Warning: this question relies on anecdotal evidence.

I have noticed that often Chareidi and heterodox Jews will wear much larger kippot than Modern Orthodox and Dati-Leumi (and heterodox rabbanim). Is there any rationale for this?

  • google.com/search?q=breslov+kippah&tbm=isch
    – msh210
    Nov 9, 2014 at 17:34
  • 1
    I doubt there's any single rationale for the difference. More likely, there's a rationale for one group's size and a rationale for another's.
    – msh210
    Nov 9, 2014 at 17:41
  • @msh210, who specified a single rationale? I believe that my wording does not specify a number of rationales. Nov 9, 2014 at 17:59
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    Right. But consider this question: "It seems to me that Reuben's Butcher Shop sells its ground meat more finely ground than Simeon's Butcher Shop does: what's the rationale?" How is anyone supposed to rationalize the difference in size? Presumably neither butcher grinds his meat specifically so as to be different from the other butcher. At best, someone can rationalize what Reuben does and/or what Simeon does, but not the difference. It should rather ask [cont'd]
    – msh210
    Nov 9, 2014 at 18:17
  • [cont'd] (IMO) "It seems to me that Reuben's Butcher Shop sells its ground meat ground to 1-millimeter-sized pieces and Simeon's Butcher Shop does to 2-mm-sized pieces. Why does each do what it does?"
    – msh210
    Nov 9, 2014 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


It's not clear which practice you are looking to find the rational for, the larger or the smaller, but see the first tshuva in the Igros Moshe where he discusses Reb Shlomo Kluger's ruling to cover the majority of one's head. Reb Moshe says that it is a nice stringency to keep, but one is not obligated to be stringent, especially since most people are not stringent. As opposed to the need to wear a head covering while sitting around which is also a stringency according to the shulchan aruch, that is a stringency one must keep being that everyone does it. And especially in light of the ruling of the Taz who says starting from his times being bareheaded falls under the prohibition of walking in the paths of the nonjews. And of course wearing a head covering while walking 4 amos or saying Hashem's name or walking into a beis harnesses which requires a headcovering by law.

But the point I'm tying to bring out is covering a majority of one's head is a nice stringency but not binding, hence the various types of kipot and yarmulkas.

  • Can you summarize the discussion there?
    – andrewmh20
    Nov 9, 2014 at 23:20
  • 1
    – user6591
    Nov 9, 2014 at 23:59

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