Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What the Different Types of Kippots Symbolize

The kippot is a symbol of the Jewish nation and is mostly worn at Bar Mitzvahs and weddings and is a part of the daily attire of the Jewish people. Although no one seems to know the inception of the kippot, most people believe that it is worn to show respect to the God above and to remind the wearer there is always something above you. A more practical thought is that since wearing the kippot identifies a person as a Jew, it’s difficult to commit any wrong, because it would identify him.

The kippot has many styles to it to distinguish the different sectors and the variations have been handed down from generation to generation. Accordingly, the Orthodox Jew would wear a large, smooth black kippot that is shaped like a bowl, while a religious Jew would wear a knitted kippot and a conservative Jew a satin Kippot and so on. In the present day however, a religious Jew might opt for a different type of covering on his head while a Jew who is not orthodox also might like to cover his head at a religious ceremony. The more rebellious Jewish boys on the other hand would prefer to wear a small black knitted kippot as a show of independence. There are some young Jews who wear anything they feel like just to confuse the elders so that they would really not know what sector he belong to.

The knitted kippot is said to be very common in the Bukhara Mountains where it woven in bright colors. It is also said to be a popular headwear in Sephardic communities. Wearing a knit kippot in such places signaled that you were a member of the Nationalist Zionist camp while a larger knit kippot symbolized a movement which produces most of the leading Rabbis in the Religious Zionist sectors. A more practical reason for wearing the knitted kippot was that it kept your head cool during the summer because of the ventilation a knitted cap provided. On a lighter vein it could be said that a knitted kippot was very useful as a pot holder or even to grip slippery jars and ice cold drinks.

It is generally the custom to wear personalized kippots at a Jewish wedding or Bar Mitzvah or for any Jewish occasion for that matter, mostly due to the fact that from ancient times it was necessary to highlight a Jewish celebration in different ways. For the special occasions however newly made kippots were specially made or ordered in elaborate styles and extravagant fabrics.

1 comment:

Lis said...

I just realized that different kippah colors and designs mean a lot of things about the wearer. Different types of kippahs are in the market now, for me there is nothing wrong in wearing a designed kippah, as long as what you truly believed in is in your heart.

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Jasper @ Best Kippah