five things you may not know about it
What it means?
“Dome” in Hebrew. As an American Jew born in the 1950s, I grew up calling it a “yarmulke”,
which is Yiddish and may have come from the Aramaic phrase “yarei mei-elokah” (‘in awe of the Lord’).
Or from “yira malkah” (‘fear of the King’). Or from a Turkic word for ‘rainwear’.
It’s a “recent” invention?
The kippa was the smaller, easier-to-wear replacement for the cumbersome hats worn
by Jewish men in the Middle Ages - and still donned by Chasidic men today (who wear kippot under them)
– much to the delight of tourists in Jerusalem, and writers of screenplays on comical Jewish families.
Interestingly enough, Reformed Judaism originally rejected wearing the kippa at serviced. Antiquated custom.
Wearing it -
or any head covering -
was not generally required by the Torah or Talmud or the Halakah (Jewish law)
In fact, a reading of these works gives rise to the impression that
a man’s covering of his head was compulsory only in times of mourning or other such situations
There are no religious requirements as to its size or design
Although such definitely have meanings.
A crocheted kippa with a restrained design indicates that its bearer is a Conservative,
Modern Orthodox or Zionist Jew.
My colorfully-hued kippot tell the world that I am a Reformed Jew – and proud of it.
It is worn by all genders
At least in a growing number of non-Orthodox congregations in the USA and elsewhere.
In their synagogues, wearing a kippa at services – or not - is a matter of personal choice.