If you have been watching America’s Got Talent this season, you probably remember 14-year-old Edan Pinchot who won over the judges with his beautiful voice and incredible talent. Something else you may remember? Edan, a devout Jewish boy, proudly wore a skullcap, also referred to as a kippah, on his head. Ever wonder about the significance of the skullcap for Jewish men?
Yarmulke is the Yiddish word for skullcap, or kippah (literally: dome), as it is referred to in Hebrew. The tradition for men to cover their heads has its roots in biblical times, when the priests in the Temple were instructed to do so. In later generations, though, it became the accepted custom for all Jewish men to wear a kippah at all times, and especially during prayer.
When Jewish men wear a kippah it is a sign of respect and reverence for God, and the recognition that there is Someone “above” us who watches our every act. So whether they are at work, sitting at home, or on a stage performing in front of thousands of people on America’s Got Talent, Jewish men wear the kippah to remember that God is with us at every moment.