Is it obligatory that a Jewish woman cover her head in synagogue?
Depends on what your synagogue traditions are, and it depends on what you practice.
So, it really is NOT a simple answer.
My Jewish Learning blog tells the history of the wearing of a head covering, called a kippah. It says in Exodus 28:4 that there were priestly vestments for Aaron and his sons, and that there was a “headdress” for Aaron. The Bible tells us that head coverings were worn “for dignity and adornment.”
But, what about women?
Orthodox women do cover their hair with a wig, wrap, sheytiel, or a tichel. But Reform and Conservative movements do not require the covering of a women's hair. However, many congregations do encourage the covering when in the synagogue or reading from the Torah.
*Again, each synagogue and/or each person adheres to the rituals of their community.
So, what are some head coverings worn by women in Reform and Conservative temples?
This is one example. It is a hand sewn lace kippah that sits on the back portion of head. A clip is sewn on the underside to hold the kippah in place.
This black lace head kippah covering is lovely as well, and very understated.
With the upcoming Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur high holidays, when Jews all over the world attend synagogue services for these period of celebrations over a month, you'll find many women wear a kippah.
This leads us to my cousin Betty.
Betty has been sewing her keppi covers for women as a past time hobby for years. She belongs to a conservative synagogue in the suburbs of Los Angeles, where they encourage the ladies to cover their hair during services.
She is 80 plus years young.
And loves making her keppi covers, which is the Yiddish word for head.
Each piece is made to perfection, we can attest to their beauty.
She doesn't use a sewing machine either, it's really all done by hand.
So, this high holiday season, we'd love to see one of Betty's keppi head coverings on your head.
You can see her entire collection here on our website.
Oh, and we're proud to say Betty is our cousin.
If you'd like to learn more about Betty and hear her words of wisdom, there is an interview on YouTube, just click here.
Update: Betty has just celebrated her 90th birthday in 2020, and is still hard at work, in total quarantine, of course, making her kippot in time for the high holidays. We'd love to share your kind words with her, to keep her spirits up.
Please take a moment to either shop her head coverings here, or comment below and we will be certain she reads each and every comment.