Wearing a Yarmulka in a Movie Theater

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  • #598023

    Droid
    Member

    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?

    #787608

    Shrek
    Member

    a man is required to have his head covered.

    #787610

    YW Moderator-42
    Moderator

    A man is required to cover his head, why should a movie theater be any different?

    #787611

    I think in the time of Rav Moshe the movies weren’t as bad as they are today and it was a lot more acceptable (although not entirely) to go to see a movie.

    Nowadays though, the Chilul Hashem of walking into a movie theater probably outweighs the halacha of wearing a yarmulke.

    That’s what I would say.

    #787612

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    I don’t understand the question. If you wear a yarmulka, you should wear it no matter where you go.

    #787613

    Because wearing a hat may block the person behind you view of the screen…

    #787615

    shlishi
    Member

    What exactly does Rav Moshe’s teshuva say?

    It sounds like he is saying going into a theater is terrible but if one does it anyway he still shouldn’t take his yarmulka off.

    #787616

    WIY
    Member

    Derek Hamelech

    If I were you I would not recommend people take off Yarmulkes. A Yarmulke is a testament and reminder to the wearer that there is a G-d above him. By taking off your Yarmulke its like telling yourself “Hashem isn’t here he can’t see me now Im flying under the radar and can get away with this because I took off my Yarmulke so now Im not Jewish so the not Jewish guy whoever he is did this but me, I DIDN’T DO THIS” its a way of lying to yourself and trying to make your conscience feel better. If you know you have to wear a Yarmuulka the whole time maybe you wont end up going into the movie theater in the first place!

    #787617

    Shrek
    Member

    so a man should uncover his head every time he does something inapproriate?

    #787618

    chanie
    Member

    I believe the reason was that a yid looks like a yid whether or not he is wearing his yarmulke. That person going into the movies is already being oiver one averia. By removing his yarmulke he is now oiver 2 averiros.

    #787619

    charliehall
    Participant

    A man is required to cover his head, but it doesn’t have to be with a yarmulke. If I walk into McDonald’s to use the rest room or buy a Coca-Cola, I put on a baseball cap.

    #787620

    I am not a Rov so I would not tell anyone to put on or take off their yarmuulkes ever.

    But my opinion is that whatever the spiritual gains that are acquired from wearing a yarmulke, they are offset by the aviera d’oraissa of chillul Hashem. Yatza schar b’hefseido.

    But obviously if wearing a yarmulke will keep someone out of a theater he shouldn’t take it off.

    #787621

    cherrybim
    Participant

    There are good reasons to support both sides.

    #787622

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    Hi. I see my above comment is still in yellow. I hope it gets posted. (I am guessing that means it has not yet posted so therefore a moderator is deliberating as to whether to post an incisive comment that has the potential to shine light in a way that others do not like to see it shine). That said, I dont wear a kippah to a movie if I was to go. I would usually cover my head with a hat either baseball or other formal wear hat. But that said, I would of course wear a kippah no matter what and even under my hat if that was the story. You should cover your head. A movie theatre is not a location of sin. Don’t go to movies you would be ashamed to be seen viewing. Remember you represent our Nation and our G-d and act accordingly.

    #787623

    midwesterner
    Participant

    If you take off a yarmulke, but you still have a beard and payos, how does that remove the chilul Hashem?

    #787624

    Englishman
    Member

    B”H I’ve never been inside a movie theater. But is there really a phenomenon where one can see a frum yid unabashedly going into a theater with a yarmulka?? That almost sounds like chas v’shalom going into a bar or strip joint with a kaputa!

    #787625

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    That’s the thing, midwesterner, show me how it is a Chillul Hashem to go see, say the Smurfs at the end of this month. Doesn’t anyone appreciate any of the cinematic media today? How is this against Torah. Truely a Rated R movie could be dicey. What of the PG movie? Do we not expose our lives to the content of the intelligent communities that write films? Do we ban books now? Perhaps I would be in error for reading Farenheight 451 for it is a secular book right? F451 is one of the best books I have read and got me as a guy who was not reading the bible to pick up the book of Ecclesiastes. So how is this secular world bad? It all ties in to G-ds plan.

    #787626

    I assumed that we were talking about someone who the only way to discern that he is Jewish is through his yarmulke.

    Obviously going into the theater with a beard, peyos and langa rekel, but with a baseball cap on, isn’t going to really accomplish much.

    #787628

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    Englishman: “As bad as a strip joint” Please, grow up. Sad part is you’re probably older than me.

    #787629

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Englishman: “As bad as a strip joint”

    Well, you know, Kanga (the only female character in the Winnie the Pooh movies) does spend the entire movie without any clothes… 🙂

    The Wolf

    (For those who don’t know — Kanga is a kangaroo.)

    #787630

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    That person going into the movies is already being oiver one averia. By removing his yarmulke he is now oiver 2 averiros.

    IIRC, that is indeed R’ Moshe’s reasoning.

    BOR – Listen Chavereim, Torah does not forbid you from watching a screenplay.

    Please inform us of who you got s’micha from allowing you to decide matters of Jewish law.

    On other threads, I’ve posted a teshuva from Chacham Ovadiah Yosef in which he explains clearly that there are several serious issurim involved in viewing most secular media, and quotes several other gedolim who had the same opinion.

    #787631

    Listen Chavereim, Torah does not forbid you from watching a screenplay. Torah forbids you from acting like a buffoon.

    The Yalkut in Shemos 1 says (among other reasons) that the problem the Egyptians had with us is that we filled their theaters and circuses. This is the first step in assimilation and it was only shevet Levi who did not go to these things, that were saved from the years of servitude.

    There is no illicit problem going to a movie unless say it is say Adult Rated.

    Actually there can still be problems of isurei histaklus and ri’iyah. And lets be honest. Its more than just likely.

    Personally I felt that cinema was a good way for children to learn about the world when used in an intelligent fashion.

    Is this as opposed to the Torah which you are saying would not have been an optimal way to teach children about the world despite Ben Bag Bag who says that everything is in it?

    Can you imagine not being able to see say Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark or Schindlers List?

    Very easily. And from what I’ve heard, at least Schindler’s List was not entirely appropriate for a Jew to be watching.

    I am a modern orthodox jew and I will not kow tow to a philosophy which states that this “secular” is antithecial to Israel. It is not and it in fact educates us as well. I will beat this to death as long as I exist.

    I don’t think anyone is telling you to kowtow to anyone. But your opinion might not be entirely based on halacha. In which case, you may want to ask yourself is Hashem is asking of you to kowtow to his Law.

    what you do and see will either improve or corrupt you and then you can take your Torah Skills to the test and figure out what you are made of and what you want to be in life.

    It sounds as though you are suggesting that people test themselves in what they can handle secularly speaking. Are you sure that it is OK to test yourself in this way?

    That is more intense and stronger than avoiding a theatre where the cinema plays for the rest of your lives.

    What exactly is the problem with avoiding a theater for the rest of our lives? Would you not avoid a non-kosher restaurant your whole life or would you say that its better to go into the non-kosher restaurant and order a drink rather than avoid it?

    I urge you to research the halachos of histaklus and r’iyah before writing such strongly worded statements about what the Torah allows or forbids.

    #787633

    Droid
    Member

    It’s a chillul Hashem to just walk into the theater itself.

    #787635

    Midwest2
    Participant

    Maybe it depends on the movie playing. If it’s something rated R (restricted) then you’ve got a problem. If it’s rated G (general) then what’s to get upset about? How dangerous is “March of the Penguins?”

    Of course, you should be careful that you’re paying attention to the ratings on violence, and not just gilui arayos. Murder is also forbidden. Maybe watching violent films is how we get posters on some sites ranting about hanging Levi Aron from a lamp post after mutilating him. Not exactly speech that the Gedolim of the previous generation would have approved. What happened with Aron himself is a matter for the courts and the psychiatrists, not fantasizing about vigilante revenge.

    #787636

    Midwest:

    Going into a movie theater to watch a movie about penguins would be the same thing as going into a non-kosher restaurant and buying a soda:

    The people seeing you walking into the non-kosher restaurant/movie theater don’t know what your going to be doing in there- they just know there’s a lot of stuff there that they shouldn’t expect a ben Torah to eat/see.

    #787638

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I do indeed feel you should be able to test yourself.

    Chaza”l, however, do not.

    #787639

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    So, for someone like me, whose been told that his very existence (inasmuch as I am not chareidi or yeshivish) is a chillul HaShem, I fail to see the harm in walking into a theater.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    #787640

    Well guys, I will not participate in a nation of illiberal ideals. That is your way. I disagree that that is our Creators intent.

    This is what distinguishes orthodox Judaism from Conservative or Reform. Among them, some choose to keep Shabbos and otthers don’t Some choose to keep kosher and others not.

    Among the different sects of orthodoxy, whether Sephardic, Chassidishe, Yeshivishe, Modern, whatever they are- even though each group may argue bitterly with each other- the common denominator between us all is that we all conform to the words of our leaders. We do not choose for ourselves what the correct approach to the world is, we defer to our Rabbis.

    This is what makes us free- not the liberty to choose to do whatever we think is correct, but that we are free from the yetzer hara.

    We follow the halacha and the words of Chazal in all cases, not just when we deem it apropos. You call this illiberal, we call it freedom.

    #787642

    Pac-Man
    Member

    Among the different sects of orthodoxy, whether Sephardic, Chassidishe, Yeshivishe, Modern, whatever they are- even though each group may argue bitterly with each other- the common denominator between us all is that we all conform to the words of our leaders. We do not choose for ourselves what the correct approach to the world is, we defer to our Rabbis.

    Actually the modern are the exception. They, b’shitta, don’t have to listen to the words of their leaders. Much like the non-Orthodox.

    #787643

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    True, but if my very existence is a chillul HaShem (as I’ve been told in the past), then it really matters not where I go. If I go to shul, it’s a chillul HaShem. If I go to the theater, it’s a chillul HaShem.<

    Maybe it’s a bigger chillul HaShem to go into a theater.

    #787644

    basket of radishes
    Participant

    Illiberal thought processes are not orthodox. To be permissive or to be a pacifist is not orthodox either. Sadly people confuse permissivism and pacifism with liberalism. This is like comparing a picket fence to a grove of trees.

    Truth is what out Creator will teach to us in our days.

    I do not profess to know exactly the true way that our G-d wants us to conduct ourselves all of the time and I certainly do not believe that every rabbi has the ins and outs on the way of our Creator. If I believed the rabbis, I might not have a computer, I might not have gone to college, I might not have studied medicine, I might not have entered into philosophical debate becuase some rabbi had it all together for me in advance.

    I am not against the leadership of our Torah leaders, but I strive to become a torah leader myself and know the true Derech of our people.

    #787645

    optimusprime
    Member

    Pac-Man

    Your words are filled with hate and poison. Its a wonder that someone who disregards his fellow brethren so much can still consider himself a religious jew.

    On the movies issue, I think if Rav Moshe says if you go to wear a yamulke, then wear it.

    #787646

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Maybe it’s a bigger chillul HaShem to go into a theater.

    Bigger than my very existence? I doubt it.

    The Wolf

    #787649

    Pac-Man
    Member

    What’s the contention. The modern constantly knock Daas Torah, both here and elsewhere. They make the repugnant comparison of Daas Torah to r’l ‘papal infallibility’ and use many other ways to knock Daas Torah. This is no secret, it is quite open. We see it all the time.

    From R. Aharon Lichtenstein, “Legitimization of Modernity: Classical and Contemporary” in Leaves of Faith (Ktav: 2004), vol. 2 p. 294:

    There are many apologists who contend that the primary issues are matters of haskafah, to which authority per se is far less relevant, and with respect to which classical sources are arguably self-sufficient. This brings us to the familiar shibboleth of da’at Torah. This concept is generally in disrepute among votaries of modern Orthodoxy, who have sought to challenge both its historical progeny and its philosophic validity.

    R. Mordechai Willig on Daas Torah:

    …Advice is, by definition, not binding. One who seeks rabbinic advice and chooses to ignore it does not violate halachah. Indeed, if he is convinced, based on superior information, that the Rabbi has erred, he should ignore the advice.

    #787650

    bombmaniac
    Participant

    lol its funny cuz you guys are arguing about something written by the same troll. pac man and basket of radishes…when i see either of those names (and real brisker) i just disregard those posts and move on to the next ones.

    #787651

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    There are many people who are not orthodox , but feel some closeness to yiddishkite.

    They feel the davining at Young Israels is more real than conservative or reform, but they do not feel confordable in a more charedi shul (There is more singing , The Rabbi gives a sermon in english on topics of intrest to these people) (Chabad is an exception, but Chabad houses out of town are not aimed for Charedim anyway)

    These people many times send their kids to a jewish orthodox Day school.

    #787652

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Wow, this debate is surprisingly cantankerous.

    Droid,

    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.

    #787654

    Aishes Chayil
    Participant

    I remember in Flordia years ago, as a child I noticed frum women sitting at the pool in their swim suits and I always found it weird that they sat with their hair covered!

    This is similar.

    #787655

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Pac-Man: you dare attack R’ Willig and R’ Lichtenstein? They are two of the biggest Rabbonim in the world! R’ Lichtenstein knows the entire Shas backwards and forwards, and is respected by Rabbonim all over the world!

    R’ Willig is a posek of the highest caliber, and a respected rosh yeshiva. Maybe your Neturei Karta buddies don’t like him because he supports Israel, but that doesn’t give you the right to attack him.

    I hope Hashem punishes you for the motzei shem ra you’ve said here. You deserve it.

    As for Modern Orthodoxy not following their leaders, you’re completely wrong. Just because we have different leaders than you doesn’t mean we don’t listen to them. For those who don’t listen, it’s not b’shittah. As far as R’ Willig’s statement is concerned, he is correct – advice is not a psak halachah. He doesn’t say if you think a Rabbi is wrong just because you think you know better. He clearly states it’s only of the Rabbi didn’t have all the information.

    As for the infallibility of Daas Torah, chareidim made it into something that it’s not. Chareidim believe that a gadol can not make a mistake. Well, guess what – they can. R’ Shmuel Kaminetzky said straight out after the whole Lipa concert fiasco that their decision was wrong, and was influenced by someone with a lot of money. Is this infallibility? Even Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t infallible. Only Hashem is never wrong.

    #787656

    charliehall
    Participant

    “The Yalkut in Shemos 1 says (among other reasons) that the problem the Egyptians had with us is that we filled their theaters and circuses. “

    Theaters and circuses in ancient times were completely different from theaters and circuses today.

    “We do not choose for ourselves what the correct approach to the world is, we defer to our Rabbis.”

    True. But it needs to be pointed out that many of our rabbis do not see movies or theater as asur.

    “Actually the modern are the exception. They, b’shitta, don’t have to listen to the words of their leaders. Much like the non-Orthodox. “

    This is a slanderous lie.

    ” The modern constantly knock Daas Torah, both here and elsewhere.”

    Rav Lichtenstein and Rav Willig are both 100% correct. There is a difference between asking for advice and asking a halachic shilah. I can’t believe that it is even an issue.

    #787657

    mythoughts
    Participant
    #787658

    GeshmakMan
    Participant

    My friend taught me a General Rule of Thumb….If you are to embarrased to walk into a place wearing a Yarmulka, then you shouldn’t be walking in there at all.

    #787659

    “Actually the modern are the exception. They, b’shitta, don’t have to listen to the words of their leaders. Much like the non-Orthodox”

    Pac-Man…Have your learnt nothing from this past week? Why do you consistently feel the need to cause divisions among Jews? We should be focused on building bridges not burning them…

    #787660

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    My friend taught me a General Rule of Thumb….If you are to embarrased to walk into a place wearing a Yarmulka, then you shouldn’t be walking in there at all.

    Would you be embarrassed to walk into a baseball game where there sell KOSHER FOOD (The employees at the stand usually wear kippot)

    #787661

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    charliehall: Theaters and circuses did not exist in ancient Egypt.

    Joseph: My earlier words didn’t get through, so I’ll try again more moderately. Hizaharu b’divreihem k’gachalei aish. Or does that only apply to rabbis you like?

    #787662

    Theaters and circuses in ancient times were completely different from theaters and circuses today.

    In what way were they different and how is that relevant? The point is that we went their houses of entertainment. Whatever that entertainment happened to be. That is the first step to assimilation. First we break bread with them then we follow their ways. Then R”L.

    True. But it needs to be pointed out that many of our rabbis do not see movies or theater as asur.

    That is true. Many of your rabbis don’t. But that is not the point I was making. A rabbi is qualified to determine such a view. A person who has little knowledge of Torah is not.

    #787663

    WIY
    Member

    GeshmakMan

    “My friend taught me a General Rule of Thumb….If you are to em to walk into a place wearing a Yarmulka, then you shouldn’t be there at all.”

    This rule would only work one one who has not compromised on his morals. One who has a strong mussar and hashkafa background and hasnt already attended places he shouldn’t. Once one has broken that boundary it can no longer be used as a barometer for where one should or shouldn’t go. A better idea is to picture your Rav or Rebbe in front of you and ask yourself, “would he be proud of me that I attended this venue or would I be embarrassed if he knew or at least would prefer he not know…?”

    #787664

    GeshmakMan
    Participant

    Zahavasdad – just because you choose to wear a hat to a game, doesn’t mean that you are embarrassed to wear a Yarmulka.

    Do you not wear a Yarmulka during the National Anthem?

    And not sure why the Kosher Food part is relevant, McDonalds also sells Kosher products.

    #787666

    jewishness
    Participant

    Once on the topic of not going into a theater for any movie….and the sins that it can lead to….what about internet?

    Oh, so you will only go to yeshivworld? It will lead to …..

    and is everything Lashon Hara, Machlokes, sinas chinam free? Is the only sin in the world the sin of incitement?

    I need an answer from all the frummies.

    #787667

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Maybe it’s a bigger chillul HaShem to go into a theater.

    Bigger than my very existence? I doubt it.

    No, bigger than not walking into a theater.

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