What is a yarmulke?

The yermolk should crown the head of any Orthodox Jew - this is customary for Christians to take off their headdress when observing the rites. Wearing a garment covering only the top of the head cannot have any other meaning than ritual.

What kind of headdress is a yarmulke?

This round hat is so tiny that it barely holds in place and does not protect at all from the extremes of the weather: it will not save from the sun, being without fields, it will not hide from rain. Putting it on, the Jews show humility and submission to God, non-Jews - respect for the sons of Israel.

A similar garment was known outside the Jewish land. For example, in the nineteenth century the yermolka was called part of the home set of clothes. A funny hat without borders was worn in tandem with a slafrock or bathrobe.

Svanka is also similar to yarmulka - a thin gray felt hat, an element of the national costume of the Svans, representatives of the small people living in the Caucasus .

The Catholic Pyleolus is similar to the Jewish Yermolk: the servants of the Vatican cover their tonus.

Curious! On the occasion of a visit to Israel in the 60s, Pope Paul VI appeared on the newspaper pages. Under one of the photos depicting the meeting of the head of the Vatican with the Israeli president, there was an explanation: "Dad can be identified by yermolka."

Finally, there is the concept of an academic yarmulke - such a hat is worn by scientists.

Yarmolka: meaning of the name and synonyms

Regarding the etymology of the word, the data diverge, and different sources refer to languages:

  • Turkic
  • Polish
  • Aramaic.

The version of Turkic origin is least reliable: the word “jagmurluk” proposed as a “core” means “raincoat”, which contradicts the functionality of an object barely holding on its head.

Supporters of the Polish version associate the name Yermolka with the concept of jarmułka, that is, “hat”. But Hebrew scholars, relying on popular interpretation, recall the phrase "Yelor Meelok" (trembling at the sight of God).

Another name is bale. The dome also means.

History reference

The trace of the tradition of covering your head, coming into contact with the powers of heaven, leads you to hoary antiquity. Historians refer to two periods:

  • before the era of the First Temple;
  • the entry of Judea into the Roman Empire.

The first version connects the custom with both practical and religious motives: one must hide from the sun so as not to bake, from the face of the Most High - expressing humility. Only tallit could hide it properly - a ritual coverlet. Subsequently, there was a transformation of the rule, which gradually acquired a symbolic character: for conditional fulfillment of the requirement, a tiny bale is enough.

The second hypothesis connects the appearance of the bale with the need not to differ too much from the Greco-Roman population, which influenced the appearance of both pro-Hellenic Jews and Orthodox.

The people do not puzzle over the history of the issue and explain everything simply: a bale is needed so that the Lord does not inadvertently hear stupid thoughts broadcast from an uncovered head .

Curious! Along with wearing a yermolka, the distinctive signs of a Jew are visiting the ritual sources of mikve, in which they are washed from foulness, celebrating the Sabbath and tsitses (bundles of thread) on clothes. And the Jewish house is recognizable by the Mezuzah attached to the doorpost - a piece of parchment with prayer.

Relation to religion and customs

Many Jews distinguished themselves by the constant wearing of a yermolka as a sign of constant pleasing to the Almighty, and this tradition has been alive for hundreds of years. Wearing a yarmulka is prescribed by a national custom rather than religious canons . Covering the head during prayer was prescribed even in antiquity: the Torah gives such instructions to the Cohen, a special class of ministers whose family dates back to Aaron himself, but there is no description of the proper dress. The Talmud does not say anything about this.

Nevertheless, as a sign of continuous service, many Jews carried and carry a pile constantly, emphasizing that the wisdom of the Lord is higher than the head of a mere mortal. The most fervent believers consider it not pious to wear only Yermoloks, putting them on under a hat or tallit. Unorthodox Jews (but conservatives!) Hide the top of their head in the synagogue and behind food. The reformists have a special situation: they do not consider it necessary to cover their male heads, moreover, not so long ago they would not have allowed them to enter a different reformist synagogue in a pile . Now traditions are returning.

Women's issue is relevant in Israel. In antiquity, women did not wear bales - when she got married, the girl had to hide her hair from prying eyes with a blanket or scarf. Now the yarmulka can also be seen on the lady, although in orthodox circles they follow the ancient covenants, hiding her hair under a shawl or wig.

Curious! The problem of uniforms worried believers long before modern reformism. As early as the fourteenth century, the Polish rabbi Shlomo Luria had to answer the question: is it possible to eat with a “bare” head if it hurts? And the rabbis had to admit that there are no direct instructions in the scriptures on this subject, and you can even pray without hiding your head. However, the rabbi recommended not to enter into confrontation with a widely accepted tradition, so as not to obtain the status of an atheist among co-religionists. And for comfort, choose a softer material!

Types of Headgear

One yarmulka may differ from another in coloring, material and manner of wearing. According to these signs, one can not only “calculate” the true Jew, but also his belonging to a certain direction of religion . A person in a bale may be:

  • akshenazom: it will be given out by a hat of strict colors, more often - in black and white;
  • Sephardic: these prefer multi-colored knitted or embroidered small yermolks;
  • Hasidim: he will hide the bale under his hat, and on great holidays he will wear a strumm - a ceremonial dress made of black velvet, trimmed with the tails of a sable or silver fox.

Curious! “Weiss Yarmulke” (simply a white pile) hints: its owner is studying Kabbalah! But the seriousness of the look can soften the pompon.

How does a yarmulke keep on its head?

Gravity is a bad helper for a light cap: traditional models of heavy fabrics are now worn infrequently. Hairpins can help out. Or - a popular way to wear a hat under hats.

Those not looking for easy ways are advised to pick up a bale strictly in size and even advised to sleep in it at night (if you stayed in the right place, it means they didn’t miss the size), which suggests a lively sense of humor. As well as the answers of the Jews themselves to the question of what to do to a bald Jew. There are three of them:

  • borrow silicone rubber from a stocking from your wife;
  • buy glue or double-sided tape;
  • pick up the fallen pile, hide in a pocket and put on a cap.

Interesting facts about Yermolk

  1. When you see a man in a headdress indoors, do not rush to accuse him of bad manners: what if he is a Jew? Then he respects the mighty power that is above you! According to Jewish traditions, a hat is required for males from the age of thirteen. No matter what - hat, bandana, cap ...
  2. A goy who turns up at a Jewish religious ceremony is not required to observe Jewish traditions in clothing . But maybe!
  3. Knitting yermoloks is a common occupation of rural residents of the West of Jordan: the results of their work are marketed in Israeli markets. The price will depend on the specifics of the market: on the streets where tourist congestions are obvious, the souvenir will be sold at a discount for fifty shekels. In a regular market, it costs about five!
  4. In the production of bales they are not far behind the villagers and the townspeople: a woman with knitting needles can be seen in public transport and in front of the receptionist of the official, in the clinic and in the lecture hall.
  5. The Jew will see the style and color of “his” Yermolka over a mile away . And never make a mistake!
  6. Little Red Riding Hood in Israel is called Kip Adum.
  7. A Jewish atheist can be identified by the loudly pronounced phrase “Kipat ha shamayim!” Meaning that it is covered by a vault of heaven. You can literally translate "Our bale - the sky is blue!".