Friday, July 03, 2009 I was asked the following question:
I am a semi-observant Jew living in a
neighborhood of extremely observant Jews, so I spend a lot of time watching and
thinking of the things I see and hear. I have a question:
Is there a specific commandment in Torah
concerning the covering of one's head at ALL times? I wear a yarmulka at temple,
during other ceremonies such as unveilings, or when I pray. I consider this a
tradition, not a commandment. Am I correct?
Thank you for your
was my response:
Yes, you are correct...it is a custom that
wasn't always accepted by all observant Jews. In the early part of the
20th Century, Orthodox German Jews did not all always keep their heads
covered. Most did, but not all.
However, that being said,
when a custom becomes as widely accepted as covering one's head at all times
that it becomes a "tradition", it also usually is accepted as a "law". I
fluctuate between wearing a kipa and not, depending of where I am going.
If the community is less aware of Jewish traditions, I might wear a cap or a
funky hat or, even, nothing at all....what is paramount is always being aware
that there is something above us at all times.
you have questions about a personal matter, or jewish practices
and customs, you can submit them to me by e-mail.
I answer all queries directly, or through this column, when the
question is informative to our community.
you for your kind attention and this opportunity to share with
Rabbi Dan S. Wiko
to the list