Perhaps at some point God will want me to learn Torah 12 hours a day, but in the interim I am going to make a Kiddush Hashem throughout my workday and try to live Torah in each and every one of my daily activities. My yarmulke is a visible sign to others – and an ever-present reminder to myself – of that commitment.
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In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.
We recently marked the secular new year, and while there’s nothing inherently Jewish about it, perhaps one of the practices associated with January 1 can help ameliorate a shortcoming not at all uncommon among Jews in the workforce.