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Friday, September 26, 2008

traditionally worn at all times by Orthodox Jewish men

Kippah

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  (Redirected from Yarmulke)
Kippah
Halakhic sources*
Texts in Jewish law relating to this article:
Babylonian Talmud:Shabbat 156b and Kiddushin 31a
Mishneh Torah:AhavahHilkhot Tefilah5:5
Shulchan Aruch:Orach Chayim 2:6
* Not meant as a definitive ruling. Some observances may berabbinical, or customs, or Torah based.

kippah or yarmulke (also called a kappel) is a thin, slightly-rounded skullcap traditionally worn at all times by Orthodox Jewish men, and sometimes by both men and women in Conservative and Reform communities during services and other religious rituals. Its use is associated with demonstrating respect and reverence for God.[1

Traditions

The kippah is traditionally worn by Jewish men. Observant Jewish women who have been married (including widows and divorcees) cover their heads more completely with scarves,hats, or wigs, but for a totally different reason. The tradition for women comes from a different source than that of men and originates from the laws dealing with the sotah (suspected adulteress; see Numbers 5), implying that a Jewish married woman should cover her hair under normal circumstances.[12] Today, some women — mainly Reform and Conservative Jews — wear a kippah. Some Jews wear kippot only while praying, eating, reciting a blessing, or studying Jewish religious texts.

In modern contexts, it is also common for non-religious Jews or even non-Jews to wear a simple kippah, or to cover their heads as a sign of respect, when present at Jewish religious services or at ostensibly Jewish sites, such as Yad Vashem and the Western Wall. Male Jews and non-Jews alike are asked to don a skullcap in the vicinity of the Western Wall, and returnable skullcaps are provided for this use.

Any form of head covering is acceptable according to halakha (Jewish law). There are no hard and fast rules on the subject, although the compact, lightweight nature of a kippah, along with the fact that hats for men have fallen out of fashion in the West over last few decades, may have contributed to its popularity. Kippot have become identified as a symbol of Judaism over the last century. Haredi men, who mostly wear large black cloth or velvet kippot, often wear fedoras with their kippot underneath. In the Hasidic community, this double head-covering has Kabbalistic meaning and women in Conservative andReform communities during services and other religious rituals. Its use is associated with demonstrating respect and reverence for God.[1]

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