The small skullcap that religious Jewish men wear is called in Hebrew a “Kippah”, in Yiddish it’s called a “Yarmulke”.
The origin of the word “yarmulke” derives from two Hebrew words – “ya’arei me’Elokai” which mean “those who fear God”. The Hebrew word “Kippah” means a “dome”.
Despite the fact that wearing the Kippah has a religious connotation, there is no Biblical commandment to cover a head. It is a tradition, not a law. However, religious Jews perceive this tradition very seriously. Some Jewish believers wear the Kippah constantly; others prefer to wear it only when they are praying, on Holidays, mourning days or while studying religious texts. Kippahs are obligatory to wear in synagogues, at weddings, Bar or Bath Mitzvahs and funerals.
Wearing the Kippah is a sign of respect for the Lord and a reminder that He is always above us. By wearing it, a man shows that he lives by obeying God’s lows.
As there are no regulations about how your Kippah must look, they may vary in fabric, design and color. You will see every style – from the plain black Yarmulke to the embroidered colorful Bukhara skullcap. There is even a Kippah with a smiley face on it 😉
If you’ve always wanted to wear a Kippah but were afraid to offend the religious feelings of the Jews, you can stop worrying and feel free to wear one. By wearing it you will show your love and respect to the Creator.