The Day My Yarmulke And I Made Headlines; Omar and Tlaib – “And Now Folks Here Is The Rest Of The Story”

On April 5, 1974, this article appeared in the Minneapolis based newspaper American Jewish World on P. 30 written by Len Levine who carried the title of Commissioner, St. Paul City Council after I had met him in the St. Paul City Hall.


I had been working in the Minnesota State Auditor’s office for a few years and we would be in charge of doing the Audit for both the Minneapolis and St. Paul City Halls. Since that was the time I was beginning to become Shomer Shabbat it took me many months to build up enough courage to wear my Kippa in public. But when I finally did, it was not long after that this article was published, and this is my story behind this article.

Perhaps it is a bit blurry to read, but this was published 45 years ago so I will go with the best copy I have. You should clearly see that the article is entitled “Public Examiner Wears Yarmulke”. At that time many people still referred to the State Auditor as a Public Examiner.

In the early to mid-1970’s the Twin Cities was both a friendly and welcoming  metropolis and very accepting to anyone and everyone, especially if they were fleeing from war torn countries or the grasp of communism in the USSR.  It was a time when I could talk to anyone as a Jew and not be criticized for my religion or how I dressed. That was the time when I became more religious and was able to find many people to talk to both Jew and non- Jew who respected me for my religious beliefs and I respected them just as well.

As I was assigned to work in the City Halls of the two largest Minnesota cities, I was often meeting many people who wanted to say hello and were interested to find out where I was from. This was typical Minnesota and the native people who lived there. Minnesotans are an open minded and friendly people in general.

Minnesota is also known for its large Scandinavian American population.  Major groups consist of  Finnish Americans (estimate: 677,272), Greenlandic Americans (estimate: 352), Icelandic Americans (estimate: 51,234), Norwegian Americans (estimate: 4,602,337), Sami Americans (estimate: 30,000), and Swedish Americans (estimate: 4,293,208).  That’s a total of around 12 million who live in America, out of which Minnesota is the home to more than 10% of this total since the climate and outdoor conditions are a perfect match to those people that come from those countries. These people are the nicest to meet and are always there with a smile.

At both City Halls, I said to myself that the best place for me to start wearing my Kippa on a full-time basis would be inside those two buildings. By that time I had built up enough confidence to encounter anyone who would make any comment either positive or negative about my Kippa.

Much to my surprise, there was absolutely no one who said anything negative to me when I began wearing my Kippa that I can remember. In the Minneapolis City Hall, I would often pass the Mayor’s office as well as Police Headquarters and always would get a big smile from everyone I saw. In fact, in the hallways and office areas I would encounter people always anxious to know the story behind my Kippa.

I would tell them that I wear it out of respect for G-d and the fact that we are all created equal. I also wear it to tell everyone that I respect their beliefs as well. And so that is what made it so comfortable for me, to know that everyone respected me and I respected them.

Furthermore, there were times that I would ask questions of those that asked me about my religion and why I was wearing my Kippa. My favorite question was if we Jews wear Kippas, why do only the Pope and Cardinals wear Kippas, and not everyone else in your religion. Especially since it seems the Pope wears white on his head and the Cardinals red. There were many times that I would ask that question but never received an answer. So maybe one day my questions about the Pope, Cardinals and their head coverings will be answered.

So now moving on to the St. Paul City Hall and that article in which my Kippa featured, it is true that I was looking at a pile of books at that time as the article says, but the article also said I was 26. If you look at my birth certificate on a previous post, you will see I was born in 1949, making me 24 at that time. I clearly remember that I told the author of that article I was 24, but for some reason the number came out as 26. That to me indicated that at some stage in the future, it would be appropriate for me to again publish this article since that is the numerical value of Hashem’s name. With the permission of Mordechai Spektor, the current editor at American Jewish World, I therefore am publishing it again.

Len Levine who wrote the article just happened to be passing by at the time I was looking into those piles of books. He stopped and we had a nice chat. He told me how he remembered how his grandmother would light Shabbat Candles. I was told other similar stories from other people about their past which all confirmed to me it was good that I began putting on my Kippa in public.

It goes without saying that at that time, no one usually would walk around either downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul wearing their Kippa. And so if that was the norm, it took courage to go against that norm. I am not that type of person usually, but as I grew older I learned that being Jewish is not just acting like a good Jew who follows Torah and does Mitzvah’s but also being proud to wear your Kippa in public and display to the world who you are and what you represent.  As far as I can recall, Len Levine never told me that he would be writing an article based on our short meeting, but once it appeared in the American Jewish World, many of my relatives called to say how proud they were to see me featured in that article.So that article which appeared so long ago gives me confidence even today to say who I am and what I stand for.

(I want to interject here with an update of a story about Sweden that was personally told to me a few days ago by a Swedish Jew who left with his family to make Aliyah. Sweden is now seeing a sharp increase in its Arab population. It seems the Arab population is therefore becoming more dominant not only in Europe but in many other parts of the world as well. It was very plain to see at the Absorption Center we made Aliyah to outside Jerusalem that I mention in a previous Blog. In the 1990’s, a wave of terrorist attacks took place in France and French Jews from all over the country began making Aliyah. And now with the arrival of people like Omar, Minnesota is also being affected as are other parts of America.

I want to be absolutely crystal clear on one very important point. When I refer to Arabs making trouble, I am not pointing fingers at all Arabs. Here in Israel, I meet Arabs every day, and must admit that most of them do not cause any trouble, as they are happy to be in Israel in the first place. Because they know that if they are accepted to live here, they will live under better conditions than what is taking place in their homeland.

And so that is the point we must all realize, that people such as Omar owe a big thanks to the people of Minnesota who took her and her family in. Those people included many Jews. Omar instead is not acting like a grateful person would act under these circumstances, but instead is shifting her loyalty to groups that back terror and have agendas to destroy the Jews, the very same people that helped Omar.

I spotted this type of behavior in Omar’s actions and began calling her a PLO member. And judging by the group they chose to sponsor them, Omar and Tlaib send out a clear message that they no longer need the help of those people, but rather are going on to bigger and better things with the help of Miftah, which I explained in my last Blog was a terrorist backed organization.  And so now Omar comes to the State Capitol to tell everyone how much suffering the Palestinian people are going through by Israel. But they refuse to say things which are facts behind why Israel has to act this way, because of the many terrorist attacks Israel has had to endure.

I am proud to live here in Israel with my family, and to see the progress Israel has made in creating a homeland for all Jews to come to anytime they wish.

Omar and Tlaib represent the PLO and those people who want to destroy us. They and all their supporters will never succeed in their efforts because as it says in the Torah, anyone wishing destruction upon Israel, will themselves be destroyed. So let’s just look at a few samples that came out of that news conference which were totally misleading and hid the truth-


I was able to watch a replay and have the following comments-

It is sad that the woman who claims to be the Rep. from the 5th District continues to talk against Israel. Nothing mentioned about anything else but her hatred toward Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Trump.

It is sad that she keeps on blaming Israel for all the problems of the Palestinians when it’s the Palestinians who have brought those problems on to themselves.

It is sad she cannot explain to us what her real name is, if she is married to her brother and why she keeps on failing to answer any questions related to her family and marriage history.

And why was Tlaib crying about not seeing her grandmother, Tlaib asked to visit her and Israel gave special permission and then Tlaib turns it down. Another chance to point out how badly she was treated when in fact she herself was playing a game to gain some points, which backfired in her face since she will not go see her grandmother meaning her hatred for Jews is more than the love for her grandmother. Another indication there will never be peace with an attitude like that.

Then there was a Jewish girl from Minneapolis married to a Palestinian complaining how badly she was treated by Israeli Security. Don’t you remember when there was a similar story about a Palestinian man married to a Jew. That Palestinian man planted a bomb in her suitcase and it was discovered before she boarded by Israeli Security. The moral being never marry a Palestinian. And hence Israel is always going to give such a couple a terrible time trying to get into the country based on the past behavior of the Palestinians.

Alpha News just came out with a short video claiming other false statements made by Omar and Tlaib, which you should be able to watch by clicking on the following link-

In summary, Arabs are a growing group of people who follow a religion that should be respectful of your fellow human being. That has been and will always be the secret to keeping peace though out the world.

But sometimes someone does many things which are false and refuses to become the person that someone claims to be. There are far too many hours that have been wasted giving both Omar and Tlaib a platform to speak and they continue in their evil ways.

It kind of reminds me when I look at the actions of an aggressive animal that will kill people when let out of a cage. That is why animals need to be put in cages so that they do not go out and harm anyone. They know no better and refuse to give credit to their owner or trainer for all the years he has looked after them and helped them get back up on their feet. Name any aggressive animal and their behavior is the same.

As mentioned previously, G-d gave man the intellect to realize right from wrong and realize that by continuing in your evil ways of hate, you are only going to harm yourselves at the end.

So to my fellow Minnesotans and Americans, I want to assure you that Omar does not represent who she says she is, rather she represents the type of thinking necessary to become a PLO supporter. If you want to look for the truth of what is happening in Israel today, please come and visit and see the truth for yourself.






About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager and Analyst. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
Related Topics
Related Posts