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May a woman wear a Kipah?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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


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Question:

I understand that it is not required for women to wear a Kipah, but is it frowned upon? is it acceptable for a woman to be seen wearing one? I was raised an atheist, and I wish to wear one to be reminded of G-d's presence. Is that offensive?

Answer:

Generally speaking there is no Jewish law prohibiting a woman from wearing a Kipah if she is wearing it in order to feel closer to G-d. Some individuals may frown upon it, but Judaism per se has no problem with it.*

Judaism will only have a problem if you become content with that as your reminder for G-d. Why? Because as a self initiated act it is obviously meaningful to you, but does it contain objective meaning? Is it meaningful for G-d? We can only guess.

Light Shabbat candles. Keep Kosher. Give charity every day. Those are things that will not only remind you of G-d's presence, but they will delight G-d with your presence.
I, for example, like Buffalo wings. I also love my wife. In an expression of my love I might pick up some buffalo wings for my wife on my way home from work. It's a gamble: it might be meaningful to her, it might not. I like them, but does she? If, however, she asked me to pick up milk, I can rest assured it will delight her to see me come home with a bottle of milk. 

Light Shabbat candles. Keep Kosher. Give charity every day. Those are things that will not only remind you of G-d's presence, but they will delight G-d with your presence. These are actions that will not only demonstrate your liking of G-d, but will cause G-d to be proud of you too.

[Ed note: A Kipah certainly does not suffice for the necessary woman’s hair covering].

See also "Why do Jews wear a Kipah?" and "Why don’t women wear Kipahs?"  


*It is questionable whether a Kipah is a man’s garment and thus would fall under the prohibition for a woman to wear a manly garment. However, this is not a clear cut issue. Askmoses.com serves as an educational website offering general Jewish education, and we can’t make specific Halachic rulings. If you are a woman and want to wear a Kipah please consult with your local Rov.


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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Halachic
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Kipah
(pl. Kipot). The head-covering worn by Jewish males. Serves as a constant reminder of the existence of a Higher Being.
G-d
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.