The Enduring Kippah

The Enduring Kippah: Why and When Do We Wear One?

The Kippah: Why Do We Wear It?

A few posts back we were talking about frum clothing and I mentioned the kippah or yarmulke as it is known in Yiddish. For the ba’al teshuva, making the kippah a constant part of our life may be one of the most profound aspects of our transformation. We wear the kippah to remind us to be in awe of a higher power, and also to show respect, but more importantly, the kippah reminds us to be humble.


Orthodox Wardrobe

Frumming up Your Wardrobe

Frum Is Not Frumpy

One of the most common questions that my friends who are thinking about becoming baalei teshuva ask me is what the impact will be on their wardrobe. “Does being Orthodox, or an observant Jew, mean I must wear a black suit all the time?” Women have similar concerns, noticing that so many Orthodox women wear black or dark colored suits and dresses. “Frum is not frumpy” I tell them, and thanks to the baalei teshuva movement, frum designers are creating clothing that is anything but boring.


Jews parents-image

You Keep Kosher and Your Parents Don’t, Now what?

You Keep Kosher and Your Parents Don’t, Now what?

What is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when you first become religious? Telling your mother that you can longer eat her cooking. This is guaranteed to start the fireworks.

I spent most of my life in France, growing up in Marseilles and then later living in Paris. Until a few years ago, I was not a religious Jew, leaving me free to enjoy all the delicacies of fine French dining.

After my wife and I made the decision to become religious, one of the first mitzvahs our Rabbi suggested we take on was to go kosher. This meant totally redoing our kitchen, an experience I will share with in a separate post, and limiting our diet to only what is allowed by the kosher laws. The most difficult part of the journey to keeping kosher was telling our parents that we could no longer eat their cooking. How do we balance our new lifestyle with the Jewish mitzvah of kibud av v’am—honoring your father and mother?