Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Under what circumstances is it permissible for a man to wear no head-covering?

If one is in a place that is experiencing anti-semitism, for example, does one need to wear a hat if one feels endangered wearing a Kippah? What if it is culturally offensive to wear a hat - say, indoors, or meeting an important person?

Does it make a difference if one is seated? On that note, may one eat (or for that matter make a Berachah) without a head-covering in such a case?

(If this is too broad, I can break it up into smaller questions, but I think the questions are interrelated enough to keep together.)

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The footnote to Mishnah Brurah 2:12 says that in a place where the law is to go (he says go, not sit) bareheaded in front of officers, you must follow it.

When sitting inside, there is room to be lenient in a time of need (Beer Heitev 2:6). I heard in the name of the Bach that wearing a kipah is a midas chasidus but not required, and if so, there is a lot more room to be lenient.

(I forgot to add this, so I edited it in.) The BH"T writes there that to mention Hashem's name is forbidden, but in a time of need he can cover his head with his hand; see there. The M"B 2:12 writes that it is better to just cover his head with his sleeve and then it is a fully satisfactory covering.

share|improve this answer
source for the bach? – minhag Jun 7 '12 at 1:55
Whose footnote is that? – Double AA Jun 7 '12 at 1:55
@minhag I don't know. I wrote that I heard it in his name. – b a Jun 7 '12 at 2:04
@DoubleAA I think it's the M"B's own footnote (it's not in the Shaar HaTziyun, but rather marked with an asterisk). – b a Jun 7 '12 at 2:04
@minhag I investigated and found this saying of the Bach in siman 2, d"h veyechaseh rosho chu'. hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14265&st=&pgnum=11 (and the Prishah s"k 6 quotes him) – b a Jun 7 '12 at 2:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.