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Feb 15, 2010

David Sable on Being Jewish in Business (video)

I have no problem with people, especially from his generation and day, not wearing yarmulkes at work. That was fairly common and understandable. I don't like the way he then turns it into an ideal, almost as a lechatchila position.


  1. So basically he's moreh heter to himself to use bad language. I don't buy into his svara. He makes out that there is something positive in removing the shackles of a kippa, and expressing himself like any gentile. Perhaps if he wore his kippa, he would feel more obliged to behave correctly.

  2. I'm not sure I see it as his being moreh heter to use foul language. I think it's more a matter of he knows he's going to use it in any case, and does not want to create a Chilul Hashem by being the guy with the Yarmulka who curses. It would, of course, be better if he avoided the language, but if he feels he's not on a Madrega to do so, it may actually be better not to wear it.

    FWIW, I do wear a Yarmulka at work (at a large US accounting firm), and I know it affects the way people look at me - I don't get the off-color jokes repeated to me, and people tend to at least try to watch their language around me. It also definitely has an impact on me, in that I'm always aware of the potential Chilul Hashem I can cause if I do something wrong.

  3. Is it correct that it's better not to look like a Jew if you're going to cause a chillul Hashem? Sounds logical but I don't know if that's correct.

    I'm not sure if non-Jews make the distinction he makes. If they know you're a Jew, then they know you're a Jew. Do they have one level of expectation from a non-kippah wearer and a higher level form a kippah wearer?

  4. again, I have no problem with people not wearing kipas to work. If a person feels he is in an environment where he cannot, I am fine with him not (maybe because I grew up where this was common). I don't like the way he makes it into a lechatchila position though.

    wanna- very interesting question.

  5. I posted comment 2. In answer to Wanna Saab's question - the gemara says that one whose yetzer hara gets the better of him should dress in black and go to a place where he is no known in order to not make a Chilul Hashem. That would seem to apply here.

    As to the fact that people know he's Jewish anyway - firstly, that's not always the case in business. Second, there is a different set of expectations when one is wearing a Yarmulka - the fact that one is so out front with his religiousity raises the standards that are expected.

  6. i didnt get the impression from his talk that you did. So i have no problem with what he said. Brad

  7. He acknowledges he'd be a different person at work if he had a kippa on his head. So while he's trying to say he wouldn't want wearing a kippa to create a chilul Hashem, in a way he's telling himself that his work personality is off limits for some types of religious improvement.


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