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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Why the Yarmulke?

Why the Yarmulke?

Photo Credit: Issac Harari/Flash90

Here’s Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte laying a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance on Sunday, during a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem.

But why is he wearing a yarmulke? It doesn’t look like he’s about to bench or say Shma Yisrael.

Will he take the yarmulke along to Ramallah, where he’ll advocate the uprooting of half a million Jews from their homes?

In my humble opinion, this is not so much a sign of respect as fetishism.

Back in 2009, Greek PM Antonis Samaras refused to wear a yarmulke at Yad Vashem. The ceremony’s organizers urged Samaras to honor the occasion, and offered to give him a hat instead, but he declined, and laid a wreath bareheaded.

In 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, and former French President Jacques Chirac also refused to wear a yarmulke. Chirac, though, settled for a hat.

Maybe Erdogan didn’t want his picture with a yarmulke in the papers.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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