Askmoses-A Jews Resource
What is a kosher fish?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.

Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.


Is it true that that head covering is a custom, with no traceable roots?


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


mbs: I do not cover my head. I have heard that head covering is a custom, with no traceable roots...perhaps only to separate us from the nations. What do you think?

Rabbi Mendy Chitrik: The head covering is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah, but the Torah states that once a dress code is a Jewish custom, we must abide by it.

mbs: Where in the Torah, please?

Rabbi Mendy Chitrik: It states in the Torah: "...U'vechukoteihem lo teileichu..."-"...Do not follow their customs..." (Leviticus 18:3).

mbs: Yes sir, but Arabs cover their heads as well as other Gentiles: Popes, clergy. So please show me more...

Rabbi Mendy Chitrik: I can quote you numerous sources.

mbs: Numerous sources of other nations covering their heads... which would make such a policy for us seem to be lacking, if our purpose is to go in separate ways. Gentiles cover their heads too. They don't wear Tsitsis. So why do we cover our heads to be different from a group of persons who cover their heads, too? Please advise.

Rabbi Mendy Chitrik: The idea is to maintain integrity of identity. You are right-many other groups and peoples cover their heads. But the Jewish Kipah or Yarmulka is distinct to Jewish people, as much as the kaffiyeh is distinct to Arabs. Yes, Arabs cover their heads-but I don't think you'd confuse a kaffiyeh with a kipah!

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).


Is it true that a head covering a custom with no traceable roots.

Posted by: Nancy on Mar 31, 2005

The Pope along with all the cardinals wear kipahs at all times. Not that the average guy walking down the street is likely to be mistaken for the Pope because of his kipah.
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.
The third of the Five Books of Moses. This book deals with the service (of the Levite Tribe) in the Tabernacle, and contains many of the 613 commandments.
(pl. Kipot). The head-covering worn by Jewish males. Serves as a constant reminder of the existence of a Higher Being.
The head-covering worn by Jewish males. Serves as a constant reminder of the existence of a Higher Being. Also known as a Kippah.