A Global Association of Orthodox Jewish Believers in Messiah Yeshua
According to the Torah, is a man commanded to wear a kippah or other head covering? Is a woman commanded to wear a head covering?If we are to be ready to “guard” the commandments of G-d, then yes, wearing a head covering is part of fulfilling that mitzvah to be on guard to do G-d’s commandments concerning head coverings.
As it is written:
And Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying: ‘Keep all the commandment which I command you this day.
“Keep” is the Hebrew word “Shamar” which means to “guard” or “hedge around” as if to protect what is inside.
In this, the Torah teaches us that we are to create a hedge to always be ready to do G-d’s commandments.
“As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered
And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering; and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse.
Here we have two scriptures detailing a clear positive commandment to remove the head covering of a man, and the head covering of a woman for specific cases.
Point: Notice the Torah assumes there is a head covering being worn, and does not say “if there is a head covering, then remove it.”
If we are to guard G-d’s commandments and be ready to do them, then it follows that if one is instructed here to remove a head covering already assumed to be worn, and this is not a conditional but rather an instructive commandment, then the Torah therefore assumes that we are wearing a head covering! In fact, it not only assumes this, but assumes that we wearing one at all other times, than in these specific cases mentioned here.
It can and should be asked, that if we are commanded to guard G-d’s commandments, and be ready to do them, then how can we obey the mitzvah to remove our head covering when we aren’t wearing one? Thus if the Torah expects us to have our head covering removed when meeting these conditions for their removal, then wearing a head covering is thus commanded as part of “guarding” G-d’s commandments!
The next question one may ask is what kind of head covering? Any head covering that meets the Torah’s other requirements for clothing should suffice; such as not wearing a covering identified as one of the opposite sex (cross dressing), or weaving wool and linen together (that is reserved for the High Priest!). This means a man can wear a turban, hat, kippah, or tallit; and women can wear a hat, snood, or woman’s tallit in addition to other coverings thus designed for the purpose of covering the head in fulfillment of this mitzvah.
Wearing a head covering, according to the Torah then, is truly a sign of submission to G-d. By wearing one, one essentially proclaims that they are intending to guard G-d’s commandments. Thus you will find that by wearing one, more so than just tzitzit (since tzitzit and their purpose are not easily recognizable by the nations of the diaspora), that you will be held to a higher standard by others, for you wear upon you then a very obvious symbol of submission to HaShem and his ways. From a midrash it can even be drawn that wearing one is a sign of submission to our husband, who is HaShem – the Messiah, in that we intend to guard his commandments. And if you are female, then by implication (and this is where the Apostle gets it from) that it is also a sign of submission to your earthly husband as well – another mitzvah in itself.