Hmmm, the people you meet in Seattle.
Was sipping coffee the other day with Shmuel Tennenhaus, oldest son of Lubavitcher Rabbi Rafael Tennenhaus of Hallandale, Fla., at Noah’s Bagels near the University of Washington in Seattle. Shmuly, as they all call him, had moved 3,000 miles away from the family to be part of a start-up near Seattle when he decided to launch his own business. It is all explained on his new Web site, www.vanitykippah.com. It can be found here. “Kippah” is another term for yarmulke, for those of you who don’t hang around synagogues much.
Shmuly, an energetic 20-something who makes some pretty hilarious YouTube videos on things Jewish, has put his fertile imagination to work by getting a company to manufacture two yarmulke styles: the “Obamica” and the “McCippah.” One is white, the other blue (good Israeli-related colors), and they retail for only $15.95. What better apparel, one could ask, to wear for the High Holy Days this fall? I can see it now: a sea of men’s heads in the temple during Rosh Hashana, each sporting a yarmulke stating the man’s preference for McCain or Obama.
“There has never been a better time,” the site says, “to sport a political statement on your head.” Jews are a bloc whose votes are sought by both political parties, so why not? Shmuly guesses these yarmulkes should sell well until Election Day, by which time he will have come up with even zanier ideas. Already, he told me yesterday, he’s gotten orders, and the site’s only been up a day.
Well, if you’ve got to mix religion and politics, you might as well be fashionable about it.
— Julia Duin, assistant national editor/religion, The Washington Times