Contact Us

Some Laws of Covering the Head

Some Laws of Covering the Head

 Email

(1) One should not walk bare-headed (the distance of) four cubits1.

(2) Nowadays there is an additional prohibition, not only to walk a short distance, but even to sit in the house bare-headed2.

(3) It should be even worn during sleep at night3.

(4) Small children should also be raised to cover their heads4.

Footnotes
1.
Shulchan Aruch Oracn Chayim, end of chapter 2.
2.
Mogen Dovid (TAZ) one of the chief exponents of the Shulchan Aruch, and one of the Poskim Achronim (last codifiers), Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, ch. 8. (3)
3.
Shaloh, quoted in Mishna Berura, commenting on Shulchan Aruch, ibid.
4.
Mogen Avrohom, one of the chief exponents of the Shulchan Aruch, and one of the Poskim Achronim, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, end of chapter 2.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
29 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous usa October 22, 2014

Keepa Ever try to keep one on when you are asleep? It's silly. My rabbi held his in his hand when he took a speed boat ride. It wouldn't stay on, and he didn't want to feed it to the water. And what does that G'mora say, which quotes a man who didn't where one (tiztis), and his rabbi was fine with his reasons. Nothing like giving the whole story when you tell people they have to wear a keepa.

Paraphrasing: "I am not a member of an organized Religion; I'm a Jew." Reply

Gershon KS January 14, 2014

Women and Head Coverings It never became custom for women to wear kippahs. Why is that? Here are a few points to ponder:

a. Until quite recently no woman--Jew or gentile--would ever leave the house or entertain with her head uncovered. As such, there was no room for a custom to develop.

b. Married Jewish women do cover their heads. In fact, they cover all their hair with a wig, kerchief, or hat.

c. Not that some authorities (Rabbi Ovadia Yosef for one) require women to cover their heads while praying.

d. On a spiritual note, there are many actual mitzvahs that are not incumbent upon women. A number of them are there to give us concrete reminders of G-d. Women, it seems, have a natural awareness that does not need to be boosted by actions. Perhaps the kippah is similar Reply

Steven G Kidd Aurora January 10, 2014

Women/Yarulkas What don't women wear Yarmulkas? Thank you Reply

Mrs. Chana Benjaminson via mychabad.org January 7, 2014

Re Yarmulke A yarmulke or kipah is worn to symbolize Jewish men's recognition of G-d who Is above them. Please click on the links to the right of this article for more insights on this practice. Reply

Steven Kidd Denver January 6, 2014

Why the Yarmulka? Not sure what the Yarmulka represents Sir. Thank you Reply

S. Daal The Netherlands August 3, 2013

Dear Rabbi Menachem Well we do have a kabbalah but that i suppose is not the one (Thank you for the support [and i hope this is not the worst thing to do on Shabes] ) Reply

Menachem Posner July 31, 2013

RE: Dear Rabbi Menachem Welcome back to your heritage. All you need to do is pick up a pair at your local Judaica store and start wearing them. When you put them on the morning you say the special blessing you can find at this link or in the prayerbook. Do you have one? Reply

S. Daal The Netherlands July 30, 2013

Dear Rabbi Menachem I am a Jew from the Netherlands me and my family have not been very observant for two generations but we have kept vew traditions and have held most rules. Now I am deciding to become more observant as I'm becoming more aware of my Jewish identity now I want to know if you have to do something specific to wear a tzitzit. Reply

Menachem Posner for Chabad.org September 7, 2010

To RHL: Yes, the souls are spiritual and the headcoverings are physical. Thus they create a physical representation of what we intend to do on a spiritual realm. Their presence serves to make us aware of that which we can neither see nor touch but we know is there.

About women and headcoverings, I like to think that the key is a simple one. The kippah serves to remind us of G-ds presence. Men and women are wired differently. Us men often forget to do the dishes, get flowers on special days and other things that make relationships special. Women, on the other hand, seem to always be aware of what their husbands' needs are and how to give to them in a gentle or sensitive manner. Our relationship to G-d is no different. While men need kippahs and other things to remind them of His presence, women seem to be innately more in tune with their Creator and His will. Reply

rhl September 6, 2010

Dear Rabbi Menachem Thank you very much for the informative and inspiring article.
Two questions please

How does the head coverings allow a person to connect to the souls hovering above the head? Just want to understand the process. As the souls are spiritual and the coverings are tangible?

Secondly why do women not need to cover their heads when they pray? I know married women do but what about single women.

I understand in Eastern traditions the crown area is very sensitive for both men and women? How does Judaism view the crown chakra? Reply

Menachem Posner for Chabad.org September 5, 2010

RE: Kippot There is indeed a custom--practiced by Chabad and others--to wear two coverings on the head, often a kippah and a hat, when reciting blessings and praying.

One reason for this custom is that the soul is comprised of 5 levels. Chaya and Yechidah--the two loftiest levels--are so sublime that they hover about the person. Wearing two coverings allows the person to connect to these parts of his soul in a very tangible way. Reply

raziela September 5, 2010

to michael really liked your comment about transferring te worry we have about our physical appearance to our souls. SO true!
thank you
And thank you to the kind Rabbis of chabad Reply

Anonymous rananna, israel September 2, 2010

Kippot What is the double headcovering and do Chabadnikim wear them? Reply

Josh F. March 18, 2009

I can relate to you Faustino. While incarcerated, G-d and His Torah saved me, and continue to release me from confines each and every day. For a while I was trying to avoid wearing a kippah, but slowly I will begin to (without taking revolutionary methods, rather small steps that won't frighten my parents and friends). By wearing it, I know I am fulfilling a commandment although it is not necessarily written literally in the Torah. I will wear it only to sanctify His name. This will take a humble spirit that grows over time, just as all Torah study must take. Reply

Michael Los Angeles, CA December 21, 2007

kosher "enough" > Wearing a kippa has absolutely nothing
> to do with the observance of kashrut.

It has everything to do with observance of kashruth since that is a mitzvah directly from the Torah, and the kippa is a Jewish garment. It is a kiddush HaShem (praise to G-D) that His chosen ones keep His Torah. G-D does not look too kindly on hypocrites.
The Maccabees' faith merited the miracle of the flask of oil. They were meshuga for the ways of HaShem, and vehemently against Hellenism (eg. Hellenists used pig blood in the Temple holy places)

> If you desire to be a baal teshuva, fine,
> mazel tov.

Sarcasm has no place in a truly spiritual person's manners. Christians also know "Love your neighbor as yourself" is rule 1

> God doesn't care what we eat

HaShem cares *very* much about your maintenance of the temple of your body, which is on loan from Him. If you are worried about your physical appearrance, try transferring this level of worry to your soul. Reply

Anonymous Buffalo Grove, IL November 19, 2007

To Anonymous in Mexico City With respect to you and your opinion in regard to your statement that: "G-d doesnt care what we eat; He only cares that we serve him and our fellow humans with kindness..."

I could not disagree more strongly. The Master of the Universe has commanded us to observe the laws of kashrut. The mitzvah is clear. If G-d did not care what we eat He would not have detailed the diatary laws in Torah. Reply

Faustino Ybarra Galveston, Texas/USA November 19, 2007

Faith Not long ago, I was released from incarceration. I was a practicing Jew all during my incarceration. In October of 2007, after serving seven years I was paroled to the Salvation Army in Galveston Texas. About ninty five percent of all halfway houses in Texas are Christian related in one way or another. However, at the Salvation Army, I'm allowed to stay observant. I don tefellin and my tallis daily. The first time I put them on I caused quite a site! But because of my faith and the respect the Salvation Army has for other faiths, I am allowed to keep faith. Thank's to my wonderful and very caring Rabbi- Dovid Goldstein at the Chabad House in Houston Texas, I was able to leap past other hurdles. HASHEM and Torah saved me in prison and continue to guide my life! Be proud to Jewish and never lose site of his glory. "Torah is a closed book until you open it with opened eyes and an open heart". Baruch HASHEM! Shalom. Reply

Ed Horwitz November 17, 2007

Anonymous in Mexico City Wearing a kippa has absolutely nothing to do with the observance of kashrut. If you desire to be a baal teshuva, fine, mazel tov. Becoming a baal teshuva is a laudable goal. But if you want to wear a kippa 24/7, your food intake and wearing of tallit koton is a irrelevant. Wear your kippa all the time if you like, out of derech eretz to God, but eat what you want. God will think no less of you, even if a bunch of Rabbis disagree. God doesn't care what we eat; He only cares that we serve Him and serve our fellow humans with kindness and compassion. All the rest is commentary, opinion, tradition, and habit.
Shalom, Reply

Faustino Ybarra Galveston, TX October 18, 2007

Observance For a longtime I was incarcerated. I was always surrounded by Aryans and ultra Christians. They always riduculed my faith and anything associated with it. When I davened and wore my Tallit and kippah, they laughed. We had lno Rabbi, all I had was a chaplain (Christian) who wasn't much help. However, I still practiced my faith with Simcha! Reply

Binyamin August 30, 2007

Anonymous in Mexico City I am also a Conservative Jew and much like you I have always likened wearing a kippah at all times with a higher level of observance. I refrained from wearing my kippah because I was afraid of being seen in unkosher restaurants or driving on Shabbat because I was afraid of being Chillul HaShem or ma'arit ayin.
Finally I took the plunge and started wearing my kippah full time. To avoid feeling strange about wearing a kippah in an unkosher restaurant I stopped going to them. To avoid being seen driving on Shabbat I started walking.
Now, almost three years later, not only do I wear my kippah all the time, I also proudly wear my tzitzit untucked. I may not fit in with most of my Conservative congregation, but I feel that I fit in with a "higher" crowd. Reply

Related Topics