Project Genesis

LifeCycle Events

Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Patterns on the Yarmulka

I am curious about the different colors/patterns on the Yarmulka. What is their meaning and significance?

The designs on a Yarmulka are based purely on the artistic preferences of the individual artist, and have no real religious significance. However, different types of materials and designs are preferred by different social and ideological groups within Judaism.

Rabbi Ari Lobel

3 Follow-ups »

  1. “However, different types of materials and designs are preferred by different social and ideological groups within Judaism.” Could you tell me some of those materials and designs and who prefer them?

    Larger black velvet Yarmulkas are often worn by Jews who are more Chasidic or “Yeshivish” (socially connected to Yeshiva schools and study), while colored knitted Yarmulkas are often worn by Jews with strong Zionist beliefs. Like a rainbow, there are numerous classes of people in between and beyond, and there are numerous Yarmulka styles to match (black knitted, dark suede, etc) There isn’t any significance in the material or pattern. It kind of just happened that way – similar to the array of clothing styles you’ll find in a mall.

    Comment by ATR — March 29, 2007 @ 12:33 am

  2. I have recently started going to shul again, I wore lots of different Yarmulkes when I was younger (black and white satin, knitted, etc.) and I still have the same problem I did then…they just don’t stay on, and bobby pins are just not my thing. I bought a Muslim knit skull cap/kufi from a Muslim guy on the street corner, is it wrong to wear that in temple (it stays on much better)?

    There may not be anything wrong with it according to Jewish law, but there is a rule in Jewish thought that one shouldn’t separate from the congregation unless they are doing something wrong. In this case, you would get some interesting glances and probably arouse people’s ire so it is better to wear something more traditional. Have you ever tried wearing a cap?

    Rabbi Meir Goldberg

    [You could also use Velcro – seriously. If you just stick the prickly part of the velcro to the inside of the Yarmulka your hair will act as the fuzzy part – Ed.]

    Comment by ATR — July 15, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

We respond to every follow-up question submitted, but only publish selected ones. In order to be considered for publication, questions must be on-topic, polite, and address ideas rather than personalities.


Powered by WordPress