Rabbi's political statement proves a fashion hit
Rabbi Yisroel Bernath is an unlikely local fashion sensation.
“I'm walking down the street and people are giving me high fives, they're giving me thumbs up, they're all excited,” said Rabbi Yisroel Bernath.
Bernath has been wearing a creation of his own design, a religious headpiece that features Quebec’s fleur-de-lys as a political statement of protest against Bill 60, which would limit the rights of provincial public workers to wear such religious garb.
“You want to take away our kippa? Let's put the fleur-de-lys on and what are you going to say? Take the Quebec flag off your head,” he said.
Bernath, who made a point of creating the product in Quebec, could only find enough fleur-de-lys emblazoned fabric to make 400 units, and all but 60 have been sold.
One store owner who has been selling the kippas has been impressed by their popularity among his clientele.
“They laugh and say, ‘What the heck? Let me just buy it. I don't know if I will wear it or not.’ They just love the idea,” said David Silverstein, owner of Rodals.
A kippa is usually black but can also come in a wide variety of colours and patterns.
Bernath hasi mailed complimentary kippas to Premier Marois and Bernard Drainville, the minister responsible for Bill 60 but neither has sent word back as of yet.
Those interviewed by CTV Montreal Thursday said the headwear makes its point.
“I think it's really cute, now we need a head scarf with this motif,” one random observer told CTV Montreal.
Those seeking to get their hands on a fleur-de-lys kippa can contact Bernath through his Facebook page.