Why do Jewish men wear Yamichas?
#23232. Asked by Ben. (Oct 14 02 12:24 PM)
Instead of yamicha, which I cannot find, |
you probably mean Yarmulke...
The Talmud relates two stories about the custom of covering one's head. In one place it says, 'Rav Huna the son of Rabbi Joshua never walked four cubits with his head uncovered. He said 'because the Divine Presence is always over my head.'' (Talmud, Kiddushin 32a)
In another place, the mother of Rav Nachman bar Isaac was told by a stargazer that her son was destined to be a thief. She therefore told him to cover his head so that the fear of heaven would never leave him, and prayed that he should never come to this temptation but never told him why.
One day, Rav Nachman was sitting under a date palm tree learning Torah, when his scarf that covered his head fell off. Immediately the temptation to steal seized him and he took a cluster of dates from a tree that wasn't his.(Talmud, Shabbat 156b)
The Taz (17th century, Eastern Europe) said that in the time of the Talmud it was an act of piety to wear a head covering, which is apparent from the admonition of Rav Nachman's mother 'the fear of heaven' should never leave him. However, as time progressed, what was simply a display of piety became a Torah law.
The reason is because of the commandment 'Don't follow any of their traditions.' (Leviticus 18:3) In olden days, a tradition amongst gentiles started in which they would take of their hats as a sign of honor. In order not to 'go in their traditions,' Jews began to keep their heads covered at all times.
Today, non-Jews are accustomed to walking with their heads uncovered and so the status of Torah law does not apply to head covering anymore. However, the eminent Torah authority, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that being all religious Jews have accepted the custom of wearing a Kippah, it became as an Halacha
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