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Yossi is Told to Take off His Kipah at a Soccer Game. Would You?

Yossi is Told to Take off His Kipah at a Soccer Game. Would You?

Yossi Weinbaum, left
Yossi Weinbaum, left

Sometimes doing the right thing is easy, but sometimes it involves giving up something we love.

Yossi Weinbaum is 9-years-old and lives in Hawaii. He has been playing soccer for three years, but recently he came home from a game in tears.

“Before we began playing,” explained Yossi, “the referee saw my tzitzit hanging out of my shirt and told me I couldn’t play unless I took them off or cut off the strings.”

Unsure of how to proceed, Yossi—who has never encountered a problem like this before—took the advice of his coach to tuck in his tzitzit and get back on the field, joining his teammates on “Hawaii 808.” Within minutes, he scored a goal, and things appeared to be back to normal.

But then in the second half of the game, the referee noticed his kipah and ordered him to remove it or leave the game.

Even though he loves the game and wanted to play, taking off his kipah was non-negotiable, so Yossi walked off the field.

Later, Yossi received a letter of apology from the referee who did not know what a kipah and tzitzit are, and also from the Oahu League President. Yossi can now play again with confidence, having learned a valuable lesson about himself: he is strong in his convictions, even in the face of challenge.

Have you ever been in a similar position? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Yossi Weinbaum, left, and his soccer team in Hawaii. The 9-year-old left a game this season when a referee asked him to remove his kipah (after he was required to tuck in his tzitzit).
Yossi Weinbaum, left, and his soccer team in Hawaii. The 9-year-old left a game this season when a referee asked him to remove his kipah (after he was required to tuck in his tzitzit).


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Discussion (4)
July 28, 2016
G-D matters
I would do anything for G-D,even give up being Cap. I'd do anything, no matter WHAT the world says!
Captain America
Dallas, Texas, USA
January 15, 2016
I kind of had a similar story.
Somebody took me out to go shopping, and there were free samples of something.
The person who took us asked if we wanted... It did say it was kosher.
She tried t and said it was the best.
I told that person I wouldn't eat it until I asked my parents if it was kosher.
My brother said he would like to try it, but I told him it might not be kosher. When that person put it infront of his mouth to drink he said, I'm okay.
When we got home, I asked my parents if it was kosher and they said it was.
Anonymous
Cancun, Mexico
November 29, 2015
What a kiddush Hashem! I didn't know there was a Jewish community in Hawaii. Is it at all difficult to get kosher food there?
Anonymous
November 29, 2015
Kippah and soccer
Youth can be cruel against each other. Some of it - like Yossi's team"mates". This referee -teacher seems to be a person who fails to recognise that. If my memory serves me correctly, it was around my Bar Mitzva time that grade-school classmates pulled-off my 'alpino' during intermission, spent on the school playground. I refused a couple of days to go to school and it was one of the teachers (maybe even the principal) who talked to the pupils about it. End of misery. That teacher was a good mentsch and I have never forgotten him. Sixty years later, I still say: Zichrono Livrachah.
Jesjajah Israel Vorst
Winnipeg, Canada