Thursday, April 26, 2012

Davening without a yarmulka


A man who prays, and then realizes his head was uncovered, must pray again. Because some of the religions of our non-Jewish neighbours require prayer with one's head uncovered, Jews are specifically to avoid that when praying. [See the comments for more regarding women.]

(Rav Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe Orach Chaim 4:40:14)

Have a great day,


  1. Are we assuming that women do not pray? Or that the rules simply ignore their existence?

  2. I will amend it to say "Man"; I usually do notice that, but I missed that one.

    To address the general question: As I understand the practice, Yarmulka evolved as a custom, to demonstrate awe of Gd and keep the wearer's conduct in line. See my sources here for more on that. It evolved as an adult practice, and therefore it was unique to males; married women covered their hair, and constituted the great majority of adult women. [It is also possible that adult unmarried women covered their hair in some fashion, but that's another discussion.]

    The idea of young boys donning a yarmulka came in later, as a matter of training them for adulthood - which was not relevant for young girls.

  3. Halichot Shlomo 2:16 says otherwise and dismisses the Igrot Moshe in footnote 27.

  4. Melech-
    See the disclaimer in the blog header...