Kippah in Practice

Today was a busy day: my partner and I had to do laundry at the laundromat, and then hit Costco for our monthly grocery run, and somewhere in there we had lunch. But I left my kippah at home, because a) I felt conspicuous and b) I wasn’t sure he’d be comfortable with it, and the last thing I want to do is alienate him with my conversion by being that overt about it.

When we got home, though, and got everything brought in and put away, I put it on almost without thinking about it while he was in the shower.

He saw it when he came out and said, with a bit of confusion in his voice, “You’re wearing your kippah?”

So then I had to explain to him why I was wearing it. What it boils down to is this: I am moving towards being a Jew, and part of what I need to do is follow the various Jewish practices to see if they fit me or not. And wearing a kippah is just – part of that, for me.

More to the point, it feels right. I feel right wearing one. Another blogger I’ve recently started following said that wearing a kippah felt like being under a blanket, safe and protected. That it was very lightweight but you still felt it on your head. You’re aware of it, and of what it means. Yeah. That.

Other Reform and Conservative Jews (either by birth or by choice) that I’ve talked to and read have expressed similar sentiments. Michael at Chicago Carless has said that he rarely if ever takes his kippah off, and one of the reasons why is that he feels it would erase the evidence of a Jew in the world if he did. My best friend does not wear a kippah, but her Mogen David is always on and always obvious, for the same reason.

As for me? This is a public symbol of my identity. It’s like wearing my rainbow bracelet to identify myself as queer. It’s evidence of a person with this identity in the world. Not to wear it is becoming more and more unthinkable for me.

Tomorrow my best friend and I are going to the Fairfax district, finally!, and I hope to come home with several kippot for different occasions so I can return this workaday borrowed one to the temple tomorrow evening. But in the meantime? I’m going to wear it because it comforts me, it feels right, and because I want to.

My partner said that he’s fine with me doing that, so I might pick up a rainbow-themed one for Pride on Sunday, too.

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5 Comments

Filed under Conversion Process, Identities, Jewish Practices, Judaism

5 responses to “Kippah in Practice

  1. “nother blogger I’ve recently started following said that wearing a kippah felt like being under a blanket, safe and protected. That it was very lightweight but you still felt it on your head. You’re aware of it, and of what it means.”

    That is EXACTLY how I feel when covering my hair. I feel humble, safe, warm, protected, and like a child of G-d.

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  2. I also feel like that when wearing a kippah however in my case, I think I can only handle it when at the shul, being under that much calm 24/7 would drive me crazy, I prefer to have that feeling when shabbat comes and I wear the kippah hence I wont be wearing one.
    A necklace with a star of David will be my Jewish identification, I am still looking for the perfect one.

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    • Nothing says you can’t have both. I’m curious, though – what’s wrong with being that calm?

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      • Adam, being calm is good, but to put it in perspective, drugs (MJ specifically) can bring calmness to some people, physically and spiritually and that is fine but there is a point where you would need some not so calm environment to thrive, Sounds weird making an analogy between a kippah and Marihuana but I hope you will get my point.

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        • I’ll admit it, it does sound weird to me, but I’m usually so stressed that it’s a blessing to have this calm finally be here and stay for a while. Eh. To each their own, right?

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