It's a little bit of a difficult question to ask, but i will try to explain it:

Yarmulkah seems to come from the Aramaic phrase Yarei Malka (Yirah Melech); fear of the King.

I know the verses of the Talmud like Shabbat 156b and others talking about fear on our heads.

The Kipah on the other hand seems to be connected to Kaf which refers to handpalm but its etymology shows a connection with something bend or bend over in submission.

I also found a possible connection with Choepah: כפה & כפף

The ArtScroll Edition translates Isaiah 9:14 as 'canopy', It reminded me somehow of Chupah, Chupah within Torah is חפה from the root חפף 'which means 'to cover'.

(This is what I found: The word “Chuppah” is based on the root word “chafah,” which means to “cover” or “hide” and is similar to the word “chafaf,” meaning to “protect).

At last i found that Kaf has a gematria of 20 which is 2 times Yod (from Yad meaning hand), which as a word is also 20. When looking at the Kaf it looked like a Kipah on it's side. And it's like the hands(or handpalm) of HaShem is on our head when wearing a Kipah.

Question: If our head-covering is a sign of submission and of awe to our King, than i can see a connection, but there is one link missing for me:

How are the hands of HaShem related with the fear of heaven (Yirah Shamayim or Yirah HaShem)?

1 Answer 1


The immediate etymology of Kippa is "covering" or "canopy". When the word appears in תנ"ך (in three places) the canopy is understood by the commentaries to be arch shaped- i.e. bent. The connection from Kippa to hand, is indirect. What you are writing is very nice drush, but you should be aware that it's not literal/pshat.

That being the case, I would suggest you consider the verse:

יְראוּ אֶת ה' קְדֹשָׁיו כִּי אֵין מַחְסוֹר לִירֵאָיו

There is an implicit connection between that posuk and:

פותח את ידיך ומשביע לכל חי רצון

So the question you have to ask yourself, how is fear of heaven connected with the concept of God as Provider? (See the מפרשים on the above פסוקים. There may be a clue there.)

I think you're onto something very interesting. Be sure to post your answer here when you find the connection!

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