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Author:  Yisroel Kerdman
E-mail:  not available
Date:  12/15/2005 12:23:00 PM
Subject:  Re: Hat in Public
Message:  I am the person Mr. A.L. was referring to. I appreciate the suggestion that I attend a Seminar for Orthodox Singles, although I am happily married w/ 2 kids. Relevant disclosure: I wear a black hat on Shabbos and YT.

Here's the question as I would have asked it myself. We attend a law school in New York City. Wearing a large-brim black hat is clearly not socially acceptable attire here, and is guaranteed to attract unhealthy attention and possibly ridicule from gentiles and from non-religious Jews. A yarmulka, on the other hand, is understood by all and is a socially acceptable way to declare one's religious affiliation. My question is, does the possibility of Chillul Hashem arising out of conspicuousness and ridicule outweigh the minhag in some circles of wearing a hat in public? If you please answer that, I'll forgive the several incorrect and insulting conclusory assertions you made about me on very little evidence.
Reply:  Huh? He wrote 'An Orthodox student said that my wearing a hat and jacket makes all the frum Jews in college look weird, and that I should not be frum on his account' I responded to that statement.
You, on the other hand, are asking a different question about Chillul Hashem, which this is not. Moslems have no problems wearing turbans, why are we so shy? Anyway, why would you feel that other people will look at you funny because he is wearing a hat. By virtue of the fact that you don't, differentiates between you and him.
Just as a side thought, the gentiles will usually not ridicule, just the non-religious Jews will. Guilt is a hard thing to control.

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