September 11, 2018 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #1589522
I was just wondering, where does the minhag of wearing a yarmulke come from and when did it start?September 12, 2018 10:09 am at 10:09 am #1589674
MB brings in SA O”CH 2:6 s’K 10 the gemora Shabbos 156 Cover your head in order to have the fear of Heaven on you, can be that you should recognize that there is someone above you.September 12, 2018 11:00 am at 11:00 am #1590033slominerParticipant
laskern: That doesn’t answer the OP’s question.September 12, 2018 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #1590128
I assumed it was just the most practical device for covering one’s head in the least intrusive manor. Does that answer the question?September 12, 2018 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #1590096akupermaParticipant
Until relatively recently, many people wore skullcaps. It was declasse to go around bare headed. As long as that was the situation, no one noticed that Jews were wearing them as well. So really the “yarmulke” as we call it was invented (okay, “noticed” as something Jewish) around the end of the 18th century when most goyim stopped wearing them.
If you question is really when did Jewish start covering their heads, the real question is when secular Jews starting uncovering there heads as a sign of lack of piety, and the answer is late 18th century (before that, going bare headed might so their rejection of social conventions, but not their rejection of Jewishness).September 12, 2018 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #1590274MDGParticipant
About the word yarmulke, from etymonline . com
1903, from Yiddish yarmulke, from Polish jarmułka, originally “a skullcap worn by priests,” perhaps ultimately from Medieval Latin almutia “cowl, hood.”September 12, 2018 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #15902831Participant
Yarmulke is a compound of ירא מלכה. We learn there’s a chiyum to cover ones head from an אסמחת in a גמרא.September 12, 2018 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #1590326theroshyeshivaParticipant
Just to clarify:
Are you asking for the mekor in the gemara as to covering one’s head.
Or, are you asking when yidden actually started covering their heads as part of normative halacha since the gemara implies it’s a middus chassidus rather than compulsory while SA paskens it’s compulsory.
Or, is this a question about the round little kippa that people wear today. That was not what head coverings looked like through the ages.September 12, 2018 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #1590381
I once heard from Rav Shulman was asked how big a yarmulke you should have? He said it should cover your brain. The explanation is that we dress up the sefer Torah because you want to protect what is valuable.September 12, 2018 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #1590380
when yidden actually started covering their heads as part of normative halacha.September 12, 2018 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm #1590425
And is it a minhag, mitzvah, inyan tov- what kind of thing is it?
And just wondering, how can it cover your brain-as the brain takes up a large volume of your head you would probably have to wear a ski mask to cover it, or maybe i’m misunderstanding it?September 13, 2018 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1590980
Ah, so this is a backdoor way of restarting a discussion that recently took place on another thread.September 13, 2018 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1590988
Don’t taking it literally. He was saying that people who wear a small yarmulke have a small brain, they are not so smart, otherwise they would be wearing a larger one. Any way most of the head should be covered. רובו ככולו most is considered like the whole.September 14, 2018 10:50 am at 10:50 am #1591100theroshyeshivaParticipant
The gemara is mashma it’s a middus chassidis, SA brings it l’halacha. The nosei keilim point out this issue.
It would seem that in the time of the gemara it was not standard practice for all but by the times of the early achronim it was already widely accepted as compulsory. Perhaps during the times of the rishonim the minhag spread, I really don’t know. Maybe someone else knows more about the history of it. A Jewish History professor would be a good person to ask- YU has some widely respected and knowledgeable professors who may be able to answer this.
Certainly today it would be considered halacha pesuka in SA and fall under the umbrella of al titash toras imecha.September 14, 2018 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #1591107shualiParticipant
“I was just wondering, where does the minhag of wearing a yarmulke come from and when did it start?”
I believe that, for whatever reason, this is now a codified halachah and longer a minhag (if it ever was simply that).
The Gemora discusses that children sometimes went with uncovered heads and sometimes with covered heads. Adults, the implication is, always covered their heads.
Having spoken with Sefardisheh Rabbonim and immigrants from the Middle East (Iran in particular) they, too, always covered their heads except when their lives were being threatened.September 14, 2018 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #1591106akupermaParticipant
If the goyim started going around with shirts, those who ask “when did frummies start wearing yarmulkes” would then ask “when did frummies start wearing shirts”.September 14, 2018 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm #1591105shualiParticipant
“About the word yarmulke, from etymonline.com
yarmulke (n.) 1903, from Yiddish yarmulke, from Polish jarmułka, originally “a skullcap worn by priests,” perhaps ultimately from Medieval Latin almutia “cowl, hood.”
(1) It is well known and widely accepted (see “The Word” and “Safah Achas”) that the etymology of many words as found in the more scholarly dictionaries are not only incorrect, but, at times, purposefully misleading.
(2) Upon hearing an Iranian Jew refer to a yarmulka, I asked him if that is how it was referred to in Iran from where he immigrated as an adult (married with school-age children). He answered of course. So it is unlikely the word is of Polish origins. It is far more likely the Polish word has its origins in the Yiddish-adopted, Lashon HaKodesh based word.September 14, 2018 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #1591275JosephParticipant
The long-standing term to refer to it by most Jews has long been yarmulka. The word kippa is of relatively recent vintage, insofar as its common usage. In Yiddish it is called a kapul.September 16, 2018 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #1592179
when did yidden actually start covering their heads? Har Sinai, 1st Bais Hamikdash, 2nd, tanaim, amoraim, etc.September 17, 2018 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm #1593593
I love how you don’t answer the question and instead attack me.
my question was about the history of yarmulkes, when they started? out of curiosity.September 23, 2018 1:56 am at 1:56 am #1595489MilhouseParticipant
1 & shuali, the ירא מלכא etymology is false. There is no question whatsoever that the word comes from Polish & Ukranian, though every dictionary I’ve seen traces its ultimate roots not to Latin but to the Turkish word for a raincoat. As for the Iranian gentleman you spoke to, perhaps his father called it a yarmulke, but I guarantee you his grandfather did not, unless he was a Yiddish-speaking immigrant to Iran.September 23, 2018 2:18 am at 2:18 am #15954971Participant
Milhouse, how can you say something from Chazal is false?September 28, 2018 7:44 am at 7:44 am #1596903MilhouseParticipant
1, Chazal never heard of the word “yarmulke”, and certainly never offered an opinion on its etymology. The ירא מלכא etymology, like most folk etymology, is absolutely false.September 30, 2018 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #1597313
Milhouse: care to bring any proof as to why you can state with such confidence that it’s false?
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