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levels of religious clothing in judaism


in my area there are many jews, but the all wear different things
for example:
some men wear the smal cicle thing on thier head whil others wear a bigger hat, and then some were even bigger has with fur and other material.

than we have the women
some wear obvios wigs, while some weare a fully covered head ( no hair showing) while some weare a small piece of cloth on top of theire head ( hair roots and tips showing)
so my question is…. one which one are they meant to wear?
do they change if you are more religious or if you have more knoledge of the juidasm
please can some one clear this up. many thanks

2 Answers


Firstly, I believe that strength of religion is not based on head coverings. If I must answer though I would say that traditionally and historically the Jews covered their heads with hats. When that became a popular attire for all people the Jews sought other ways to cover their head. It is to symbolize that God is always above you. Different “sects” wear different types of hats…
Secondly, Women cover their hair for a different reason- modesty. The best way to do this is with a hat of cloth. Some woman wear wigs which to me makes no sense because sometimes it even enhances their beauty.

We should all strive to love all people, and to find goodness in all walks of life!


Bamidbar 5:18

והעמיד הכהן את־האשה לפני יהוה ופרע את־ראש האשה ונתן על־כפיה את מנחת הזכרון מנחת קנאת הוא וביד הכהן יהיו מי המרים המאררים ׃

“The Kohen shall then have the woman stand before the LORD and let the hair of the woman’s head go loose, and place the grain offering of memorial in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy, and in the hand of the priest is to be the water of bitterness that brings a curse.”

The Mishnah learns from this verse that a woman’s hair is normally covered. The Jewish Code of Law (Shulchan Aruch) states that only married women need to cover their hair, the reason is not because hair makes women beautiful…there is no prohibition against women trying to be beautiful, as beautiful does not have to mean immodest…it is because a married woman’s hair is considered to be a “private part” only for her husband to see…

Head covering by men is a custom that has become an actual modesty law…because the rules of modesty dictate that an area which is normally covered is forbidden to be uncovered….since Jewish men have been wearing head coverings out of respect and fear of G-d for a very long time, it is now considered to be immodest to not have a head covering.

Separately, many Jews, including most Ashkenazim and some Sephardim, have the additional custom to wear a hat on top of a kippah when praying, pronouncing blessings or conducting services.

There is no hierarchy of religious hats like you ask…most of the time in history the hats Jews wore were actually determined and forced upon them by the Christians and Muslims they lived under…there’s even a very sad classroom poster available that shows all the decreed Jewish hats of history.

To this day, aside from the kippah or yarmulke (Yiddishization of “yirah malka” Aramaic for “fear of the king”), which has become almost universal among Jewish communities, different hats are worn by different sects in keeping their own traditions and customs…most of the time these hats were those either forced upon them or contemporaneous and/or popular headwear of the time…in Poland Ukraine Russia not just Jews wore a “shtreimel” fur hat…The fedoras and hamburgh hats just happened to have been the everyday hats even non-Jews wore at the time. Hasidim continue to dress the way they do because they do not want influences of Hollywood or popular culture in their life.

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