Home (Netzarim Logo)

[Updated: 2021.07.21]

Kip•âh – Pre-Sin•ai

Updated: 2018.10.09 c. BCE 1800 – Proto-Sinaitic Hebrew resh (head) or resh (head) Kᵊna•an•im ר glyphs

Both Hebrew headdress and lack thereof are documented symbolically from the earliest Kᵊna•an•im Aramaic-Hebrew ר glyphs meaning "head": Proto-Sinaitic Hebrew phonetic "r" — resh (head [Aramaic]) or resh (head [Aramaic]) — glyphs were adapted from the Egyptian hieroglyphs c. B.C.E. 1800, ≈2 centuries before Mōsh•ëh was born. These two Kᵊna•an•im Hebrew glyphs spotlight a contrast between a head with headdress (facing left) versus a bare head. These Kᵊna•an•im Hebrew glyphs evolved, through the Middle Semitic letter Middle Semitic  resh, into the modern Hebrew ר.


Oft-Cited Scripture Passage Irrelevant To Everyday Head Coverings

Only those inventing faux-justifications for their uninformed and fixed agenda cite the following:

Nothing in Scripture alters the universal Middle-East headdress, in which the kip•âh was an undercap worn underneath the mi•tzᵊnëphët (either loose and hanging over the shoulders or wound atop the head in a turban), which was held in place by a tō•tëphët.

c. B.C.E. 900 Babylonian Headdress & Attire
Click to enlargec BCE 900 – Babylonian king Nabu-pal-iddina wearing royal tiara-crown tō•tëphët (r) + 3 types of Babylo­nian head­dress

The Babylonian "Sun-god Tablet" depicts 3 types of Babylonian headdress c. B.C.E. 900 that, aside from king Nabu-pal-iddina (rightmost, wearing a mi•tzᵊnëphët, twisted rope-like and wound atop the head in a turban with the end rolled-up in the back, all held in place by a tō•tëphët), appear to represent three strata of ancient Middle Eastern society and headwear. These three major classes likely were dominant throughout Middle Eastern societies: (l-to-r):

Similarly, the dress of the three classes of BCE 10th century Babylonian society reveals the pattern of dress dominant throughout the Middle East – apparently little changed from the basic pattern from which Mōsh•ëh adapted the unique new dress code of Yi•sᵊr•â•eil at Har Sin•ai.

While the ancient Egyptian and Middle-Eastern tō•tëphët emanated in-your-face religious significance, before the advent of a/c in cars and buildings the mi•tzᵊnëphët seems to have been merely utilitarian protection from the sun, dust and (drawn over the face) blowing sand.

BCE 9th-7th Centuries Israeli-Hebrew Headdress & Attire

The earliest extant witness of Biblical-era Middle Eastern attire worn by Israelis and Jews are two sets of reliefs displaying ancient depictions of Israelis and Jews (supplemented by reliefs showing similar factions among other Middle-Eastern peoples):

cBCE841 Yeihu (Jehu) Shalmaneser III Black Obelisk
Click to enlargeObelisk relief c BCE 841Yeihu Bën-Yᵊhō•shâ•phât, Mëlëkh Yi•sᵊr•â•­eil, offers trib­ute to Assyrian King Shalmaneser III. Earliest extant witness of ancient Israeli attire (with fringes), grooming (hair and beard length/​style) – and royal mi•tzᵊnëphët or mi•gᵊba•at.

c BCE 538 – Bringing Assimilation Back From Babylon

The Yᵊhud•im returning to Yᵊhudâh c BCE 538) from Bâ•vël, where they had assimilated, because they had the imprimatur of Babylonian (Persian/​Iranian) King Koresh Jr., had authority over the native Judean and Galilean Jews. Thus, prior to the finalization of Scripture, they imposed Babylonian assimilations they had internalized in the Gâl•ut: like switching from Biblical month names to Babylonian month names, celebrating the Babylonian New Year of Ma•rᵊdukh in 7thmonth instead of Biblical 1st month, and preferring the assimilations in the Babylonian Ta•lᵊmud over the native Israeli (Yᵊru•sha•lᵊm•i) Ta•lᵊmud.

Perhaps it was at this time, as depicted and documented in (i.e. no later than) Hellenist times (see below), the Babylonian Exiles may also have brought back, and imposed (separately from the original Biblical mi•tzᵊnëphët, prescribed exclusively for the Ko•hein ha-Jâ•dol, and mi•gᵊba•at, prescribed exclusively for regular ko•han•im, to reform other Jews to assimilate to an undercap of subjugation that may have been imposed on them by the Babylonians during their captivity. These remnants, of the Babylonian Exile (and, perhaps partially of subsequent Hellenism), were rationalized and internalized by reform, assimilated during their subjugation to Babylonian (and perhaps partially Hellenist Assyrian) rule, to King Koresh Jr. and, idolatrously, subjugation to the Babylonian "Creator and Lord of the Gods of Heaven and Earth" Ma•rᵊdukh (and perhaps partially the Hellenist Assyrian king Antiochus and Ζεύς)!

244 C.E. Dura Europos Syria Roman-Assimilated Hellenized Jews
Click to enlargec 244 CE – Israelis-​Jews of Assyria, assimilated (Hellen­ized, Romanized) in Roman at­tire and grooming, barehead­ed; earliest depiction of anthropomor­phic Hand from above (Dura Europos)

The wall paintings from the συναγωγή in Dura Europos, Syria, dated to 244 CE, vividly demonstrate that, already by that time, mainstream Middle Eastern Jews had been widely, and thoroughly, Hellenized into Roman culture – about 80 years before the Hellenization of the Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdâsh, which kick-started the Khanukh•âh story. This is seen not only in their Roman dress and grooming, but in the Hellenist-Roman anthropomorphic hand extending downward from the top of the painting, clearly depicting their assimilated understanding of a visible and physical god handing down the Tor•âh at Mt. Sinai.

This Hellenization, assimilated and reformed by the Tzᵊdoq•im collaborators with the Roman-occupiers of Yᵊhudâh, is evident not only in the early use of of the term συναγωγή. Even the term Συνέδριον (controlled by the Tzᵊdoq•im – with the support of Beit Sha•mai Pᵊrush•im – until c 30 CE) is Hellenist-Roman! We also know, for example, that the Romans introduced the ët•rog in the Middle East about a century earlier, displacing the original, Biblically-specified, fruit.

Head Covering: Jews Assimilate Roman Custom in the Christian Era

Priests officiated with head uncovered through the Hellenist period. Head covering (along with leaning /​ reclining while eating, et al.) was assimilated from Roman custom.

To 5th Century CE – Ta•lᵊmud

As the painting on the wall of the BCE 3rd century συναγωγή in Dura Europos, Syria show, by the time the two main Pᵊrush•im traditions – Israeli v Diaspora – were codified, nearly a millennium later in the 5th century CE Diaspora Jews show extreme assimilation into their Assyrian, then Babylonian, then Hellenist environments. When we read the resulting Ta•lᵊmud in the 5th century CE, we suddenly notice these accretions of a•vōd•âh zâr•âh, accumulated over centuries, everywhere. Just as the Ultra-Orthodox Kha•reid•im Ra•bân•ut of today were ordained by Turks, the Babylonian Ta•lᵊmud was assimilated, reformed and imposed over the Yᵊru•sha•lᵊm•i Ta•lᵊmud by Jewish underlings by authority not of Mōsh•ëh at Har Sin•ai but by Babylonian King Koresh Jr!

"The covering of the head, as an expression of the "fear of God" (yirat shamayim), and as a continuation of the practice of the Babylonian scholars (Ma•sëkët Qi•dush•in 31a), was gradually endorsed by the Ashkenazi rabbis. Even they stated, however, that it was merely a worthy custom, and that there was no injunction against praying without a head cover (Maharshal, Resp. no. 7; Be'ur ha-Gra to Sh. Ar., OḤ 8:2)." (emphasis added).

Modern rabbis cite a misleading part of Ta•lᵊmud Ma•sëkët Qi•dush•in 31a and Ma•sëkët Sha•bât 156b to wit: "Cover your head, so you should fear from heaven." They don't tell you the context, which is steeped in Babylonian custom and superstition: "For R. Nahman b. Isaac's mother was told by astrologers, 'Your son will be a thief.' [So] she did not let him [be] bareheaded. She said to him, 'Cover your head so that the fear of heaven may be upon you, and pray [for mercy]' " And R Khunah cited his Babylonian-assimilated custom, for which there is no evidence whatsoever in Israeli (as opposed to Diaspora) history: "Cover your head, so you should fear from heaven."

The Babylonian Ta•lᵊmud also implies that – in Babylon – only unmarried men didn't wear a kip•âh: "Rabbi Hisda praised Rabbi Hamnuna before Rabbi Huna as a great man. He said to him, 'When he visits you, bring him to me. When he arrived, he saw that he wore no head-covering. 'Why do you not have head-covering?' he asked. 'Because I am not married,' was the reply. Thereupon, he [Rabbi Huna] turned his face away from him and said, 'See to it that you do not appear before me again before you are married."

Additions to Scripture (contradicting Dᵊvâr•im 13.1), found in the Babylonian Ta•lᵊmud – particularly in contrast to the Ta•lᵊmūd Yᵊrū•sha•lᵊm•i, inform us what idolatrous Babylonian religious customs were assimilated by Babylonian Jews returning to Yᵊhudâh wielding the authority of the Babylonian regional ruler: King Koresh, Jr. – not the pristine tradition from Mōsh•ëh at Har Sin•ai!

12th Century CE – Ram•ba"m

Relying on the "European-approved" Ta•lᵊmūd Bâ•vᵊl•i, Ram•ba"m ruled that a man is required to cover his head during tᵊphil•ōt; – perhaps the catalyst first introducing the custom to the Yᵊhud•im of Yemen (the Tei•mân•im). The insinuation is that there was certainly no requirement, even according to the Babylonian-assimilated tradition, to wear a head-covering other than for tᵊphil•ot. Thus, the Ram•ba"m may have been promulgating an earlier Medieval European reform, entirely alien to the Middle East, stemming from the Roman destruction of the yō•khas•in authentication of ko•han•im — for which there is no earlier certain evidence whatsoever.

21st Century CE

Today, a kip•âh is worn by most Israeli Orthodox Jews as part of normal dress, and by others when visiting places of Jewish prayers. However, even in Israel (contrary to Ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox rabbis' beliefs), personal observance over several decades has shown that more than a few, and an increasing number of, moderate Orthodox don't wear a kip•âh outside of tᵊphil•ōt and beit kᵊnësët.

The historically authentic Judaic headdress remains the Scripturally-commanded tō•tëphët, which implies a mi•tzᵊnëphët with several tᵊkheilët stripes, held in place by a tō•tëphët. Tzitz•it were required on the four-cornered, fringed outer robe in the ancient wall reliefs, later reformed by conflation with the mi•tzᵊnëphët, into today's ta•lit.

In cases where correctness falls short of logical proof, precedence must always be given to the least assimilated, historically-accurate and logical (scientific) opinion reflecting the the most pristine practice from Mōsh•ëh at Har Sin•ai. Scholars agree that this is typically the Tei•mân•im. However, even they, despite their general isolation from the surrounding Middle Eastern Arab culture (which protected them from assimilation more than any other Jews in the world; best preserving them as the least assimilated from our Biblical Middle Eastern Judaean culture), suffered a number of assimilations acknowledging their subjugation, which were imposed on them by their Arab rulers until they made a•liy•âh to Yi•sᵊr•â•eil.

Beit Hi•leil v Beit Sha•mai

Today, it is often the case that no one is able to prove what was original and historically correct at Har Sin•ai. Always, in the tradition of Beit Hi•leil, there must be respect for diverse opinions relative to uncertainties; since mortal opinions are not Divine commands. Contrary to the Divine overruling Authority that rabbis claim (which, in fact, is constrained to teaching in accordance to the One Tor•âh), Scripture forbids additions (Dᵊvâr•im 13.1) or even following the majority of rabbis or Sages לְרָעֹת (Shᵊm•ōt 23.2 – remember: the majority, people and clerics, followed after the gold calf-mask of Hât-Hōr!); i.e., when it contradicts Scripture or the Creator-Singularity's reality of facts and His Laws of Logic/​resolved science.

Contrast this logic with the sanctimonious arrogance of Beit Sha•mai – today's Ultra-Orthodox Kha•reid•im!

Rainbow Rule © 1996-present by Paqid Yirmeyahu Ben-David,

Int'l flags

Go Top Home (Netzarim Logo) Go Back

Nᵊtzâr•im… Authentic