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Chuppah? Kippah? Kobah? The question continues…

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Wednesday, May 6, 2015


The practice of modern Judaism requires the wearing of the kippah (הָּכִּפ‎) to fulfill the customary requirement held by orthodox halachic authorities that the head be covered at all times.  The kippah is a hemispherical cap, usually made of cloth, worn by Jewish men and, less frequently, by Jewish women at times of prayer.  Maimonides wrote that a man is required to cover his head during prayer, which is a direct contradiction to Sha’ul who said that if a man covers his head during prayer, he dishonors his head. 

The Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Ovadia Yosef, wrote that the kippah should be worn to show affiliation with the religiously observant community, but I guess that begs the question as to which religiously observant community. The Talmudic community requires the covering of the head to demonstrate the fear of heaven, to acknowledge the divine presence overhead, and in order to honor YAH.

Yet the scriptures provide for covering the head in mourning as well:

Shemu’el Sheniy (2 Samuel) 15:30

And David went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

The word here for covered is in the Hebrew חָפָה chaphah, spelled chet, pe, heh.  Compare with its neighbor, the word we have found for closet, namely, חֻפָּה chuppah, spelled chet, pe, heh.  Why stop here?

Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 14:1-4

The Word of YAHUAH that came to El-Yirmeyahu concerning the drought. 2 Yahudah mourns, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground; and the cry of Yerushalayim is gone up. 3 And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. 4 Because the ground is chapped, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered (chaphah) their heads.

Now there is the issue of the garments of praise.  Do such garments include a head covering?

Iyov (Job) 29:12-14

Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. 13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.  

Of course, the word for diadem here is tsaniyph, which means literally cloth wrapped around the head. Another place where this very same word appears is found in Zakaryahu:

Zakaryahu (Zechariah) 3:3-5

Now Yahusha was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spoke unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with change of raiment. 5 And I said, Let them set a fair turban (tsaniyph) upon his head. So they set a fair turban (tsaniyph) upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of YAHUAH stood by.

It appears, therefore, that the garments of righteousness include the wearing of something on the head.

Yesha’yahu 59:17

For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of YAHUSHA upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.

Here again, we see the adornment of righteousness – a breastplate of righteousness, together with a head covering, this time interpreted as a helmet.  But, let us look to the Hebrew and see what word is given to us: Here, our word is כּוֹבָע ko'-bah, which is simply a round head covering.

Also see, Chokmah Shalomah (Wisdom of Solomon) 5: 18 He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet. And see Tasloniqiym Rishon (1 Thess.) 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of YAHUSHA. 9 For ELOHIYM has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our ADONAI YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH. And see Eph’siym (Ephesians) 6: 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of YAHUSHA, and the sword of the RUACH, which is the Word of ELOHIYM: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the RUACH, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all Qodeshiym;  

If we assume that the garments of righteousness include the wearing of a proper head-dress, then we may find that such a wearing is an expression of joy and salvation:

Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 61:1-11

THE RUACH ADONAI YAHUAH is upon me; because YAHUAH has anointed me to preach the Besorah unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of YAHUAH, and the day of vengeance of our ELOHIYM; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Tsiyon, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of YAHUAH, that he might be glorified.

4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. 5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6 But ye shall be named the Priests of YAHUAH: men shall call you the Ministers of our ELOHIYM: ye shall eat the riches of the other people, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. 8 For I YAHUAH love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 And their seed shall be known among the other people, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which YAHUAH has blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in YAHUAH, my soul shall be joyful in my ELOHIYM; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so ADONAI YAHUAH will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.     

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