28 May 2010 (Sheshi/Kippur)|
Day #74, 5934 AM
The Truth About the Jewish Kippa
Many non-Jewish Messianics are eager to imitate their Messianic Jewish brethren who follow in the traditions of their non-Messianic rabbinical Jewish forefathers. One of these traditions is to wear the kippa or yarmulke, a small skullcap that covers the crown of the head. These tiny hats, which Jews believe they must wear at all times in case they should inadvertantly step on some holy place, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Bible or even the Torah portion or Law. You see, the Jews are not alone in wearing it - so do Roman Catholic Popes and Cardinals (who call it the zuchetto), Fransciscan Friars and Benedictine (Trappist) monks, the occasional high-ranking Anglican and Lutheran priest, as well as Muslims who call it the taqiyah or kufi!
Continued in Part 2 (Kippah/Yarmulke/Beanie)
Continued in Part 2 (Male Headcoverings & Tallit in 'Jewish Customs')
Before we continue we must point out a teaching of the apostle Paul who, as he so often did, referred back to the Torah. He said:
So let us be clear from the start - a man who covers his head with a hat, hood, turban, kippa, yarmulke, skullcap, Jewish prayer shawl or anything else while praying or prophesying is symbolically declaring his rejection of Yahweh as his Head! No two questions about it. It doesn't matter if a Messianic Jew gives a long convoluted argument justifying doing so - it is still dishonouring to Yahweh-Elohim. Period. (Evangelical Christian women note: your heads are supposed to be covered at a minimum when you are praying or prophesying). So where did the Jewish (Messianic and non-Messianic) kippa come from? And how did Catholic popes and cardinals get it? The answer is that both come from the same pagan source.
"Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of Elohim (God); but woman is the glory of man" (1 Cor.11:4-8, NKJV).
That little skullcap which you see on the heads of pious (and not so pious) Jews of any kind of religious or non-religious, persuasion and on the heads of the Catholic religious leaders, and on the heads of Muslims, was anciently called the Cap of Hermes and the Cap of Cybelle and is one of the oldest and most sacred religious symbols of apostate, rebellious humanity.
This cap was worn by high-ranking pagan priests underneath various ceremonial headdresses such as the Mitre of Dagon or Cap of Attis which is today worn by Roman Catholic cardinals and popes, and by many Protestant bishops. It was also worn by pagan pennitants undergoing ritual purification pilgrimages and was worn by Greek scholars, a tradition still continued in the hats worn by school, college and university graduates though incorporating the masonic square as well, giving the 'mortar board'. Today's Vatican was anciently the site of the Temple of Cybelle where the use of these skullcaps and mitres was common place.
Scholar Michael Marlowe writes:
There is no evidence in the Torah, in the Bible as a whole, or from the history of the period, that men ever wore headcoverings for spiritual or religious reasons as was, and is, scripturally required of women. To the contrary, the New Testament positively asserts, as we have seen, that they should not (see 1 Corinthians 2:11-16) because Yah'shua is their covering and He, being in Heaven, is invisible. In the same way that Yahweh hangs the earth upon nothing [visible], so the authority of Elohim over men is likewise invisible (Job 26:7).
"Among Jews the custom of covering the head for prayer did not arise till the third or fourth century of the Christian era. Some theorize that Jews adopted the yarmulke (kippa) in a reaction against Christian customs. For example, the Jewish scholar Abraham Millgram, in his book Jewish Worship (Jewish Publication Society, 1971), writes:
The student is also invited to see the article "Head, Covering of," in the Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. 8 (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1971), in which it is said that one Jewish sage declared that:
"As the persecutions of the Church increased, the Jewish aversion to everything Christian deepened. The uncovering of the head became associated with Church etiquette and therefore became repugnant. To worship or even to go about with an uncovered head was regarded as imitation of the Christians and an act of irreverence" (p. 351).
"Since Christians generally pray bareheaded, the Jewish prohibition to do so was based on the biblical injunction not to imitate the heathen custom." (p. 5.)
The assertion that the men covered their heads for prayer in New Testament times, often found in the older commentaries (such as John Lightfoot's Horę Hebraicę et Talmudicę) and appearing in Christian and Messianic artwork was based entirely upon statements about headcoverings in the Talmudic tractates of late antiquity and is entirely fallacious. But in the past hundred years scholars have become much more cautious about the use of rabbinic literature dating from the fourth century as a source of evidence for first-century practices" (Michael Marlowe, Headcovering Customs of the Ancient World).
The use of a kippa, tallit (Jewish prayer cloth), yarmulke or other kind of headcovering by men in worship and/or prayer is a man-made tradition and contrary to scripture. There is no evidence that the kippa was worn before the 17th century when it became popular in Judaism. There were certainly none around in Judea when Yah'shua and the apostles walked the earth. Therefore they should have absolutely no place in the assemblies or in the general wardrobe of believers today. Yah'shua is the covering of men who are subject to Torah as indicated by men wearing tzitzit or tassels. In the same way husbands and fathers are the coverings of wives and daughters, respectively, as indicated by women wearing headcoverings. Apart from turbans without tops for men, which is another subject in itself, this is the only scripturally-mandated 'religious' clothing of the New Covenant. May you find shalom in the simplicity to which we have been called.