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The Kippah (Skullcap)

The Kippah (Skullcap)


A kippah (literally: dome) is the Hebrew word for skullcap, also referred to in Yiddish as a yarmulke, or less frequently as a koppel.

Jewish law requires men to cover their heads as a sign of respect and reverence for G‑d when praying, studying Torah, saying a blessing or entering a synagogue.

This practice has its roots in biblical times, when the priests in the Temple were instructed to cover their heads.

Traditionally, Jewish men and boys wear the kippah at all times, a symbol of their awareness of, and submission to, a "higher" entity.

Although it is not explicitly required by law, the practice is noted in the Talmud, and through the ages, this became an accepted Jewish custom to the point that according to the majority of halachic authorities, it is mandatory. One should, therefore, not walk or even sit, bareheaded. Small children should also be taught to cover their heads.

Aside from the commonblack kippah, many wear kippot (plural form of kippah) of various colors or designs. Some communities have developed kippah designs that are highly intricate works of art, such as those made by Jewish artisans from Yemen and Georgia, most of whom now live in Israel.

For more on the Kippah, click here and here.

Lorne E. Rozovsky (1943-2013) was a lawyer, author, educator, a health management consultant and an inquisitive Jew.
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Discussion (36)
July 10, 2014
Men Head Covering Bible Source Correction
However, it is rooted in the Bible where we read that the priests wore special headcoverings (Exodus 28:4).
Mordecai Claude
Brooklyn, NY
July 10, 2014
In the Bible
You are correct. The Bible does not mandate that men cover their hair. As you can read in the above article, it is a custom that developed later. However, it is rooted in the Bible where we read that the priests wore special headcoverings (Exodus 27:4).
Menachem Posner
January 16, 2014
Thanks it really helped
March 31, 2013
head covering
Is there any record of Moses wearing a Kippah? Where does God say a man must cover His head?
Cirencester UK
February 25, 2013
thanks for the information. It was really helpful for my homework
Aimee Macgillivray
united kingdom
September 4, 2012
I do not know whether it is true or not but some people complain that if you wear a hat all the time it will make you bald!
David Flinkstein
London, UK
March 9, 2012
Two kippot
The wearing of two kippot is not a widespread practice, and is not a practice that is mandated. However, it is similar to the practice of wearing a kippah underneath a hat. The rationale for this practice which is more common is that when the hat is removed, the head always remains covered.
Lorne Rozovsky
Bloomfield, CT, USA
March 9, 2012
Two Kippot?
I recently attended an event by a friend who wears two kippot, one under the other. Why?
Cambridge, MA
January 25, 2012
kippah and the bald man
I keep my head bald. So keeping a kippah on my head has gotten easy. I wear a knitted or machine worked ones. I have found that by wetting the inside with a spray bottle then placing it in place insures a true fit. I also apply lotion, the lotion keeps your head a little stickier and this works for me. I am asked all the time .How do you keep that on your head? My answer is the power in prayer. Hope this helps you as it works for me.
Aaron Levi Savoie
st.martinville, louisiana
January 24, 2012
Thanks for this i needed to do some research on this subject and wanted to create a project on it.
anonymous, anonymous
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