The Royal Kippa

published in In Jerusalem and J. Post Metro Section – Chol Hamoed Sukkot 5777

The Royal Kippa

4th of Tishri 5777 Jerusalem – Hanoch Ne’eman

Those of you who know me know I am not someone to make a big deal about a kippa. I generally am put off by questions like “are you kippa seruga or black kippa?” But, nonetheless, I feel obligated to comment briefly on the ceremonial headwear worn here in Jerusalem last week by various “heads” of state  at the Peres funeral .

Prince Charles wearing a Kippah at Peres funeral (Photo by Flash 90)(photo by Flash 90)

For these occasions, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, has, for some time, come equipped with a cute little black knit kippa, secured with a clip, and likely provided to him by Ron Dermer or some other helpful associate.

President Obama and former President Bill Clinton made due with the standard issue black cloth kippot. (No one would expect those anti-settler blokes to don a knit kippa would they?)

But the most interesting kippa to appear at the funeral was that ofCharles, Prince of Wales. The Prince obviously brought his own kippa from home. Now we know these Royals can’t hardly touch anything without putting a crest or insignia on it, but I was still quite surprised, maybe even a british “shocked”, to see Charles with an emblazoned kippa.

What is the meaning of the emblem on his kippa? I don’t think it means he is a alumni of the Hasmonean School in London.

The seal looks to me like three duck heads and some dandelions. Maybe the dandelions are a secret allusion to the “Lion of Judah”, as the British Royal Family allegedly claims their lineage goes back to King David (a trend among gentiles, started perhaps by Jesus). Maybe they also allude to  Royal “dandy-ness”?

These speculations  occur to me because I remember stories of how the British aristocracy used to circumcise their boys on the eighth day. And, of course, there is the hackneyed myth that the word “British” comes from the two hebrew words “brit” and “ish”, meaning “man of the covenant”.

Or perhaps the seal was made especially for the occasion, and the three ducks represent Peres, Rabin, and Arafat receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994? Who knows?

In any case, the Royal Kippa was certainly for me a different kind of buzz.

I read afterwards that Prince Charles took the occasion of being here in Jerusalem to visit the grave of his paternal grandmother, Princess Alice, who is buried under the Greek Orthodox Convent on the Mount of Olives. Visiting the graves of one’s family was certainly a very appropriate thing to be doing a few days before Rosh Hashana. In fact, many of the local old-time Jerusalemites were doing just that the same Friday.

In sum, I must conclude that Prince Charles definitely had the most scintillating skull-cap, the koolest kippa, at the funeral. One can easily say a lot of negative things about the Royal Family, but one thing you can’t say is they lack style.



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