Friday, October 10, 2008

Yarmulke confessions


Matty needs a yarmulke for a school project. I know there are Christian & Catholic supply stores in town, but do we have any Jewish supply stores? I am not aware of any....so...in addition to putting the word out (can I borrow a yarmulke for a week?) I am also heading to Oly this weekend to dig in my parents garage (the boxes marked ERIN) for the yarmulke I used to have. Yes, it's true....my former bedroom was turned into first an office, and now a guest room with exercise equipment. But I know you really want to hear about the yarmulke. This story is not pretty. I have always been culturally sensitive, but am embarrassed to say when it came to the yarmulke, I was very insensitive and learned my lesson. On to the story!


So...in HS, I had a friend who was Jewish. I was fascinated with his Jewish traditions & holidays. I wanted to be Jewish! I wanted to celebrate Yom Kippur, Rosh Hoshannah AND Hannukah. I begged my Southern Baptist parents to let our family convert to Judaism....they thought I was crazy. I argued, 'but Jesus was a Jew!" (Along with my personal favorite..."but Jesus turned water into wine......."). My mom realizing my love for anything different from the American label, let me go to Rosh Hoshannah & Yom Kippur celebrations at the Temple in Oly and SKIP school. Yes - even though they didn't want me to convert....my parents let me 'experience' the holidays and it was an excused absence (sorry Nas - NOT happening!).


Back to yarmulke....my friend happened to show me a box of yarmulkes one day left over from his Bar Mitzvah. They were a beautiful blue & stamped on the back was his name and the date of the Bar Mitzvah in gold lettering. I asked if I could have one. My friend said, 'sure.' He was very liberal and didn't have the same awe & reverance for his religion that I had for it. So, I am ashamed to say, I put the yarmulke on my head and wore it around Olympia. We went to McDonalds and while we were there, a man came up to me and snatched the yarmulke off my head and wanted to know why I didn't have any respect for religious articles?! I didn't know what to say...and I felt terrible. My friend didn't know what to say. My friend asked for the yarmulke back and stuffed it in his pocket. After we left McD's, he gave the yarmulke back to me and said, "don't wear it out in public again." I still feel shame when I remember this story. I can honestly tell you to this day...I have been respectful of all things cultural and especially religious things.


So...anybody have a yarmulke my son can borrow? I PROMISE you he will NOT wear it - we will keep it in a box JUST for viewing pleasure. I am sure my parents garage has the yarmulke in it and if I find it this weekend (after B's bday party = Happy Bday B!), I will post a picture of it....but not on my head.

1 comment:

Naseem said...

Oh, geez...I would have been SO embarrassed, mom.