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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 (44)
February 22, 2015
This was really helpful !
September 4, 2014
Should women wear a head covering if so when and where?
As a female entity in the congregation of the synagogue,
Why do woman cover there head in a synagogue, Do you know the answer to this question, as I do,
Ask me in the comments and I will tell you,
Janice Lewis Trinchi
August 12, 2014
to Mordecai and Jacqueline
Thanks! We corrected the chapter.
August 12, 2014
You're right.
As I posted a correction earlier, it is mentioned in (Exodus 28:4) not in (Exodus 27:4).
Menachem Posner probably mistyped it.
Mordecai Claude
August 9, 2014
Exodus 27:4 has no mention of a man wraring a anything to covet his head as you suggested.
Cirencester UK
August 6, 2014
To Chana
Thank you, Chana!
South Carolina
August 6, 2014
To Ilene
What a wonderful gift! I would check with the mom to see if there is a particular style the family uses or not...other than that you should be ok.
Chana Benjaminson
August 6, 2014
Is it ok for me to crochet a Kippah for my friend's child?
My friend's 3 year old child is having an upsharin - his first haircut - soon and I thought I'd crochet a kippah as a gift. Is that ok? Are there special rules I need to know?
South Carolina
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 28:4).
Menachem Posner