ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Yemenite Jews

Updated on April 2, 2012

 Yemenite Kippot are made of a single piece of cloth shaped as a dome, usually embroidered around the edge. The designs are limited yet are unquestionably  elegant, respectful and refined. The question is asked, what is the story behind the Kippot of these Jewish brothers from the land of Yemen?

It is not known exactly how Jews came to settle in Yemen. The Yemenite tradition is that the community started when a group of wealthy Jews left Jerusalem after they heard Jeremiah predict the Temple's destruction in 629 BCE (forty-two years before the actual destruction). Early on Jewish presence in Yemen was very strong. In fact, the rulers of the time, the Himyarites, converted to Judaism which meant that Judaism became the ruling religion.

After Jewish rule ended in 525 CE, Christian Ethiopian rulers took over until the 7th century. Then the Muslims conquered the area and Yemenite Jewry changed forever. Jews became second-class citizens, had to pay special taxes and contact with other Jewish communities effectively stopped leading to the adoption of many parts of Arab culture.

Over the centuries the situation of Yemenite Jews changed. There were dark periods such as in 1679 when Jews were expelled to Mawza, only to be returned a year later to find their houses destroyed. The eighteenth century saw a resurgence in Jewish life under Imamic rule but by the nineteenth century the Jews were once again subject to harsh rule.

As early as 1882 Jewish immigration to Palestine (Israel of the time) began. Number of immigrants peaked in 1948 at the establishment of the State and by 1950 most Yemenite Jews had returned to Israel.

Yemenite Jews were culturally different in that they were, on the whole, cut off from world Jewry and eventually their culture paralleled that of Shuni Muslim rulers. Clothing and houses were simpler versions of what their Muslim neighbors had.

In Yemen the Jews led the field of arts and crafts and since the mass immigration to Israel in the mid-twentieth century Yemen has not had the same quality level of craftsmanship.

Quite unusually, the Jewish Yemenite community also produced their own ritual objects from beginning to end which was, on the whole, unheard of in other Jewish communities around the world. Much time and effort were put into producing beautiful ritual objects, partly due to the fact that synagogues and houses were kept simple to avoid jealousy of Muslim neighbors.

The clothing of Jews in Yemen was very distinctive, as in other Muslim countries. Bright colors were forbidden except on one's wedding day. Daggers and belts had to be simpler than those worn by Muslims. Thus the Yemenite Jewish style of plain clothing accented by a little jewelry evolved.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Psalmist4M profile image


      7 years ago from the Shelter of His Wings

      Intriguing, and very well documented. The overview and video and links are great combined components. Well written and holds your attention encouraging you to read to the end. Thank you for sharing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)