Rabbi Lookstein was wrong, and had the courage to say so

R’ Haskel Lookstein is a respected figure, albeit on the left side of Centrist Orthodoxy. I had posted about wearing a Yarmulka B’Davka and suggested that even those who don’t normally wear one, should undertake to wear one especially in this day and age when we are under attack. Afraid to be seen you are Jewish?

I was shocked that R’ Lookstein had suggested parents consider telling their kids to wear baseball caps. Perhaps it’s mandated according to Halacha: one shouldn’t place oneself in a dangerous position. My Zayda Yidel ע’’ה always expressed discomfort when I left the house wearing a Yarmulka, and not a hat. He was a miraculous holocaust survivor, and I was his grandchild. I was one of the few Balbin males. He was agitated if I “flaunted” my Jewishness unecessarily. I understood his feelings. My attitude was that I would never be afraid of גוים who hated me because I was Jewish. He had suffered, but I somehow wanted someone to start with me so I could exact some macabre revenge. Sorry Zayda. Forgive me.

I was pleased to see that R’ Lookstein had recanted, changing his mind. Although not quite advocating what I suggested, which was more of an aggressive  “in your face, anti-semite” sentiment, he at least saw that his Galusdik approach was retrograde.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

2 thoughts on “Rabbi Lookstein was wrong, and had the courage to say so”

  1. You are not going to change an anti-semites opinion of Jews by wearing a yarmulka. The only thing that might change is the way your nose looks and your bloody shirt. I attended a wedding wearing hat and suit at Crown when the place was full of people going to Fed Square, and I was sworn at in the car park and another time inside Crown and when I looked at the guy, he was quite ready to bash my head in, and I was ‘saved’ by another goy who interceded. There is nothing to be gained or heroic in getting bashed up if you can wear a baseball cap instead and be left alone. Google “Jewish” if you want to know what a huge percentage of people think about us.


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