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Switch to Forum Live View A question about yamaka's
5 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2009 - 10:33AM #1
Evillynnstar
Posts: 531

My husband and I are in a medieval group. We use foam swords and hit each other with them in fake little battles and so on. Its a lot of fun and we enjoy it a lot. Yesterday was a lovely Sunday afternoon and we were with a few friends at a park having a fight pratice.


To our surprise, a Rabbi and his wife with two small baby boys approached us about what we were doing. He found it interesting and was talking about maybe setting up a jewish group that does that the same thing (we are mostly vikings in our group.) Now while talking to the man and his wife, I noticed he was wearing a full suit with the black hat. She was wearing a very long skirt with her long hair down and out. Which I understand is the tradition for the orthodix individuals, but what puzzled me and I didn't want to ask him or her at that time, was that their sons weren't wearing Yamakas. I'm couldn't see if the rabbi was wearing one. He had a hat on. But I was wondering if there was a certain age for boys or men to where they must wear the Yamakas or is their a sector of judism that doesn't wear them all the time. I"m just curious. Thank you!

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2009 - 12:38PM #2
Pam34
Posts: 2,660

Yarmulkes (or kippot) are usually worn by boys, even quite young ones, but depending on their particular tradition, they may not start wearing them until they are a little older - I gather these boys were particularly young? Since it's custom and not 'law', the customs of different communities vary.


If I had to guess, I'd GUESS that they believe the boys shouldn't wear a head covering until the 'understand' why to wear one - maybe around age three. There are a couple of traditions about that age which would make it an appropriate time.


 


 


 

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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5 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2009 - 1:32PM #3
Evillynnstar
Posts: 531

First of all I wish to appologize for the misspelling of Yarmulkes. I wasn't sure how it was spelled so I googled the word with my best guess. Sorry for that. I meant no disrespect.  One boy was almost 2 the other was almost 1. So yes they were very little. But that make sense that they are taught to wear them when they are old enough to understand its meaning. I really respect that. Thank you!

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2009 - 2:48PM #4
LeahOne
Posts: 16,402

Another SCAdian?  We've been inactive for quite a while, but first joined over 35 years ago : ))


It's a bit of a challenge to develop an observant Jewish persona - but it's also been a lot of fun.  I know of a Jewish landsknecht, a couple of chirurgeons (doctors) and several 'mixed marriages' : )) 


And please! - do not give it a thought about not transliterating well from the Yiddish (yarmulke/s) or Hebrew (kippah/kippot).   Although I admit to taking issue with a few people on occasion over the 'spelling' - I leave it alone unless they're trying to tell me what Judaism is about...  You know, that 'Jehovah' is YHVH's first name or some such .....


My apologies if it was witnessing my snarliness which left you at all uncertain.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2009 - 10:44PM #5
Bunsinspace
Posts: 5,929

BS"D


The culture that created the word "yarmulke" has only one custom - the head is covered at all times when in public places and most private places where practical.  That is the origin of the meaning of the word which defines what it represents.


The various communities that use words like kippah and skullcap are all relative newcomers to Judaism (with regard to the word "yarmulke" and its associated custom) on the historical scene and their customs vary.  As Yiddish is not an ancient language, it can be inferred that the Yiddish term was created to describe a custom from the original language which existed in ancient times.  Later terms appear technical and descriptive and are devoid of any particular cultural meaning apart from pointing out that it is a generic article of clothing worn on the head - not any different than a hat.  


Odds are good that if one does not know what the word "yarmulke" means, the practice is more a social custom open to varying interpretations rather than a traditional custom which is more subject to conformity and common interpretation.


Medieval Christians mocked and wildly exaggerated this Jewish traditional custom in their depictions of Jews in their artwork and called it a "Jew-Hat." 


www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/MA/judent...


Contrast the "Judenhut" (from the theological cartoons by Christian artists) with more realistic depictions of actual Jews living at that time depicted in GENUINE portraits as wearing yarmulkes.


Here are  examples:


Spinoza:


 www.phillwebb.net/History/Modern/Spinoza...



Vilna Gaon:


 www.yivo.org/exhibits/strashun/Strashun-...


 

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 24, 2009 - 10:51PM #6
ffb
Posts: 2,223

when i was in high school we often called them yid-lids


of course, being around 400 repressed yeshiva boys tends to breed a slang that we wouldn't welcome from the outside.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2009 - 3:05PM #7
Beautiful_Dreamer
Posts: 5,163

Pardon the question, but what does the yarmulke represent? I should probably know this, being a host on this board and all, but like my cat when the door's open, it escapes me!

More where that came from...

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2009 - 3:09PM #8
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

Aug 27, 2009 -- 3:05PM, Beautiful_Dreamer wrote:


Pardon the question, but what does the yarmulke represent? I should probably know this, being a host on this board and all, but like my cat when the door's open, it escapes me!




It's a sign of respect in the presence of their superiors for men to cover their heads in ancient Semitic society. It became a custom for men to cover their heads in prayer because one is then standing before God. It then became the custom for people to always keep their heads covered because one is always in the presences of God.


The word "Yarmulke" is a corruption of Aramaic yira malka - fear/awe of the King.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2009 - 3:42PM #9
ffb
Posts: 2,223

the hebrew word is kippah which does not come from the word which means "cover" but from the one which means bent over -- it is a sign of subservience, a reminder that god is above and he's the boss.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 27, 2009 - 5:04PM #10
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

That is what we call a "folk etymology."


That assumes that it is an indiginous Hebrew word and not a borrowing from some other language. Also, the same word can mean any kind of "cap" (and not just kind one wears) as well as "vault" or "dome." Alas, I do not have an etymological dictionary on hand here so I can't check what it's root actually is. But based on the range of meanings I think it's more likely that the headwear received its name from its shape.


I'll grant that k-p-p is a plausible root, but not the only possibility. For example, the root of tippah, "drop," the exact same mishqal, is n-t-p.


Also, I'm not certain that k-p-p was used to refer to bending over or bowing in homage to someone, but someone also seems to have misplaced the corcordance, too. *grr*

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