Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What's with the yarmulke, dude?

Chazzano Coffee Roasters is a boutique roasterie that observes the Jewish dietary laws (Kosher) and Jewish Holy Days. We close from Friday evening to Saturday evening in observance of the Jewish day of rest (Shabbat). In addition, the owner (me) wears a kippah, yarmulke, or some kind of hat throughout the day. What's up with that? Since we have begun to sell Chazzano Kipot, I  need to explain why I wear a kippah (or kipa). You should also know that there are no subjects that are private to me. Feel free at any time to ask not only about coffee but also about Judaism and my observance of the Jewish laws. 

There are two main words for the kind of hat that I choose to wear: Kipa (kee-pah), the Hebrew word, and yarmulke (ya-muh-kuh), the Yiddish word. Another English word, skullcap, is not really used at all. Simply, I wear a kipa because it shows respect for G-d. Some scholars have stated that it covers our head to remind us that our intellect is not even close to G-d's wisdom. It is also a sign that you are an observant Jew who keeps Kosher, the Jewish Sabbath, and that you live an ethical life as defined by G-d and the Torah (The Jewish Bible). There is also an element of humility- wearing the hat is a sign of humility towards G-d and love for living a Jewish life.

So, why don't all Jews wear a kipa? For one, it would negatively effect their career growth and therefore hurt their family. I own my own business. If you don't want to do business with me because I am an observant Jew, the feeling is mutual. Wearing a kipa is a source of pride because there was a time when even  non-observant Jews who didn't have any outward signs of their Judaism were not treated equally to non-Jews. Some Jews don't want to seem different from anyone else. There are many reasons why some Jews don't wear a kipa today and all of those reasons are valid. That is why I love being an American-harmony of different beliefs is respected and nourished, mostly.

Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews all have different traditions and beliefs about the wearing of kippot. 

Finally, I wear my new Chazzano kipa because I am proud to be a Jew, I want to show reverence towards G-d in my own way, and I want to show my pride in owning Chazzano Coffee Roasters.

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