Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Menís Head Covering

For a man to cover his head with a religious garment while praying or performing religious service  is contrary to the scriptures -- dishonoring to himself and ultimately to his spiritual head, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah. This practice arose gradually within Judaism after the time of the Messiah and the New Testament, and is a reflection of the spiritual Babylonian bondage which those who refuse to obey YEHOVAH God's call are trapped in.

by John Rothacker

I have had requests to present information because of the increasing practice and teaching within the Church for men to cover their heads in prayer in direct opposition to the Word of YEHOVAH God as given in 1 Corinthians 11:7. I wish to reveal the historical facts that have brought this false teaching about, and hope to show you plainly how beautiful the truth of YEHOVAH is and how plainly the opposition to YEHOVAH Godís truth has always been centered from that earthly and spiritually false city of antiquity, Babylon. Then as we follow the history and teachings of Babylon, we shall be amazed to see that the spirits and doctrines of false religion have produced both a Babylonian Judaism and a Babylonian Christianity, and be further amazed to discover that certain of these spirits and doctrines were introduced into both about the same time, and have grown parallel to each other along the same time frame, with a Reformation movement in both, until we have what we shall find today.

In proving this, I will also bring out additional facts about women covering their heads and veiling their faces. The teaching about a womenís head covering is an exposition of a biblical custom practiced faithfully by all godly women from the beginnings of recorded history until our present generations.

Also, this teaching involving men's head covering concerns normal Jewish and Christian men from their beginnings, including those men called to specific ministries during this New Testament period (Ephesians 4:11). It does not concern the Levitical priesthood of the Old Covenant where Aaron and his sons were instructed to wear special head coverings and priestly garments made of specific design, colors, and materials (Exodus 28). It does concern normal Jewish men and women under the Old Covenant, and all Christian men and women who are all priests (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6) under the Melchisedec priesthood of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and his New Covenant (Hebrews 7).

The parallel practices that have been legislated by both the controlling Babylonian rabbinical leadership that has arisen within Judaism since the New Testament period, and the priest craft [1] that has arisen within the harlot Churches of Christendom, I believe, will both amaze you and help confirm you in the truth that we are all to practice as servants of the most high God and our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Women's Head Coverings

In this teaching, I will quote respected Jewish scholarship, including authentic sources:

"BAREHEADEDNESS: Jewish custom has for ages required women to cover the hair as an evidence of their modesty before men, and required men to cover the head in order to show their humility and reverence before God. [2]

"In ancient biblical times...the woman suspected of adultery was therefore signally disgraced, or humiliated like a mourner, when for punishment her head was disheveled by the priest (Num. v. 18; compare Lev. xxi 10; A. V. "uncover"); and shaving off the hair was an insult inflicted only on captive women [Deut. 21:11-12]. In Mishnaic times, however, it was regarded as an inviolable Jewish custom that women should not be seen in the streets with uncovered hair; and the infringement of that rule by a married woman was deemed sufficient ground for divorce, a view stated also in Roman law.

"The distinction of Kamhit, who saw seven of her sons made high priests, and two officiate on one and the same day, one of them being Simon ben Kamhit, mentioned by Josephus ("Ant." xviii. 2, ß 2) as "Simon, the son of Camithus," is ascribed by the Rabbis to the fact that even the ceiling of her house had not seen the hair of her head.

"Bareheadedness in a woman was, therefore, considered to be an indecorous form of "ervah" (nakedness, Deut. xxiv. 1), an incentive to improper glances, and it was declared unlawful to recite the Shema [Hear O Israel...Deut. 6:4-9] in the presence of a woman whose hair was uncovered. Originally, this custom included both married and unmarried women....Nor does the law which set a fine of 400 drachmas upon a man who tears off a woman's head-gear in the street, make any distinction between a married and an unmarried woman. Also Paul (1 Cor. xi. 3-12), when declaring that the woman should have her head covered in recognition of the man being her lord [ref. 1 Pet. 3:5-6], refers to women in general, not to married women exclusively" (The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, 1902, pp. 530-531 (TJE)).

It is significant to note that in the reference above by Josephus, the Jewish historian gives us more information that is helpful to set the time frame of this incident. He wrote that the emperor Tiberius sent Valerius Gratus to be procurator of Judea who:

"deprived Ananus of the high priesthood, and appointed Ismael, the son of Phabi, to be high priest. He also deprived him in a little time, and ordained Eleazar, the son of Ananus, who had been high priest before, to be high priest: which office, when he had held for a year, Gratus deprived him of it, and gave the high priesthood to Simon, the son of Camithus; and when he had possessed that dignity no longer than a year, Joseph Caiaphas was made his successor. When Gratus had done those things, he went back to Rome, after he had tarried in Judea eleven years, when Pontius Pilate came as his successor" (Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII. 2, ß 2).

This reveals to us that at the time of the initiation of the New Testament the Jewish custom was very strong that a woman cover her head at all times. Annas (Ananus) and his son-in-law, Caiaphas, served as high priests under the Roman emperors at the appointment of his governing procurators; Caiaphas by Pontius Pilate (Luke. 3:1-2; John. 18:13; Acts 4:6). They all lived in lavish palaces, dressed in splendid apparel, and held their respective customs with much pride. We can see, therefore, that from these historical Jewish quotes and the ones to follow, that the practice of women covering their head was of no insignificant matter.

"In biblical times, women covered their heads with veils or scarves, as a sign of chastity and modesty. The unveiling of a woman's hair was considered a humiliation and punishment.

"If a woman walked bareheaded in the street, her husband could divorce her without repaying her dowry....Some rabbis compared the exposure of a married woman's hair to the exposure of her privy parts, and forbid the recital of any blessing in the presence of a bareheaded woman. Pious women took care not to uncover their hair even in the house.

"In modern times, however, only the strictly Orthodox insist on women covering their hair all the time. It remains the practice, however, even in some Reform congregations, for women to cover their hair in synagogue" (Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 8, 1971, pg. 6 (EJ)).

The Jewish Kippah

However, the practice of men covering their heads is not scriptural and of a much later origin. We read in the The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia:

"The practice observed by the majority of Jews of covering the head at prayer, study or religious observances is not based on any law in the Bible [3] or Talmud [4], but appears for the first time as an injunction in the medieval Jewish codes. It is therefore not so much a part of definite religious law (Halachah) as of custom (Minhag), a custom which took some time to spread among the Jews all over the world and which came to acquire the binding force of a law until it was challenged in modern times by those who desired this and other reforms in the ritual. The question of the retention or the abolition of this practice is one that has greatly agitated the Jews of Europe and America in the 19th and 20th centuries; in fact, it can be fairly said that there are communities in the United States where one of the chief divisive distinctions between Reform and Orthodox Jews is the willingness or the unwillingness of the congregations to worship with uncovered heads.

"As in the case of other customs and practices that have come to be accepted as part of the traditional observances of Judaism, the practice of covering the head has varied from country to country, from age to age, and from occasion to occasion. Many scholars agree that there is no evidence in the sources to indicate that the custom of covering the head while performing a religious duty originated in Palestine; they maintain that the practice was introduced at a comparatively late date in Babylonia [emphasis mine].

"On the holidays the priests in Palestinian synagogues pronounced the priestly benedictions with uncovered heads, while in Babylonia the priests performed this function with their heads covered.

"It would appear, then, that the practice of covering the head in Jewish worship comes from Babylonia, originating there in a general custom which was the reverse of a similar custom in the Western world. In the Orient, the head was covered as a gesture of respect in the presence of a notable, an elder or a scholar; from this followed the practice of covering the head in the presence of God at worship; then the practice became a sign of piety. The pious would cover their heads when reciting prayers and, finally, when uttering any benediction addressed to God. This became the Minhag [custom] throughout the Babylonian Jewish communities.

"The Minhag was brought from Babylonia to the Western European Jewish communities in which it had previously not been observed. This must have been about the 8th cent. C.E. [common era], when Judaism in Spain began to be definitely colored by Babylonian scholarship and traditions. Approximately four centuries later, the custom had become so prevalent in the Sephardic [Spanish] world [Spain & Portugal] that the philosopher Moses Maimonides (12th cent.) thought it unbecoming for a scholar to study or teach with uncovered head, and that the same custom should be observed when worshipping. And the Shulhan Aruch, likewise a product of Sephardic Judaism (16th cent.), records the information that certain authorities forbade mentioning the name of God, or even entering the synagogue with head uncovered, and deduces from this the recommendation to wear the hat at all times as an act of piety.

"Ashkenazie [Eastern, Yiddish speaking Jews; German, Polish, and Russian] customs in Central European Jewish communities, however, were influenced by the Palestinian tradition. [Gradually] when the forceful stream of Jewish scholarship began to flow from Spain into Ashkenazie communities in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Minhag of the covered head gained adherents.

"As has been said, in religious practice the force of custom is often stronger than law [emphasis mine]. By the time of the Emancipation (19th cent.), the Minhag of the covered head had attained the rigidity of law throughout the Jewish world. The suggestion of the early Reformers that this custom be abolished because in the Western world the proprieties called for the uncovered head as an act of grace and good manners met with furious onslaught. In most communities of the United States the controversy of the covered or uncovered head stands as a basic divisive factor between Reform Judaism and Conservative and Orthodox Judaism" (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, 1941, 1948, pg. 262 (TUJE)).

Clearly, the practice of covering the head is not based on any explicit statement in Jewish legal sources; it "is merely a custom, a minhag, that first appeared among the Jews in Babylon" during the rabbinic period (roughly, from the beginning of the Common Era to 500 C.E.). In Palestine, by contrast, the sources indicate that "people would not hesitate entering a synagogue, reading from the Torah, and participating in the religious service with uncovered head."

This difference in custom made its way to medieval Europe: in Spain, which tended to follow the Babylonian practices, authorities required that the head be covered during prayer, while in France and Germany, which were more influenced by Palestinian ritual traditions, there is some evidence that Jews would pray bareheaded.

Although by the thirteenth century the Northern Europeans (Ashkenazim) had begun to adopt the Spanish (Sephardic) custom, later authorities in central and eastern Europe continued to write that the prohibition against worshipping bareheaded "has no foundation in the Talmud." As one of them remarked (in Lauterbach's translation): "There is no prohibition whatever against praying with uncovered head, but as a matter of propriety it would seem to be good manners to cover one's head when standing in the presence of great men, and also during the religious service."

Keeping the head covered at all times has a kabalistic [mystical] significance, leading some to cover their heads twice -- a hat over a kippah (skullcap), or a tallit (prayer shawl) over a kippah -- while praying.

However, in a 1928 Central Conference of American Rabbis, it was stated that whichever the custom, "It should not separate Jew from Jew and not be made the cause of breaking of Jewish groups or dividing Jewish congregations" (TUJE, pg. 263).

Having looked at the background of the Jewish custom of men wearing a head covering, I believe we should now consider three significant spiritual reasons why this has come about.

First, it is the spirit of Babylon, from which customs arose in direct opposition to the truth of YEHOVAH God. And YEHOVAH therefore allows such contradiction to be practiced by those who oppose Him and His word. In fact, He ordains it to show the world the difference between truth and error, and who is walking in the truth and who is not. And as "Babylon the great" is maturing to her fullness in all her spiritual idolatry, whether with or without images or physical idols, the truth of YEHOVAH God is now coming forth in its final revelation to a lost and blinded world for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Secondly, the spirit of antichrist is at work, and consciously working in the hearts of men to oppose the truth of YEHOVAH God. It was in the 17th century that a Jewish leader "was the first to declare that the prohibition against uncovering the head was based on religious law, in opposition to the Christian mode of worship" (TJE, Vol. 2, pg. 532). He founded it upon an erroneous "Talmudic interpretation of Leviticus xviii 3: 'Ye shall not walk in their ordinances'" (TJE, pg. 532). However, an observation of that portion of scripture quickly reveals to us that Moses was declaring the word of the LORD about not following the immoral practices of Egypt from where they had come, nor of Canaan to where they were going; but to follow the ordinances of the LORD which are very specifically given as to prohibiting all forms of nakedness, sexual immorality and perversions. To apply this text to men's head covering is a pretext, as The Jewish Encyclopedia itself reports, knowing that:

"it was customary among the Greeks to offer sacrifices with uncovered heads -- "capite aperto" -- a form adopted by Paul for the Christians in his first Epistle to the Corinthians (xi 2 et seq.), the Roman [emphasis mine] priests sacrificed with covered head -- "capite velato." Among Mohammedans it is indispensable that the head be covered during prayer: the turban itself is a sacred thing by which they swear; and it is disrespectful to receive visitors with uncovered head" (The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, 1902, pg. 531).

Therefore to the Jewish mind and heart, which "heathen" practice do they wish to not follow? Islamic Babylonianism? No, they practice the same. Roman Babylonianism, which they also hate? No, they practice the same, also. But, obviously it is the truth of YEHOVAH God and His holy word which the true Christians practiced from the beginning which they choose to not follow (which they themselves practiced in Biblical times). It is the truth that was given to them long ago through Moses who prophesied of their Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15; Acts 7:37), and that truth and of men's bare headedness given through the early Jewish apostles of him that they choose to deny (1 Corinthians 11:2-16), which is the spirit of antichrist (1 John. 2:18-23)!

Rejecting the Jerusalem from above, it actually is from the Babylon from beneath from which they get their unscriptural practice, as it went from there to Spain and then throughout Jewry. The oppression and persecutions they experienced in Spain, for which they hated the professing Church of Christendom (and still do), was not the true church, but actually the Christianized Babylonian Church which has always persecuted everyone who does not give absolute obedience to their doctrines, and even sometimes persecutes and prosecutes Catholics who do obey, because of the greed to confiscate wealth and lands, or indulge the sexual appetites by rape, or sadism by torture.

The third reason that Jewish men wear a head covering is YEHOVAH's sovereignty in their declaring to the spiritual world of angels and mankind, the shame upon their own heads for denying their spiritual head as revealed in their own scriptures and history, their Messiah, Adonay Yeshua ha'Mashiach (1 Corinthians 11:2-16)!

Women's Face Veiling

Now, having considered the background of men wearing a head covering during worship, let us look at more history concerning women's face veiling, which is a distinct issue in itself, and was often in addition to the woman's head covering:

"VEIL: A cover for the face; a disguise. From the earliest times it has been a sign of chastity and decency in married women to cover their faces with veils in the presence of strangers. This custom is still in vogue in the Orient. The putting on of the veil marked the transition from girlhood to womanhood. Rebekah, the bride, covered herself with a veil on meeting Isaac, the groom (Gen. xxiv. 65). A widow did not wear a veil (ib. xxxviii. 19). The custom of dressing the virgin bride with a veil is mentioned in the Mishna; covered with a veil ("hinuma") and seated on a litter, she was carried in the wedding-procession from her father's house to the nuptial ceremony. In modern times the bride is "covered" with a veil in her chamber in the presence of the groom, just before they are led under the canopy. In some countries the groom, and in others the rabbi, performs the ceremony of covering the bride" (The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 12, 1905, pg. 406).

"VEILING OF THE BRIDE: The custom of covering the face of the bride with a veil, so that she may not be seen, even by her husband until after the completion of the marriage, is of very ancient origin. It is mentioned in the Bible in the case of Rebekah (Gen. 24:65), and is expressly implied in the story of Jacob and Leah (Gen. 29:23-25). Throughout the Middle Ages, as appears from descriptions and from drawings, the bride's face was so completely covered by a veil as to be invisible. In modern times, especially in Western countries, the custom has been modified to conform with the customs of non-Jews" (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, 1943, 48, pg. 399).

"VEIL: In the late 17th and 18th centuries communal regulations forbade women...to visit the synagogues unveiled, or betrothed girls to appear in public without their faces covered (Amsterdam, 1747)" (Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 16, 1971, pg. 84).

Now, a few more quotes will further inform us of the use of the head veil or covering within Babylonian Christendom:

"HEAD: The ecclesiastical rite of the veiling of virgins who dedicated themselves to the religious life ('taking the veil') was connected with the idea of a mystical marriage with Christ. Many in the early church held that all unmarried women or virgins should wear a veil. Muhammadan women must always be veiled, as it would be immodest to let anyone see the head or face, especially the former. Among Jews, though not now in Western countries, it was considered indecorous for a woman to be bare-headed. The custom of covering the face or head with a veil or with the mantle on occasion existed among the early Hebrews, with the same idea of indecorum (Gn 24:65). The same has been followed in the Christian Church with regard to women since the earliest times, but it is dishonouring to his head for a man to pray covered, according to St. Paul (1 Co 11:4-5). On the other hand, uncovering the head is often regarded as a token of respect, whether to divinities or superiors, just as it is an act of etiquette in the modern world" (Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 6, 1961, pg. 539).

"VEIL, RELIGIOUS, the English equivalent of the Latin velum, in contemporary ecclesiastical usage is referred primarily to two types of veil worn by religious women: the white veil of the novice and the black veil of the professed nun. The significance of the veil in these uses seems to be multiple, but certainly the primary significance is that of marriage with Christ. The white veil taken by the novice and the accompanying ceremony elaborate the parallel between the espousal of the virgin with Christ and that of the bride with the bridegroom. In the black veil, which still usually has the form of a cloth covering the head and shoulders, may be seen a survival of the Roman hood [emphasis mine], or cucullus (cowl), which was worn in antiquity by men and women alike and adopted very early by both nuns and monks. Reference to marriage is not wholly wanting from the symbolism of this veil, for the custom of married women going veiled, preserving their beauty for their husbands, is very old and widespread. But in the black veil there seems also to be reference, on the one hand, to seclusion from the world, and on the other, to the devotion of a victim to sacrifice, for victims were often veiled at the time of sacrifice in Roman rituals" (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 14, 1967, pg. 590 (NCE)).

The Jewish Prayer Shawl

Now, the next practice which we wish to consider is that of men wearing the prayer shawl, or tallith (Rabbinic Hebrew: tallit), a word not found in Biblical Hebrew.

In Deuteronomy 22:12 we read: "You shall make tassels on the four corners of the clothing with which you cover yourself" (NKJV).

Also, in Numbers 15:37-41 --

"Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to but a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassels, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God'" (NKJV).

YEHOVAH God commanded Israelite men to wear tzitzit ("fringes") on the borders of their garments. These tzitzit (fringes) were viewed as acting as receptors of spiritual energy and inspiration. For instance, in Mark 5:25-34 where it is recorded that a woman with an issue of blood touched the Messiah's garment and was instantly healed without first asking the Messiah, it is understood that this woman had actually touched the energy-filled tzitzit on the border of the Messiah's garment. A garment with tassels was considered as a common everyday item of clothing for devout Israelite men according to the commandment given to Moses for the men of Israel. Therefore, the Messiah's question in verse 30 of Mark 5, "Who touched my clothes?", is historically appropriate in its wording.

The Bible, however, does not command the wearing of a unique prayer shawl or tallit. Instead, it presumes that people wore a garment of some type to cover themselves and instructs them to add fringes (tzitzit) to the four corners of these. These passages do not specify tying particular types of or numbers of knots in the fringes. Nor do they specify a gender division between men and women, or between native Israelite/Hebrew people and those assimilated by them. The exact customs regarding the tying of the tzitzit and the format of the tallit are post-Biblical and rabbinical and can vary between various Jewish communities.

The tallit was NOT used in the Tabernacle by the Levites or sons of Aaron. It is NOT mentioned among the garments of the priests. It is NOT mentioned one time in the Old Testament. There is NO RECORD any prophet wore one. And there is NO DOCUMENTATION of this garment by Abraham, Moses, the prophets, or kings of Israel. John the Baptist sure didn't wear one!

When the Messiah said of the religious leaders of his day, "But all their works they do for to be seen of men [this is pride, vainglory]: they make broad [make them wider so as to appear more righteous and holy than other men] their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments" (Mathew 23:5 KJV), or "lengthen the tassels" (NAS), he reveals to us it was still at that time the custom as YEHOVAH God had initiated through Moses for the normal outer garments worn by all Israelite men to have the distinctive fringes with a blue cord put upon them "to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, in order that you may remember to do all My commandments, and be holy to your God" (Numbers 15:37-41). It was not the tallith or prayer shawl as a separate and special garment with which they could have the fringes put upon, which the Jews developed many years later after the normal style of clothing changed and men no longer wore the type of outer garments that they had worn for millennia.

With the change in clothing it became more difficult to wear the four commanded tassels or tzitzit. To compensate for this, the tallit or prayer shawl was developed that could be worn or draped over the worshipper's clothing in the form of a shawl.

Notice what these references have to say --

"TALLITH: Is of rectangular form, of varying sizes....The preferred material is wool, but silk is frequently used, especially in modern times" (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, 1943, 1948, p. 159).

"TALLIT: Mantle with fringes (zizit) at the four corners; a prayer-shawl worn over the garments, and used by men after marriage and, in modern times, by boys after their confirmation as "bar mizwot." The tallit, which can be spread out like a sheet, is woven of wool or silk, in white, with black or blue stripes at the ends" (The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 11, 1905, p. 676).

"In ancient times [the early "Common Era," well past Biblical times] and with many Jews still today, it was the custom literally to wrap one's self in the Tallith, even covering the head; in modern times, however, the Tallith is often folded and placed around the shoulders, with the fringed part hanging down in front" (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 159).

"The cabalists [Jewish doctors who studied the cabala, the mysteries of Jewish traditions] considered the tallit as a special garment [developed years later, and different from the outer 'garments' as added to Matthew 23:5c] for the service of God, intended, in connection with the phylacteries [Matthew 23:5b] to inspire awe and reverence for God at prayer" (The Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 678).

Explains Nancy L. Kuehl:

"The tallit, a four-cornered robe, on which are tzitzit, or tassels, is commonly called the prayer shawl. It is the holiest garment a Jew [Israelite] can wear and expresses his monotheism; the garment was so holy, in fact, that the tassels must have been cut off before it might be sold. The tassels are said to be the pe'er (glory) of God. What makes it holy are the four tzitzit, which are said to represent the 613 commandments of written law outlined in the book of Deuteronomy, which is Torah, the Power of God's Word! Each tassel is tied in exactly 613 knots. In Jewish gematria (numerical equivalents of Hebrew letters) the sum of these knots equals YHVH Echad, meaning God is one.

"The symbolic significance of the tzitzit is that the Power of the Holy Spirit resides in the tassels of the garments. The woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-44) understood that the power would make her whole if she could but touch it. In restoring the dead child to life, Jesus used the words (Talitha Koum) 'by the power of the tallit arise!' [This is a play on words. The Aramaic talit ha cumi -- "talit this arise"]. That is, he was, in effect, saying by the power of the Holy Spirit of the One God, YHVH, arise. The 'unclean' woman who had recently touched his tzitzit rendered him defiled. Since he was no longer in a state of 'purity', he dared not physically touch another individual imparting to her his 'uncleanness.' Jesus merely used the power of the tzitzit (which was representative of the Holy Spirit) to raise the child from the dead, possibly by touching her dead body with one of the tassels" (A Book of Evidence: The Trials and Execution of Jesus, Resource Publications, Eugene, OR 2013, pp. 19-20).

Since the Israelite men were given tallits with tzitzit to assist with receiving spiritual energy and inspiration, they were, by implication, to pray with their heads uncovered in order to not obstruct the direct flow of spiritual energies. However, over time, it was erroneously permitted to wear a round-shaped cap (masculine) while studying the Torah, or to wrap the tallit (prayer shawl) around their head (supposedly being enwrapped with the holy spirit) while studying the Torah.

Movies which are made with Roman Catholic assistance often portray the Messiah as praying with a tallit or prayer-shawl over his head, but this is not historically accurate --  this Babylonian practice started many years after the life of the Messiah.

We should realize that the tallit or prayer shawl has unfortunately underscored and reinforced the male Jewish tradition of head coverings:

"The tallit without the kipah, or as is often called, beannie hat: is being half holy. Before the tallit goes on the kipah is upon the head. Now they are fully holy. It can come in many different colors. It is what authorizes the male to put the yoke of the Law around his neck. No male is allowed to enter a real orthodox Jewish worship place who does not have one on. In some Jewish Synagogues there are extras for male visitors. These must be put on or the male is not welcome to be in the service" (ibid.).  

In light of today's clothing habits, it is not wrong to wear a tallit or prayer shawl -- over the shoulders -- while communing in private with YEHOVAH God. Don't forget that the importance resides in the tzitzit or tassels -- not the prayer shawl itself.

To summarize the teaching about men covering their heads, it can be stated that, first, it is not scriptural. Secondly, that this practice arose gradually within Judaism after the time of the Messiah and the writings of the New Testament, and is a reflection of the spiritual Babylonian bondage from which those who refused to obey YEHOVAH's call and come out of Babylon have never recovered. Thirdly, it is propagated by the spirit of antichrist.

Fourth, it has also been adopted by Babylonian Christianity. This can even be more clearly realized when observing the actual kinds of head covering worn by both Babylonian Jews and Babylonian Christians. The small skullcap (called a yarmulke in Yiddish, or a kippah in Hebrew for the Jew; and a phileus in Latin for the Catholic cleric) is the same for both, and although both usually wear it in a darker color, it is worn by both groups in white for special occasions. The Jews wear white symbolizing purity, often for weddings, and High Holydays, the same color as Roman Catholic popes on certain occasions; and the cardinals regularly wear red ones but of the same form.

Catholic Caps and Hoods

It was in the Roman Empire that servants wore a head covering while free men went bareheaded, so this custom of men declaring they are "servants of the LORD" by wearing a head covering while at the same time reversing and disobeying the plain teaching of both Old and New Testaments, is clear evidence of the spirits of Babylon which had spread from there to Rome controlling both of these religious groups.

This is confirmed within Catholicism under their discussion of the origin of the various caps and hoods worn by college graduates:

"ACADEMIC DRESS: The cap originated in the skull cap worn by ecclesiastics to protect their tonsured heads [5] against the weather. This in turn was a shallow form of the cap of liberty that the Roman freedman used to cover his new-shaven head: the Synod of Bergamo (1311) ordered the clergy to wear it "after the manner of laymen." In academic usage, originally at Oxford and Cambridge, only doctors in the superior Faculties wore a cap (pileus), a tight round skull cap with a little point on the crown. All others then wore hoods" (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, 1967, pg. 65).

And another quote showing that it was not until the time of Constantine the Great in the 4th century (A.D. 312) and the true beginning of the Roman Catholic Church when the spirits and teachings of Babylon officially entered Christendom that men in the "Church" began to wear head coverings and special religious garb:

"CLERICAL DRESS: For the first 3 centuries of the Christian era clerics used no special dress when engaged in divine services. About the beginning of the 4th century, a distinction began to be made between the everyday wear of the clergy and the vestments used by them in sacred functions....The council of Laodicea, 343 to 381, referred quite often to a special clerical vesture for use in sacred functions.

"Special clerical dress for use outside the sanctuary did not exist much before the 6th century. The garb worn by clerics was the old Roman dress, i. e., a tunic without sleeves and a long white coat with sleeves....Prior to the early 6th century various members of the clergy had tried without success to introduce the pallium as a specific garb for clerics in place of the birrus, the common tunic worn by members of the secular clergy and by Christians generally.

"Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) called the dress demanded by the Council of Trent [1545-63] the vestis talaris or cassock. From his time onward clerics were obliged to wear the cassock at all times as their distinctive dress. By approved custom, however, the interpretation prevailed that what was prescribed by Pope Sixtus was the wearing of the cassock at least for sacred and public functions....Even as to the color of the garb, centuries passed before any definite regulations were laid down. The Council of Trent (1545-63) required merely that "clerics always wear a dress conformable to their order, that by the propriety of their outward apparel they may show forth the inward uprightness of their morals." Nothing was mentioned about the color. Reliable authors state that black has been the color of the clerics garb only since the 17th century.

"In the U.S. the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) decreed that clerics were to wear the Roman collar and cassock at home and in the church, while outside the house they were to wear the Roman collar together with a coat of black or somber color, the length of which reached to the knees. This prescription has never been revoked, but from the very beginning it has been interpreted to mean that clerics should conform to the style adopted by conservative laymen. There now exists a custom contrary to the law. The Code itself merely states that all clerics must wear an appropriate ecclesiastical garb that is in accord with the legitimate customs of the region and the prescriptions of the local ordinary. They need not wear the tonsure in those countries where custom directs otherwise" (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, 1967, pp. 947-948).

Notice, now, what Alexander Hislop says about the miter worn by the pope in Rome --

"As the Pope bears the key of Janus, so he wears the mitre of Dagon [the fish-god]...The Papal mitre is entirely different from the mitre of Aaron and the Jewish high priests. That mitre was a turban. The two-horned mitre, which the Pope wears, when he sits upon the high altar at Rome and receives the adoration of the Cardinals, is the very mitre worn by Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines and Babylonians. There were two ways in which Dagon was anciently represented. The one was when he was depicted as half-man half-fish; the upper part being entirely human, the under part ending in the tail of a fish. The other was, when, to use the words of Layard, 'the head of the fish formed a mitre above that of the man, while its scaly, fan-like tail fell as a cloak behind, leaving the human limbs and feet exposed...The gaping jaws of the fish surmounting the head of the man...are the unmistakable counterpart of the horns of the Pope's mitre at Rome" (The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, NJ, 1959, p. 215).

Therefore, Christians today who follow these practices are following Babylonian traditions and spirits, and NOT the word of YEHOVAH God! Not only can this be seen today so clearly, but it should be taken note of by all so that proper spiritual discernment can be had by those wishing to truly follow the Messiah and his word, as interpreted by his apostles, such as Paul who wrote the scripture so plainly concerning this and in which he states that all the churches of YEHOVAH God of his day followed the same teaching, but also the true apostles living and ministering today in these end-times.

Although it was a custom when I was young for women to wear a net veiling on their faces covering their eyes, attached to a hat, it no longer is customary generally, but may occasionally be seen. However, there is no scripture stating that a veiling over the face is required for women. For a woman to wear a veil, a hat, or some type of covering upon her head while "praying or prophesying," and therefore singing or worshipping is scriptural, and required for obedience to YEHOVAH's word. It is not required to use a head covering at all times, but may be done so if desired.

For a man to cover his head while praying or performing religious service with a religious garment is contrary to the scriptures, dishonoring to himself and ultimately to his spiritual head, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah (1 Corinthians 11:1-16). I can testify, that "we are witnesses of these words; and so is the holy spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him" (Acts 5:32 lit.). So, therefore, expect the holy spirit to be quenched, and that YEHOVAH God will discipline and humble appropriately when disobedience is manifested openly!

May YEHOVAH God grant you, the reader, the grace and mercy of YEHOVAH, and humbleness of heart and mind, in spiritual understanding to observe and then practice the truth of YEHOVAH God, so that the Father may truly be your head, and that you might declare that openly and bring honor and glory to yourself and especially to Him!

Footnotes:

[1] The stratagems and frauds of selfish and ambitious priests imposed to gain wealth or power, or to impose on the credulity [easiness of belief, weakness of mind, being easily deceived] of others (Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language).

[2] Although this practice for women has been reported in the writings of scripture by Moses since approximately 1500 B.C. (Gen. 24:65; 38:14, 19; Num. 5:18 KJV), and later (Ruth 3:15; Song 1:7, 4:1, 3, 6:7 NAS, 5:7 KJV; Isa. 3:23, 47:2; Eze. 13:18, 21 NAS), I would like to refer you to the more spiritual reasons as given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11. Of special note is that this custom is not taught for men in the scriptures as a regular practice. But men may cover their heads when deliberately showing shame, dishonor, or sorrow (Jer. 14:3-4; II Sam. 15:30; Esth. 6:12), and in certain extreme events anyone -- men, women, and surprisingly even mariners in the future when Babylon the great is destroyed -- may even put dirt upon their heads as a sign of great emotional grief and sorrow (Job 2:12; Josh. 7:6; Lam. 2:10; Eze. 27:30; Rev. 18:19). For men to religiously cover their heads is expressly forbidden as written in the New Testament scriptures (1 Cor. 11:4, 7), and it has not been "for ages" for Jewish men, but it was over 3000 years after Moses, actually only since about the A.D. 1600s, that this custom has been the law for Jewish men, as we shall see from the following Jewish references.

[3] The Jewish Bible, the Scriptures, is called the Ta Nakh, consisting of three parts: the Law (the Torah, the five books of Moses), the Prophets (Neviim), and the Sacred Writings (Ketuvim).

[4] The Talmud is the first Jewish code of laws since the Torah, consisting of two parts. The first part is the Mishnah, which is a collection of oral laws written down in about A.D. 200. The second part is the Gemara, the designation of either of two Jewish commentaries on the Mishnah, the first one, the Palestinian Gemara completed in Palestine at about A.D. 400, and the other in Babylonia about A.D. 500. Before these oral laws were written down they were the oral traditions which the Pharisees held to, which Jesus exposed on occasion as contradicting the Torah (the written and true word of God through Moses), which they interpreted freely in seeking to discover their inner meaning. The Sadducees denied the authority of the oral law (as well as the resurrection of the dead and the existence of angels) and held to the Torah only.

[5] The tonsure was an ancient Babylonian practice of shaving a circular bald spot on the crown of the head of its heathen priests indicating submission to celibacy and religious authority. This was contrary to God's word as given through Moses for His priests where we read that they were to marry and be holy and not follow the heathen practices: "They shall not make baldness upon their head" (Leviticus 21:5, 1-8; The Two Babylons, pp. 219-224). In the Roman Catholic Church tonsuring was gradually introduced and is now a general law, a "sacred rite" when a "confirmed layman becomes a cleric" (The Catholic Encyclopedia for School and Home, Vol. 11, pg. 30, 1965). "There is no evidence of a ceremony of tonsure before the 8th century" (NCE, Vol. 14, pg. 199).

-- Edited By John D. Keyser

 

Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 2186
Temple City, CA 91780, U.S.A.
www.hope-of-israel.org

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