THE PATH הנתיב
TO WEAR OR NOT TO WEAR, A KIPPA
My introduction to Messianic Judaism was brought about by a believer who wore his Talis and Kippa (Yarmulka) to church. Being curious and always searching for knowledge and wisdom in His Word, I asked him about his attire. That question and the answer to it opened the door to this fantastic spiritual journey that I and my family have been on ever since.
Avinu (Our Father) used this man, Jerry and his lovely wife Dee, to open my eyes so as to see answers to questions that had been laying right in front of me for over thirty years of ‘denominational study’. These questions and their answers that had often eluded me, brought on new and ever-deepening discoveries in His Written Word that in turn lead to ‘finds’ of precious Biblical truth that have always been there; they just happened to be there in a language that I had never been able to understand or thought I didn’t have any good reason to learn. There is indeed a limitless source of “Living Water” in the deep “Well of Salvation” that exists right at our own fingertips and within our heart of hearts that has no end! I’m afraid that many who feel that they have ‘arrived’ at their destination; who have become so ‘comfortable’ where they are in there own social circles that the concept of a “spiritual journey” has been long forgotten, if ever known at all; and that many have simply fallen ‘asleep at the wheel’, or have otherwise been lulled into a false sense of security. After all it is in our best interest to ‘fit in’ and not ‘rock the boat’ for the sake of unity, isn’t it?
Many of these questions seemed to me to be very basic, but no one was able to answer them honestly in a way that made any sense without resorting to the old fallback, “its’ a mystery to us now that will be revealed sometime in the future. Until then we just accept in faith and continue on with the knowledge that He knows the end from the beginning of all things which will be revealed to us ‘in his own time’.” Granted, there are a few things that are kept ‘secret’ and known only to Him who rules over the heavens and all of creation that we may never know. However, everything we might need to know now and many things we didn’t even know to ask about are right there in front of us in words spoken in a living stream of answers with no beginning, and no end!
I think of Jerry’s courage in coming to church that day, even though it was a 7th-day church since it was taught there that the Jews killed our J-sus. The atmosphere was always very anti-Semitic, but there was Jerry, Kippa, Tallis, and Tzitziot, singing hymns but using the Name Y’shua every time the name J-sus was used. I had to find out more, and after several Sabbaths of fellowship with Jerry, his wife, and friends; my heart was convicted to leave the faith I had held since early childhood in my pursuit of truth.
I too wore a kippa for some time, until I discovered the truth concerning it. However, I do not see a problem with a Messianic believer wearing a Kippah out of respect, or reverence, just as long as it is understood that this is a man-made tradition, and support for it cannot be found in Scripture. Yes, there are Scriptural accounts of the head being covered during a time of mourning, but again, no specific requirements for a man to do so; and no ‘thus sayeth Elohim’ to support it. This requirement can only be found in Rabbinical Halacha.
The tradition of wearing a Kippa as described by current Jewish Halacha comes down to us today from the early middle ages of the Common Era. There has been, and still is, much debate within Judaism by certain key Rabbis as to when and why a Kippa should be worn. Some say during prayer only, others say all day every day, and still, others are somewhere in between. The argument changes only slightly between Ashkanaz, Sefardi, Yemenite, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform; but that is Rabbinical Judaism and they will debate these things endlessly without coming to any consensus, coming back the following day to do it all over again!
Occasionally I will attend a local Messianic Jewish congregation on Shabbat, with a Tallit but less the Kippah. If I am called up to read from the Torah, I will cover my head with the Tallit out of respect and reverence to HaKadosh Baruch Hu, The Holy One, Blessed be He, and His Eternal and Living, Torah.
This covering, representing His Tent of Righteousness, allows me to escape the one-dimensional reality of this world, as I am transported by His Ruach through multidimensional kingdoms up to the 7th heaven. It is there that I find the sea of glass where I stand among the Saints. In my mind’s eye, I prostrate myself before Him, The Ancient of Days, laying flat on my face, arms outstretched to the sides, palms up, as all Heaven sings a new song of thanksgiving and praise. I am then prepared to speak the Lashon Kadosh and read The Words of His Holy Torah. HalleluYAH! Amen.