Pope Francis tide from the height of the stairs bring about the aircraft as he pipeline to his trip to the divine land native Rome, may 24, 2014 .Credit: AFP

If you’ve been complying with the Papal visit to the holy Land top top television, you may have wondered, “Why is he wearing a kippah?” but perhaps, the real inquiry is whether and also why Jews space wearing zucchetti.

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The zucchetto is a component of the uniform of roman Catholic clergy. That name comes from Italian zucchetta, the diminutive that zucca - gourd or, by extension, head. Zucchetti is only a nickname because that the undersized hat, which is officially referred to as pileolus.

The exact circumstances of when and also why Catholic clergy began wearing zucchetti room unclear, though it is clear that it was before 1290, due to the fact that a fresco in the Church of St. Francis in ~ Assisi from that time mirrors cardinals put on them. The tradition is i can not qualify to have seriously started before the 13th century, despite headdress was a common marker at the time and also it isn’t really surprising that the heritage took shape and also held.

The zucchetto’s shade signifies the bearer’s rank. The pope and only the pope's is white; cardinals stay scarlet ones, bishops and also other church figures of similar rank wear violet zucchetti and lower ranking priests wear black color ones, if lock wear them at all.

Well, the holy bible doesn’t say that one should wear a kippah, no one is it composed in the Mishnah or the Talmud. In fact, Jewish men were very first enjoined to save their heads spanned while praying or researching halakha in synagogue just in the 8th century, as soon as the command appears in Masekhet Sofrim (14:15). However this 8th-century head covering probably looked less like a zucchetto than the head garb of Arabs, given that the command was written in 8th century Palestine.

The heritage wended its means to Europe. Rabbenu Yerucham the Provence decreed attract kippahs if in synagogue as halakha in the 14th century. In ~ this time, the headdress likely took more continental forms, probably akin come the medieval scholar cap (that’s the weird thing students wear because that graduation), or may have actually been a kind of the “Jew hat” compelled on Jews in various times and also places, i m sorry had countless variations but was basically a cone.

It to be Rabbi Joseph Karo the Shulchan Aruch fame that in the 16th century dictated the Jewish guys must have their heads extended at all times, this based on a passage in the Talmud in i beg your pardon a rabbi stated that he did so the end of reverence to God: “Rabbi Huna boy of Rabbi Joshua said: may I be rewarded for never ever walking four cubits bareheaded” (Shabbat 118b).

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This prescript no universally adopted. Many Jews ongoing to just cover their heads once praying and studying the Torah, however others in greater and greater number adhered to Rabbi Karo’s decree.

In the century since, Jews wore a an excellent number of different head coverings, i m sorry differed from location to place and from time come time. In the United claims of the 19th century, for example, Chinese hats (not the canonical hats of farm workers, but rather sort of big yarmulkes) to be the fashion. Together the century progressed, these hats acquired smaller until ultimately morphing right into the kippahs we know today, which by possibility look just like zucchetti. This fashion spread around the world and are this day worn by Jewish men everywhere, and also - mostly in the Reform movement - by some ladies as well.

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