The Kippah, or yarmulke in Yiddish, is the head-covering worn by Jewish men at all times. Jewish law requires that Jewish men cover their heads as a sign of honour and reverence of God. Although it is not an explicit law in the Torah, over the years it has become an accepted custom, which, according to most Halachic opinions, makes the Kippah mandatory.
Today there are many types of yarmulkes: knitted, velvet, terylene, satin, suede, and more. In fact, especially in Israel, many people like to associate themselves with a certain sect by choosing a certain Kippah. For instance, it is popular for Haredim to wear a black velvet Kippah, and for modern, Religious-Zionists to wear a knitted Kippah. Of course, there are exceptions, and some Haredim choose to wear a knitted Kippah or suede yarmulke, etc. For many people who are becoming religious, choosing the right yarmulke allows them to express themselves and take pride in their new-found religiosity.
Knitted Kippahs come in endless sizes, patterns and colours. For example, many people like the fact that these Kippot can be customized for people and children. By allowing the children to choose their own favourite Kippah, based on their favourite theme, some parents find that it nurtures a love for Judaism.
Black velvet Kippah can also be customized for children. For example, popular black velvet Kippah would have the name “Jerusalem” embroidered in colourful velvet thread against the black background. Another variation of this Kippah may have the child’s name embroidered above a drawing of a Jerusalem wall, in matching colours to the boy’s name.
Another type of Kippah that is lately gaining popularity is the Frik Kippah. These Kippot have roots in the Breslev Hasidic movement but are now popular worn by many. Many Breslever Hasidim wear a Frik Kippah with a sort of pompom on top.
Many guys, upon their wedding day, buy a yarmulke that will be worn for the first time on their special day. Such Kippot may be imprinted with the wedding date, the Hebrew name of the groom, a romantic quote from Song of Songs, and more. Similarly, many opt for a Shabbos Kippah. Such people may choose the same Kippah during the week, but on Shabbat wear a Kippah purchased specifically for this day. The Shabbos Kippah may have quotes that mention the importance of Shabbat, such as "Remember the Shabbat", or "Sanctify the Shabbos" and more. Some choose to match their Kippah to their Tallit prayer shawl and even to their Tallit Bags. World of Judaica offers matching Kippah and Tallit sets.
We at World of Judaica invite you to check out our selection of Kippot. To learn more about Judaism and Jewish beliefs, visit our education pages. If you have any other questions, Contact Us and we will be more than happy to answer your concerns.
In the Talmud, there is a story that a certain rabbi always walked around with his head covered in order to remind him of G-d’s constant presence. As a result of this, a tradition arose that Jewish men would walk around with their heads covered with a hat or piece of cloth called a Kippa, also known in Yiddish as a “Yarmulke”. Today the wearing of Yarmulke is a rule amongst many groups of Jews, especially the Orthodox.
What is a Kippah?
A Kippah is a hemispherical head covering usually made from cloth that Jewish men wear minimally in the Synagogue and when performing religious rituals and very often are worn all the time.
What Materials are used in Kippot?
Kippot are usually made from cloth, but there are several types of Kippot, including Bukharian, velvet, knitted, Frik, Terylene, leather, and satin Kippot.
Kippot can be decorated like other Judaica items. However, the type of decoration often varies by the material used in the Kippah. Some of the most common decorations include traditional Stars of David, depictions of Jerusalem and floral patterns. However, some Kippot feature cartoon characters, sports team mascots and other modern inventions. It should be noted that such designs are great ideas if you would like to personalise a Kippah for a child. In addition, Kippot can come in numerous colours and are not limited to the black worn by Haredi Jews and may be red, blue, green, black amongst many.
Kippot can be personalized in numerous ways, from simple embroidering of names to having cartoon characters painted or embossed into them. Adult Kippot are seldom decorated and usually are simpler than Children’s Kippot although they sometimes sport decorations as well. Velvet and Terylene Kippot are the easiest to personalise and feature painted or embroidered designs like depictions of Jerusalem, children’s blocks, trains and cars.
Knitted and Frik Kippot are crocheted Kippot. These Kipot must be planned before being decorated as the decorations are part of the Kippah itself. These Kippot typically sport multicolored designs and can be nearly any colour imaginable, but they may also sport objects such as college mascots, hobbies or even IDF tanks and aeroplanes.
Suede and leather Kippot usually have the same designs as the other Kippot, although they may also be more subtle in their decoration with simple embossing. Leather and Suede Kippot come numerous colours and typically are decorated with names, Hebrew letters and modern designs.