make him look young. The gemara says that is assur. See here for some points http://torah.org/advanced/business-halacha/5757/vol2no30.html

Here in your case there is also a loophole. If the bossman doesn't want a religious worker, and he thinks that not wearing a kippa makes this worker nonreligious, than he in fact got the exact worker he wanted. Someone he considers irreligious.

  • @Shmuel maybe. That loophole was just extra credit. But even if the boss had certain underlying expectations which were never addressed, that would balance out with the hidden kippa which was never discussed. Neither one of them were completely forthcoming.
    – user6591
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 2:31
  • Your comparison to opening a barrel of wine would only fit, if he was not going to wear a Kippa/Yarmulka anyhow, and the boss drew wrong conclusions about his level of observance. The question asks about omitting a Kippa/Yarmulka that presumably would have otherwise been worn (even if he is permitted not to wear it), in order to offset the boss's bias, and I would say is more like dying the hair of an old slave to make him look young (assuming dying the hair of a slave is otherwise permissible).
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 13:28
  • @Tamir that is a very good point. I was going back and forth about it. But concider this idea which I didn't mention because i couldn't remember where I saw it:) Poskim say painting a used car to look new is as assur as painting the slaves hair. But getting a car wash is fine as you didn't change anything, you just removed the dirt and made it presentable. Now, what would you compare the removal of the kippa to?
    – user6591
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 13:41
  • Equating the removal of a kippa to the washing of a car would work only if the person did it for all job interviews, regardless of how the perspective boss would be affected by it, e.g. if there were rules of etiquette that discouraged wearing a kippa at a job interview. Not wearing a kippa, where he otherwise would have, is not like painting a car in order to sell it, but like changing the auto body of a car in order to sell it to someone who doesn't like one's make of corresponding chassis. Also, in general, I don't think presentibility is a good enough reason to not wear a kippa.
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 9:30

From the discussion of Rav Aviner it would seem that wearing a kippah at all times is an obligation. He discusses possible dispensation for a life-threatening situation, but the implication is that otherwise it would be forbidden to omit it.

A Kippah is an absolute obligation. A Kippah is of great importance. Our Sages explain that a Kippah is meant to instill fear of Hashem within us and is a sign that the Master of the Universe is above us (Shabbat 156b. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 3:6). According to the Achronim, it is even more of an obligation in our times, since wearing a Kippah has been accepted by Torah observant people (Shut Meharshal #72. Shulchan Aruch Ha-Rav 2:6 based on accepted Jewish practice. And some say not wearing a Kippah is imitating non-Jewish practice. Shut Chatam Sofer, Choshen Mishpat #191).

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