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Yiddishe Kopp

by Mr. Osher Chaim Levene


Library » Daily Life » Clothing » Kippah | Subscribe | What is RSS?


"I’ve got a question for you," someone in my office began. A slight pause, "Er... It’s a religious question mind you." Smiling, I nodded for the person to fire away. "What exactly is the purpose to your Jewish head covering?"

"What purpose do you think it serves?" I asked.

"Oh well, I suppose the skullcap on your head is a receptor of sort... perhaps some type of inverted satellite device. But if so, does it matter what color it is?"

I had been prepared to launch into an explanation of how this covering serves as man’s constant reminder of His Creator Above; the Omnipotent to Whom every action and thought are accountable for. But I was unprepared for this curious response!

But then, I started thinking: if adjusted to the correct frequency, the head and its covering do make for an excellent receptor to receive, process and act upon those transmitted spiritual signals emanating from Above. Is this not the secret of the Yiddishe Kopp, the Jewish head and mind, which should always be operational, forever tuned onto the right wavelength?

Is this not the secret of the Yiddishe Kopp, the Jewish head and mind, which should always be operational, forever tuned onto the right wavelength?
The Jew has indeed been graced with a Yiddishe Kopp. And what a Kopp! As a proportion of the leading countries receiving Nobel prizes between 1901 and 1994, 35.2% of US winners were Jewish; of Russian winners, the percentage was 23.5%, of UK winners this figure was 8.8% and of German winners it was 12.5% (Source: Jewish Mind by R.Patai). Thriving on Torah study throughout the centuries, the Jew is generally a thinker par excellence. He revels in rigorous Talmudic analysis where explanations are mercilessly scrutinized and subjected to intense cross-examination and questions. His intellectual prowess has meant that his mind has contributed significantly to the world. It is the head that has clearly differentiated him from the animal kingdom.

The majority of animals walk on all fours, such that their head is level with their body. This depicts their self-contained existence, conditioned and focused on the ground and earth below. Man differs. He walks upright, his head rising above his body, and as seen from his posture, this enables him to look upwards, to see beyond. Importantly, the prominence of the head can look upwards. It is crowned with the yarmulkah or skullcap. There is the recognition of G-d Above that impacts our behavior. There is the internalized knowledge that the Creator registers our every movement, thought and action. It is the satellite that enables man to fully tune in to the spiritual wavelength.


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Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.