Should non-Jews wear kippot?

(By Rabbi Shlomo Nachman © July 29, 2016)

Recorded Live on Facebook

The kappa (yarmulke) is one of the sacred symbols of the Jewish people. Gentiles should not wear them (unless visiting a Jewish synagogue), or tefillin (phylacteries), and they should not place mezuzot on their door posts. If non-Jews do these things they will eventually loose their meaning as Jewish symbols.

Kippot declares to the world that the wearer is a religious Jew -- and reminds the Jew to observe the commandments -- (not a Christian supporter of Israel etc). Non-Jews who support us should respect us and our unique covenant with the God of Israel and not usurp our symbols.

The Written Torah commands Jews (and only Jews) about the use of tefillin and mezuzot (Deuteronomy 11:13-21).

The Talmud and Shulchan Aruch, and much (not all) of Jewish Tradition, stresses the importance of Jewish men wearing kippot. Traditionally when Jews wear the black hats they wear kippot under them as well. For more on this see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 91:5, 98:4; Shulchan Aruch ha-Rav 98:4, 183:6, and Mishnah Berurah 8:4. See also Likkutei Sichot, vol. 9, p. 276, where the Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that this is the source for the custom of men wearing both a kippa and hat at the same time. There is no support for non-Jews doing these things.

Christians may also wish to heed John's warning about those who are not Jews but present themselves as Jews (Revelation 2:9 and 3:9). He says this is not pleasing to God. Therefore, your own scripture discourages this practice.

Of course, people will do as the choose, but not wearing these things is a sign of respect for our people and our traditions. So, if you really are standing with us, help us protect our traditions including our symbols.

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