search
Window to the soulWindow to the soul

What a kippa really tells you about its wearer

Pew recently released a kippa explainer on what the covering may say about the person donning it

Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor-in-chief of JTA

An Orthodox Jewish man seen wearing a knitted kippah as he prays. (photo credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)
An Orthodox Jewish man seen wearing a knitted kippah as he prays. (photo credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

JTA — The Pew Research Center this week repackaged its recent findings on Israeli Jews into an explainer about what a kippa tells you about its wearer.

“In Israel, the type of kippa – or lack thereof – worn by an Israeli Jewish man often is strongly correlated with his religious identity as well as some political views,” Pew noted.

For example, a large black fabric kippa is typically worn by a ultra-Orthodox Jew. A colored or patterned crocheted kippa usually adorns the dome of a modern Orthodox Jew. And a black crocheted or knitted kippa-wearer is most likely “traditional.”

Pew does not exhaust all the possibilities for the kinds of kippahs worn and what they mean, however. Below is our research department’s guide to some styles that Pew left out.

If you’ve ever donned a kippa, even if only for your third-cousin’s bat mitzvah, we’ve got a category for you.

Colorful beaded yarmulke

beaded-yarmulke

 

 

You are a Jewish feminist.

Rainbow kippa

rainbow

You are LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly.

Large pink satin kippa

pink kippah

You are attending Stacie’s bat mitzvah.

Puffy kippa that sits on your head like a dumpling

Former British prime minister Tony Blair puts on a kippah for a Hannukah ceremony with then Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert (unseen) on December 18, 2006 in Jerusalem, Israel. (JTA/Getty Images)
Former British prime minister Tony Blair puts on a kippah for a Hanukkah ceremony with then-prime minister Ehud Olmert (unseen) on December 18, 2006 in Jerusalem, Israel. (JTA/Getty Images)

You are a politician visiting a synagogue for the first time.

Elaborate Bukharan kippa

Bukharian-kippah

You are a Bukharan Jew – or a New Age rabbi.

Matching kippa-tallit set

bar-mitzvah-set

You wore it once – at your bar mitzvah.

Crocheted kippa that looks like a slice of watermelon

Illustrative photo of a watermelon-motif kippa (JTA)
Illustrative photo of a watermelon-motif kippa (JTA)

You were the class clown in Hebrew school.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kippa

Illustrative photo of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed kippa (JTA)
Illustrative photo of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed kippa (JTA)

You were bar mitzvahed in 1989.

Donald Trump kippa

Illustrative photo of a man wearing kippa that reads 'Donald Trump 2016,' in support of the Republican presidential contender. (JTA)
Illustrative photo of a man wearing kippa that reads ‘Donald Trump 2016,’ in support of the Republican presidential contender. (JTA)

You want to piss off your family at the seder.

Giant red kippa

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (JTA/Wikimedia Commons)
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (JTA/Wikimedia Commons)

You are a macher in the Catholic Church.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed