Reply To: Wearing a Yarmulka in a Movie Theater

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Avram in MD

Wow, this debate is surprisingly cantankerous.


Can someone please explain why Rav Moshe Feinstein zt’l in Vol. 2 Siman 95 of Orech Chaim in Igros Moshe says its worse to take off a yarmulka when going into a movie theater than to c’v go into a movie theater with a yamulka?

When a Jew wears a yarmulke into a place where he should not be, he begins to feel very uncomfortable. At that point, he can do one of two things: remove the yarmulke, or realize that if he’s uncomfortable wearing a yarmulke in that place, then perhaps he shouldn’t be there and leave. My guess is that Rav Moshe ZT”L preferred the second choice.

A yarmulke is like a megaphone for the neshama, it’s an amazing thing.

Hopefully I’m not wading into dangerous waters when I say this, but the MPAA ratings system is not really in “sync” with Jewish values. A rated “G” movie, while considered innocent and suitable for children by the surrounding secular culture, often contains ideas and images that are antithetical to Torah concepts, such as children rebelling against parents, shallow mindsets, immodest dress and behavior, etc. I know there are some films out there that may be fine for many, but we cannot rely on the MPAA ratings to protect our values.