If you don't mind I wanted to ask you a question regarding the covering of the head with a yamaka (head covering) or a hat. Let me periphrasis by saying I don't mean to be disrespectful in anyway. my question is: if I know covering the head recognizes that G‑d is above you, why do I have to actually cover the head as long as I know He is above me in my heart and mind?


Firstly, it is never disrespectful to ask a sincere question.

The Yarmulka or Kippa is a bit like a wedding ring.

A wedding ring is a sign that you belong to someone. If you anyway think of your loved one all the time, do you no longer need to wear the ring? Is a ring only worn until you love each other enough not to need a reminder?

Of course not, because:

1) Just because you "know" that you're married, doesn't mean you won't "forget" when temptation comes your way.

2) The ring isn't only a symbol for the one wearing it. it also has a message for everyone else who sees it, that they should be aware that this person belongs to somebody else, so don't mess.

3) If you see marriage as a burden, then you wear the ring like a ball and chain. But if you are in a relationship that is deep and real, then you wear the ring with pride, because the very existence of the ring means that there is someone out there that loves you more than anyone in the world.

Same with the yarmulka.

1) Only a very holy person could be conscious of G‑d absolutely all the time. The rest of us (men) need something very tangible to remind us that He is always there.

2) It is also to identify ourselves as Jews in the eyes of those around us, that we "belong" to something and Someone.

3) And we wear it with pride, because the Jewish people has an deeply loving relationship with G‑d. True love is with you all the time, and you want to tell the world!


I like the explanation of the Yarmulka... very touching, but why is it then that only men wear kippot? How are women supposed to identify ourselves as Jews in the eyes of those around us?

Rabbi Moss:

In the email I emphasized the beauty of wearing a kippa. But in the end, it is a sign of weakness. Only because spirituality is foreign to us do we need a tangible reminder of it. According to Kabbalah the feminine soul is more in tune with these things and therefore doesn't need something so superficial to remind her of her innate connection with G‑d. This is why men need more ceremony and ritual than women (like Tallit, Tefillin, call-ups to the Torah). Men are more physical and coarse (do you agree?). Without ritual, spirituality is too abstract for men to relate to. A woman is more sensitive to what is holy and sublime and therefore doesn't need as many rituals to express her soul-connection.

By the way, this is not an attempt to patronize women or to change Jewish ideas to be more modern and acceptable. It is an ancient concept that the mystics wrote about thousands of years ago.

keep well


Very interesting explanation. And no I don't find it patronizing to women at all. Quite the opposite in fact. The study of Jewish law at uni opened my eyes to the abundance of respect that Judaism has for women.

But you also wrote that the Kippah is to identify ourselves as Jews in the eyes of those around us. If I am not wearing something visibly, how will those around me see it??

Rabbi Moss:

Good point. A man needs to "announce" his Jewishness not so much for the people around him as for himself. Male spirituality is aggressive and loud and has to be displayed. This is a way to refine the male ego. Feminine spirituality is more inner and subtle, and would be compromised if advertised.