I am trying to determine the extent of the Jewish requirement for men to cover their heads throughout the day (that is, other than while making a bracha). It is fairly clear that this is not a Biblical law. But does it reach the status of rabbinical law? Or is it "merely" a minhag?

If the latter, and if my family's minhag were not to wear a kippah, could I (if I were a man) skip it?

Related: Wearing a kippa at work

If I have behaved badly, should I hide the fact that I'm Jewish?

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    The actual answer is that is not a halacha, but rather a minhag. To many a minhag is considered binding as halacha if enough Jews do it. i've got plenty of pictures of plenty of Sephardi Rabbis without kippahs as they did not view it as halacha, but Ashkenazi Rabbis say it is such a requirement that one should even wear a kippah while swimming! – Aaron Mar 29 '16 at 16:54
  • @Aaron Also, as with all Minhagim, the "acceptance" factor can change with time, so historical pictures of people from different times and places are of little use in determining a current practice's status. – Double AA Mar 29 '16 at 19:01
  • @DoubleAA This is true. And sometimes also unfortunate. – Aaron Mar 29 '16 at 19:05
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    Minhag Yisroel Torah hee (a phrase found first in a tosfos) means when a Mintage becomes widely accepted it has the same obligation as a half change of the rabbis. Another example is maariv – Dude Mar 29 '16 at 20:46
  • @Dude And Talmud Torah Kenegged Kullam means that if you learn Torah you don't need to do other Mitzvot. (Actually, both those phrases are poetic embellishment of the fact that Talmud Torah and Minhagim are both important.) – Double AA Mar 29 '16 at 22:34

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