The Shmooze

Welcome to Jordan: Check Your Yarmulke at the Border

By Allison Kaplan Sommer

  • Print
  • Share Share

There’s plenty of controversy in Europe, Canada and the U.S. regarding the banning of burqas and the restrictions on religious clothing and jewelry in public schools and other settings.

But so far, no one has proposed that religious items get checked at the border.

In the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, there are recent reports that yarmulkes, tefillin and hats that looked like ultra-Orthodox garb are all no-nos for businessmen entering a country officially at peace with its Jewish neighbor.

The objects are being confiscated by Jordanian tourism police from Israelis crossing the border for “security reasons” — presumably because identifiably Jewish garb would threaten their safety. According to Ynet:

A., an Israeli businessman who visits Jordan often was amazed when he was asked to leave his yarmulkes in a safe on his most recent visit to the country. “We know tefillin are confiscated and we recently heard brimmed hats were being taken, so we came with regular hats,” he told Ynet.

“The man in the counter asked us to take off our hats and we thought it was standard procedure for passport control. But when the man saw the yarmulkes, he took us to the tourism police. The officer there said that the ban to wear yarmulkes was ‘for our own benefit,’ put it in the safe and gave us a form with which to receive the yarmulkes when we return.”

The businessman grumbled that the Jordanian tourism police seemed more perturbed by the prospect that they would be identifiably Jewish — not identifiably Israeli. While he was detained at the border crossing, a bunch of young people wearing IDF training T-shirts were allowed to breeze right by.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: YNet, Yarmulkes Banned, Jordan, Religious Clothing, Hashemite Kingdom, Burqas

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.