The Archbishop of Toronto is now in Rome, where he is going to become a Cardinal. As I heard it on the radio this morning, he entered St. Peter's Square wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, to demonstrate that his new position won't distract him from serving his Canadian constituency. [You can see pictures here.]
All jokes about Cardinals and Maple Leafs/Blue Jays aside, I wonder about this. "Cardinal" is a pretty serious position within their hierarchy; a Cardinal can become Pope. We don't have their system of authority, and I don't mean to make any sort of equation between what they believe and what we believe, but I imagine a rough corrolary, in terms of solemnity, would be a rabbi becoming a Rosh Yeshiva at YU, or a member of the Moetzes Gedolei haTorah, or the Chief Rabbi of a country.
So I'm imagining a rabbi who has been selected for some prestigious position doing something similar on the cusp of his inauguration - donning a sports jersey in the plaza before the Kotel, perhaps. I know some rabbis who would do it; I know others who would never dream of it. Certainly, I know many Jews who would consider it a diminution of respect for the position he is accepting; I get raised eyebrows just for having a blog!
What do you think - is this a playful nod to home, or a disrespectful lack of solemnity?
Note: It isn't clear to me that this photo-opportunity was during any sort of public event; perhaps it was done outside of any formal context. I still find the question interesting.