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I graduate from high school tomorrow, and I was wondering if it was acceptable to wear a yarmulke underneath my graduation cap. I lean more towards reform, not that that matters :)

Thanks y’all!

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Firstly, welcome to Mi Yodeya!

To answer the question, yes, it is not at all unusual for someone to wear a hat or another type of covering over their yarmulke. It does not conflict with the halacha.

Essentially, the reason for covering one's head is because of the gemara in Shabbat (156b) (Credit to Baal Shemot Tovot for translation) which states:

כסי רישיך כי היכי דתיהוי עלך אימתא דשמיא

"Cover your head so that there will be on you fear of heavens"

This is quoted in the Shulchan Aruch as Halacha (O"C 2:6). Therefore, as long as you have your yarmulke covering on your head which imbues you with the "fear of havens", then you are fulfilling this, and thus, it is not a halachic issue if you have a hat over it.

It's very common to wear a hat over your yarmulke and many Orthodox and Haredi Jews do it all the time. See this article on Chabad website which talks more about its spiritual significance and history.

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  • I'm not sure if the article I linked is properly clickable, so I'll just copy paste it here: chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3102418/jewish/…
    – setszu
    May 27, 2023 at 1:35
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    One additional point not covered in this answer is that a yarmulke may not be required. The graduation cap itself is considered a head-covering, so one may place the yarmulke in one's pocket until after the graduation. May 28, 2023 at 13:03
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    @joshwaxman it sounds like the questioner doesn't normally cover his head, but would like to specifically wear a yarmulka to his graduation as a point of pride in his faith. To which we say -- sure!
    – Shalom
    May 28, 2023 at 17:30

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