WATCH: Knesset Speaker Explains His Missing Kippah During Kaddish At The Bundestag

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Mickey Levy, Speaker of the Knesset, reacts during the commemoration of the "Day of Remembrance of the Victims of National Socialism" in the German Bundestag, Berlin, Thursday, Jan.27, 2022. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

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Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy’s emotional recitation of Kaddish at the German Parliament on Thursday made headlines around the world.

However, many religious and traditional Israelis condemned Levy for not wearing a yarmulke while representing Israel and the Jews and reciting a religious prayer.

Levy addressed the criticism against him in an interview with Channel 12 News on Motzei Shabbos, saying: “I spoke briefly prior to the ceremony and I put on a kippah. When I arrived at the ceremony itself I was emotional after meeting a Holocaust survivor [and forgot to put the kippah back on]. It’s not necessary to teach me what responsibility is, I come from a religious home. It happened because I was overly emotional.”

And sure enough, there is a photo of Levy wearing a kippah while speaking. The episode is a reminder of the importance of being dan l’kaf zechus.

(צילום: בועז ארד)

Levy also explained why he got so emotional when reciting Kaddish. “I began breaking down when I held the siddur that was given to a Jewish boy by his grandfather for his bar mitzvah shortly before Kristallnacht. I was extremely moved, like nothing I ever felt before.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

27 COMMENTS

  1. How low have we fallen?! A premier frum news site lectures us that this disgraceful episode is a lesson dan l’kaf zechus?! Where do I begin… hmmmm… it’s not a good thing that a not frum member of the am hanivchar, who flagrantly violates kol hatorah kulah and holds a position of power in a government coalition bent on eradicating every vestige of religion from the land of our forefathers, had the literally inimitable gaul to stand where our bubbes and zeydas were murdered (with ani maamin on their lips) and cwy, “hu yaatheh shawom aweinu,” oh boo-hoo! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SAY OUR HOLY TEFILLOS THAT HONOR OUR G-D IN THE MEMORY OF OUR ANCESTORS! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO RECITE SUCH PRAYERS WHEN YOU – ARE – THE -QUINTISSENTIAL – EMBODIMENT -OF – DISHONOR – TO – G-D! You make me sick! How dare you stand there and cry about Kaddish while you disgrace G-do’s name?! I don’t give a damn about your yarmulke! And, btw, YWN: you guys need to do some soil-searching quick…

  2. Don’t worry guys.

    Everyone knows zionists are not jews.

    If you saw a Cristian (descended from jews) saying a Cristian prayer that was based off a Jewish prayer, without wearing a yarmulke, would you even think twice?

    This whole thing is a joke.

    What’s not a joke is the thievery of Yair lapid, when he pretended like the zionist state is the future of the jews that Hitler tried to eradicate. That was blood boiling, but not as much as hearing bastard worshipers saying similar comments.

  3. If he excused himself that he came from an irreligious home, THAT would be an answer, coming from a religious home ?? He is just implicating himself…..!!

  4. An attempt to reply to Yashar.
    I can’t cover all the issues you twisted, but I will start.
    1, The Government is trying to do the right thing. If it seems like there is anything against frum people maybe it is a reflection of what the frum brought upon themselves. Riots, Hafganahs, overturned flaming garbage containers etc. The only relationship with the Government that continues is finding ways to get money from the Government.
    2, Who are you to decide who is permitted to recite the words of a Tefila?
    3, Making fun of the Israeli Ivrit pronunciation! I am Ashky (Chasidishe) but I respect Sephardim and find it interesting that most Sephardim have pronunciation closer to Ivrit. maybe their version is correct.

  5. EXCUSE ME!! Watch the video. At the very end before he says TODA RABA LACHEM, he bends down. There is no yarmukah!!! So what are you talking about DAN LEKAF ZECHUS?

  6. Lapid”s freind Bunch of BUMS , he forgot the Blood of
    our Breathen FUUUUUUU and forgot tiny babies thrown to Gas Chambers From these Basterds
    we know from w they come Yms

  7. @ShloimieB
    Go learn some history.

    The reason the sphardi pronunciation is closer to ivrit is because it is ivrit.
    The zionists destroyed the Sephardic pronunciation and it is almost entirely lost.
    The real one from before zionism is totally different than ivrit.
    In fact ivrit is more similar to the Ashkenazim, which makes sence since they all were.

  8. such remarkable ahavat yisroel as the YWN commentators often exhibit is a sad statement and is proof positive that Moshiach is not yet able to come.

  9. ShloimieB :
    Yashar is, of course, 100% right. Kudos to YWN for actually posting it.

    1. Learn what Zionism is and isn’t. Zionism and its State are all about redefining Judaism into a new godless Zionist/Nationalist “religion”.
    2. Tefillos are for people davening to Hashem, not Zionists misappropriating them in service of Zionism (or any other idolatry).
    3. Nobody ch”v made fun of sefardi havara. The Zionist pronunciation of their invented and blasphemous language of “Modern Hebrew” is neither Ashkenaz nor Sefard. It is an intentional mix/corruption of both, and is just another small shmad tactic of Zionism.

  10. Israel is not a Jewish state and those who represent it mostly have no allegiance to Yiddishkeit. Levy is one of those. Those of us who understand what it is to be a real Yid, i.e. to observe the mitzvos without excuses, understand that we live here because of the mitzva of yishuv Eretz Yisroel, not because the zionists made a state. Those who live here for that reason, not because of Zionism understand that the country’s “rulers” are irrelevant to us.

  11. interesting reaction from the comments. we are free to criticize him for whatever we please. much of it may be legitimate. if we are criticizing him for not wearing a yarmulke he explained that convincingly. i personally think that regardless of what he typically holds or represents, during those moments, his pintele yid was displaying itself.

  12. interesting reaction from the comments. we are free to criticize him for whatever we please. much of it may be legitimate. if we are criticizing him for not wearing a yarmulke he explained that convincingly. i personally think that regardless of what he typically holds or represents, during those moments, his pintele yid emerged.

  13. Achashar darah; it gives me a lot of nachas to see others who recognize the evils of zionism, zionists, ivrit, and the rest. On the forums i sometimes feel lonely, but it’s nice to see half a dozen like minded individuals

  14. Thank you @HaKatan for your kind words.
    Just wanted to add, all you guys: Whoa! Regarding the “imitation” and “making fun” — boy was I misunderstood! I don’t know if this will make people happier or more upset, but let me just clarify that I meant to make fun of the fact that he was crying when he, as I wrote, had no right to cry. I was trying to write the words in a “babyish” accent to imply crying. Sorry, like it or not, that’s what I meant! And CHAS VESHALOM! I WOILD NEVER EVER EVER EVER MAKE FUN OF THE SEFARDI HAVARA! (Not that it really matters, but I’ll just mention that I am Litvish and happily married to a Sefardi…)

  15. These comments are so judgmental. Why can’t people look to improve themselves before trying to find faults in others so quickly? For all it’s faults, Zionism created a state where more Torah learning and religious observance is being done and financially supported in the history of the Jewish people. Can we at least acknowledge what the state of Israel has done for the Jewish people recovering from the holocaust? Can we at least acknowledge the 10,000s of Chilonim who have become frum who would have been lost to assimiliation(like in the US) without the state of Israel. Can we acknowledge what the state has done to the millions of Jews suffering in Galus at the whims of the government(Russia, Romania, North Africa, Iran, Iraq etc.) by giving them a place to run to. We all have faults in our observance so can we just respect the contributions of all Jews, especially considering that almost all of them these days are Tinok Shenishba. If we show respect without all the judging and put downs, maybe we can attract more religious observance going forward.

  16. I too could not understand the lack of the yarmulke. BUt my gosh!!, relax- he did explain himself and the photos apparently back his story up. So, if you don’t typically forget your yarmulke- well neither do I. But sadly, he does, due to it NOT being comparable to his pants, as others attempt to compare in comments above. Wow, we do need to relax. He is a Jew, idk anything much about him but very likely he may be a “tinoik shenishba” although I believe the classification of such is a big machloikes between the Chazon Ish ztl and R’ Vosner Ztl. But perhaps the venerated “poskim” on this forum can issue a FINAL psak 🙂

  17. jbs36:
    “For all its faults…” implies that Zionism and its State are really a good thing for Jews, but that Zionism and its State happen to have lots of flaws. That (the first part) is a gross error and very lacking in perspective.

    In reality, Zionism is an unparalleled disaster (and Chillul Hashem) that might appear to have some good, but that good really isn’t to the credit of Zionism and its State.

    Besides for the Zionist involvement, etc. before, particularly during and after the Holocaust, the Zionists have now intentionally shmaded multiple generations of Jews from around the world.

    Zionism is the greatest force of shmad anywhere. The Zionist propaganda and lies and heresy have infected Jews worldwide. Entire segments of Klal Yisrael worship the idol of Zionism by appending Zionism to their Judaism, etc.

    The Torah learning done in Eretz Yisrael is essentially by the few that remain from the onslaughts of Zionism and is despite Zionism, not because of it. Any support for Torah by the Zionists is, in their first PM’s words, to “hold it in [Zionist] hands” to “control” it.

    So, let’s rewrite/paraphrase your questions and maybe add in one or two:
    Can we acknowledge that losing untold numbers of our brethren to the Zionist (spiritual, in particular) holocaust (especially of sefardim/yemenites), still ongoing, is a largely untold and unimaginably shocking tragedy?

    Can we at least acknowledge the tremendous evil the Zionists and their State did to Jews both before, during and after the Holocaust?

    Can we at least acknowledge the 10,000s of Chilonim who would have remained frum in the first place without the state of Israel?

    Can we acknowledge what the State has done to intentionally cause the suffering of millions of Jews in various countries (Russia, Romania, North Africa, Iran, Iraq etc.), most of whom were doing just fine there prior to Zionism, to make them think that their only hope was to run to Israel and become Zionist heretics – where the Zionists promptly settled them in rocket-prone areas, etc.?

    Rav Chaim Brisker said a century ago that Herzl SR”Y could not possibly be a tinok sheNishba because he knew how to surgically strike at a weak point in Klal Yisrael to get them to believe in his heresy and idolatry. Only someone who was sufficiently Jewish-educated could pull off something like that.

  18. @jbs36: I appreciate your sentiments, but I don’t want to get into a discussion regarding Zionism right now. However, more to the precise issue at hand here, I will ask you this: Just what contribution are you claiming Mickey Levy made to Klal Yisroel? You go on and on about contributions made by the existence of the State of Israel (and, again, I’m not getting involved in the accuracy or merits of those right now), but what does that have to do with anything. I still think that my comment above (the first posted comment) is %100 correct and applicable.
    @UncleMo: It’s not about the yarmulke.
    @Naftush-2: lololololol

  19. And now that @HaKatan did deign to respond specifically to the discussion regarding Zionism, let me quickly say: I second every word @HaKatan wrote.