Consequently, because I recently signed up for Vekslblat – The Yiddish World of Michael Wex's monthly e-zine – I'll just nick a little anecdote from his site. I was quite amused by this little incident that happened to him recently ~
From website The Yiddish World of Michael Wex
"Rabbi! Rabbi!" It's the same tone of voice that calls out "Medic!" in war movies.
"I'm not a rabbi."
"Fine, don't be a rabbi. Just help me."
"Nu? What can I do?"
"The skullcap box in the lobby is empty. The synagogue's run out. I don't have a yarmulke and I didn't bring a hat, but I am wearing a toupee. Am I cool? Does it count?"
I take one look at the man's head and know exactly how to answer. "Ets hot a yidishn kop, Mister, you've got a Jewish head, and a Jewish man's head is like the quality of justice in one respect at least."
"Only one that concerns us here. For just as justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done, so must the Jewish male head not only be covered, it must also be seen to be covered. Whether it's a skullcap, a derby, a baseball cap or a foam dome, any kind of head-covering is valid, so long as everyone can tell that it isn't part of your head."
"So you're saying..."
"I'm saying that you are cool. A toupee is perfectly acceptable in place of a yarmulke as long as it's clearly a toupee. The cheaper the toup, the worse the rug, the more likely it is to slip out of place or slide off altogether, the better-suited it is for ritual use."
"So it's 'Bad toupee — kosher; good toupee — treyf [non-kosher]?'"
"That's right. And you, sir, are as kosher as they come right now."
by Michael Wex, author of Born To Kvetch