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Home Questions in Judaism Reasons Behind the Mitzvos WHY DO MEN WEAR A ``KIPAH`` (HEAD COVERING)?
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WHY DO MEN WEAR A ``KIPAH`` (HEAD COVERING)?
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WHY DO MEN WEAR A ``KIPAH`` (HEAD COVERING)?
Question - - 02/28/2013
What is the significance of the yarmulke or kipah worn by the observant Jewish male?
Answer by Arachim
The Talmud and other sources state that wearing a head covering enhances one's awe of Heaven, yiras shamayim. There is a symbolic significance to the kipah; it serves as a reminder that there is something above and beyond even man's highest attributes, which attain to his head.

One's mind embodies his inner feelings; placing a skullcap over his mind serves as a constant reminder of a Greater Authority to which he should submit. I am not my own master; there is a Power which created me, and I must honor His will and His commandments.

The origin of the word "yarmulke" is not certain, but it has been suggested that it derives from the Hebrew words "yorei miKah", meaning "G-d-fearing."

A natural consequence of this heightened awareness of one's Creator is increased humility, which in turn elevates one to greater spiritual heights.
These matters are discussed in texts which provide practical guidance for the Jew in his day-to-day life.

Wearing a kipah also has educational value. This is why it plays a central role in introducing young children to observing the Torah's commandments and regarding them as a precious heritage to be cherished dearly.

In more recent time, the kipah has assumed an additional significance as an identifier. It represents a well-defined world outlook, value system, and way of living. A man who sports a kipah declares to those around him that he belongs to the community of those who follow the Torah and fulfill its commandments. The covering upon his head is testimony to the awe of Heaven within his heart.

Upon occasion, the cover on one's head which identifies him as a Torah-observant Jew has far-reaching consequences regarding the education one chooses for his children and the path he chooses for himself in life.
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