What’s that Hat?

Image: A kippah or yarmulke with the logo of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, including “Athletics” transliterated in Hebrew letters. Photo by Linda Burnett.

You can call it a kippah (in Hebrew) or a yarmulke (in Yiddish) but a Jew will seldom refer to it as a “skullcap” or a “beanie.” It signifies respect: respect for the One who is greater, or respect for the community in which it is a custom.

For some, it may also be a fashion statement or a small personal billboard on which to express one’s passions.


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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at http://coffeeshoprabbi.com/ and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

3 thoughts on “What’s that Hat?”

  1. Love this…a topic dear to my heart. Right from when I had my moment of clarity, I *knew* I wanted to wear something on my head: I can say how I knee….it was one of those “I just knew” things. So, I crocheted my own kippot. Nowadays, Im more often in a hat…..but it’s still the same feeling – as an acknowledgement, a tip of the hat(.no pun intended, if that even is one)a gesture of thanks to the High Holy One. I have a blessing I say every time I put it on. And it’s gradually accumulated a variety of brooches and badges, all of which are meaningful to me in some way…..Jewish, Leonard Cohen, Star Trek….the latter two being connected to the first, for me. And since my husband beamed up, there’s another thing too…..a kind of variation of the Orthodox hair covering, but in his memory.

    I don’t know if you allow photographs, but I have a picture of the hat. It’s a very happy hat, adorned with things which are very personal and meaningful to me.

    Thanks for this,a Rabbi Ruth, and I hope you’re feeling oodles better.

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