I'm a German and I have been wearing a couple of times a Kippa in public on dates of significance to holocaust. For example on September 1st when wearing Star of David was made mandatory.

Is that way of showing support actually okay or considered (religiously) inappropriate?


2 Answers 2


Thank you for your question.

One thing you have to ask yourself is, when you go out wearing your kippah on certain days, do people see you and remember that today's date is associated with the Holocaust, or do they think that you're Jewish and out enjoying the day?

I don't think there's anything religiously inappropriate about wearing your kippah. As DanF pointed out in the comments, the basic design and idea of the kippah is found in many other world religions and cultures besides Judaism. Jewish Law mandates that we should keep our heads covered, but does not specify with what. In Judaism, a kippah has become a very traditional way of covering the head but a baseball cap or other hat works just as well.

Back to my second paragraph, the one about what people think when they see you. If you want to remind people that today's date is significant in regards to the Holocaust, then maybe wearing a kippah isn't the best way of doing that. You might think of other things to do, perhaps in addition to wearing your kippah which would illustrate that better than simply wearing a kippah.

I hope this answer helps.

  • 3
    In Germany it is very very unusual to see a jew wear a Kippa - many jews here seem to consider that as quite dangerous. Hence the Kippa also just signals an open and positive attitude towards jewish life. That's my primary message. Most jews - who wear the Kippa for religous reasons - in deed resort to regular caps to hide their jewish roots. I find that very sad.
    – Raffael
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 16:12
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    @Raffael Nice! Then the kippah is a very good idea.
    – ezra
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 16:15

Here are some religious considerations of mine regarding your question:

Why connect your support to the holocaust and not do it all year long? Is it because you hold your nation responsible? This attitude might not be relevant today, two - three generations after the war. As such it may lead to a totally different response, triggering an anger and hatred toward you AND Jewish people, which is bad for Jews and is definitely forbidden.

Another reason to refrain from this ritual is that you can be mistaken for a Jew, with some consequences, i.e. counted for a Minyan, or be revealed a secret, which is also forbidden. I had a situation once when a very Jewish-looking old guy with his wife entered a synagogue in Jerusalem and I volunteered to help them around. We befriended and they started to attend my lectures. We talked a lot and one day it turned out he's not circumcised. I arranged a Bris with "Bris Itzhok" and everything was ready when he admitted he wasn't Jewish, he only wanted to express his closeness and interest in Judaism.

In addition, you might want to consider supporting the Jews practically, either by donating or volunteering - this is far more important religiously and will get you more rewards than dressing like a religious Jew. This will surely answer your needs without the negative side-effects.

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    The question was: Is that way of showing support actually okay or considered (religiously) inappropriate? Please either address the question, or post something in comments. Answers should be used to answer the question asked; not to discuss ideas that you think are worth discussing.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 0:59
  • THe question I answered was "Is that way of showing support actually okay ?" and I suggested it wasn't, and gave reasons why. If you want it to be more religiously explicit, I'll edit it.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 16:18
  • Adding the word religious doesn't make something a religious consideration.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 18:35
  • How bout now? Added another reason.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 23:47
  • There's nothing inherently "Jewish" about wearing a yarmulke. A smart minyan should make sure to ask a stranger whether he is Jewish or not, especially since nowadays it's not uncommon for non-Jews to visit the synagogue. It's not the 1800s anymore. :)
    – ezra
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 2:54

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