I've had a lot of negative things on my mind lately about non-Jews' perceptions of Jews. For obvious reasons in general, but in particular that story about kippot in Germany has me pretty shook. But right now I want to talk about the funniest, harmless instance of ignorance I've ever run into. [thread]
I never went to a Jewish school, but from ages 7-18 I was at a school with a very large Jewish population (1/3 - 1/2 of my year, maybe more like 1/4 - 1/3 on average), and a catchment area that included a lot of London's Jewish population. So I rarely interacted with people who didn't know at least a little about Jews and Judaism.
Bob [not his real name]: Do Jews really wear kippahs?
me: Jewish men do, though only relatively religious people wear them all the time - it's mostly just for during prayers.
me: well, the law as far as I know only specifies that we're supposed to cover our heads in the house of the Lord, and I think wearing them for other prayers is by association, and then some people want everyone to know their Jewish wherever they go.
Bob: yeah, but why kippahs? (...)
me: well, technically I think you could wear a baseball cap and be complying with the letter of the law, but a kippah is just the traditional thing.
Bob: so, how many people go to your synagogue?
me: well, Saturday mornings at least a hundred
Bob: and every man brings a kippah?
me: mostly, and there's a basket of them there in case you forgot
@eldang ...he thought you were all wearing fish on your heads??
@twistylittlepassages Yes. Literally. I'm glad he plucked up the courage to ask. And in his defense I think we were about 12 years old.
@eldang Still, that's hilarious!
re: Harmless ignorance
@eldang i need that laugh
A community that skews thoughtful and weird. Everyone who abides by the code of conduct is welcome, thoughtful weirdos most of all! :)