Photo: Yaron Brener
Murderer of Tali Atar...Empty prayers?
Photo: Roee Idan
Recently, while watching the news I have noticed a large number of yarmulke (kippa) wearing handcuffed men with terrible words like fraud, rape and murder ascribed to them. I am ashamed to admit that I am furious when I see the unbearable ease with which the yarmulke is used.
Sunday watching the news as I put the children to bed, was the straw that broke the camel's back. The lead story gave focus to a plea bargain in the horrific murder of a pregnant woman named Tali Atar, and in it, both the reporter and the prosecutor mentioned, more than once, that the murderess expressed no regrets for her actions throughout the investigation.
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She had no regrets, but was sitting in court with a book of psalms in her lap.
Unbearable lightness of wearing
It is not for me to interfere in the celestial reckoning process, but she will have to read through that book quite a few more times before the blood of her victims stops crying out from their graves.
Then another report followed, on the murder of released felon Moshe Elbaz – the screen was filled with a shot of the handcuffed suspect, his face hidden and on his head – yes, a yarmulke.
If that wasn't enough, an email from my concerned sister including a link to a list of pedophiles in the area revealed an astounding fact – at least 15 of the perpetrators had yarmulkes on their heads and even side curls. Which great mitzvah did you complete when you attacked helpless children?
Enough! The yarmulke is supposed to inspire humility. Its purpose – to remind the wearer that from the head and down – the body is mine, but from the yarmulke and above the world belongs to God.
It may be a beautiful concept, but the yarmulke automatically labels us and leaves little room for mistakes. That's it, we are religious – for some, me included it took a while to get used to that statement and "come out" of the observant closet.
Same uniform, different group
And you, you dubious news celebrities – what kind of spiritual accounting did you submit that yarmulke on your head to? How heavy was it on your head when you took the life of one of God's creations? When did you seek the comfort of the holy words of the book of psalms – before or after you destroyed countless lives?
When did you manage to repent so fiercely that you dared to seek the shelter of the divine so openly, head covered?
Their yarmulke shames others who when they wear it, are considered to be wearing the same uniform, belong to the same group. Well, I'm here now to tell you – No!
So criminals, do me a favor: Until you atone and cease and desist from destroying our communities with your poison, take the yarmulke off your heads. It isn't a fashion accessory; it's a way of life. It is a commitment, one which you have broken with your malicious acts.
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