Oh, the things you learn when blogging …

Oh, the things you learn when blogging … August 7, 2008

WE have always been aware that Judaism – or at least the more progressive, or reformed brand of the faith – has a wonderful ability not to take itself too seriously.

How to make your dogs look Jewish
How to make your dogs look Jewish
But what we did not realise that Jews even allow their sense of fun to extend to their pets.

Hence we find that you can buy dress-up kits to make your dogs look Jewish; wee piggy toys that squeak when Rover or Butch sink their teeth into them; a children’s tale about a dog called Alfie celebrating his Bar Mitzvah (coming of age); and two books entitled Yiddish for Dogs and How to Raise a Jewish Dog.
Religious symbols on dogs and on dog bowls, and piggy toys for canines?
If you were a Muslim, you’d be seriously killed for such blasphemies.
We came across the pet connection when we Googled “kippa”. Google, being Google, offered us several million choices, but it was on this site that we discovered that a kippa or kippah is, of course, another word for yarmulke – the small skullcap Jews wear on religious occasions. Or all the time if they are of the Orthodox variety. And it was on this site too that we found a host of fun stuff for dogs.
Why were we Googling kippa?
The word came up in a report this week about the Roee Klein Religious High School in Ra’anana, Israel, which has infuriated both pupils and parents with a strict new dress code.
In a letter to parents detailing the strict new code, the school demanded that students had to wear:

A real kippa, preferably one that at least looks homemade, not one that looks like it was given to them by the kosher inspector at some wedding.

Next, the letter tackled the students’ haircuts:

Students are required to wear their hair in a Jewish manner – cut short and above the ears. Ponytails for boys, spikes, stripes, hair gel or any other style which resembles those customary in foreign schools will be unacceptable.

Parents called an emergency meeting on the matter, and some of them filed official complaints with the Ra’anana Municipality. One parent wondered aloud:

What is this? Are we in Iran?

According to this report, the Ra’anana Municipality issued a statement saying:

Representatives of the City’s educational division will set a meeting with both the parents and the school’s administration in an attempt to reach a suitable and acceptable solution.

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