Tallit & Kippah

Head Coverings




The tallit is a prayer shawl “cloak”. It has special “tassels” known as tzitzit attached to its four corners. We are instructed to enwrap in the four-cornered garment with tzitzit in order to remember God and His great love and all of His instructions, and be holy to Him (Numbers 15:38-40).


Prior to donning the tallit, it is traditionally held in front of oneself
as the following blessing is recited:


Blessed are You, Yahweh our God,

King of the Universe,

Who has sanctified us by His Word,
and instructed us to enwrap
in the garment with tzitzit.


Then, from behind oneself, it is draped over the head before being dropped upon the shoulders. The tzitzit are to hang from the corners: from their holes, they are pulled horizontally to the edges of the tallit.


A tallit is to be worn during daily prayers and during Sabbath and Holy Day sacred assemblies, and may be worn during any day. When praying in public, it is one’s prayer closet; it is draped over the head and closed in front of the face to make one anonymous (Matthew 6:6).


The tallit is sometimes also referred to as the arba kanfot, meaning the “four wings” (in the connotation of four corners). It is spread to arms lengths when reciting “He stretched forth the heavens like a tent” (Isaiah 51:13 or Psalm 104:1-2).


The tallit is called the “Robe of Responsibility” because the tzitzit are to remind us of God’s instructions. The four tzitzit are traditionally tied with a total of 613 loops and strands to represent the 613 mitzvot (instructions / commandments) of the Torah. The sequence of the loops and strands at each corner numerically represent the letters of God’s sacred Name – YHWH (10-5-6-5, Hebrew letters being also numbers).


A woman who had an infirmity for twelve years touched Yeshua’s tzitzit and was healed; this act showed faith in the one who gave the commandments, and had the power to heal (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34 & Luke 8:43-48). Many others also touched His tzitzit and were healed (Matthew 14:36, Mark 6:56).


Yeshua’s tallit was woven in one piece. At His crucifixion, the soldiers cast lots for it (John 19:23-24).

While some other garments or objects might be treated more casually, the tallit is a special personal effect, generally used for many years or a lifetime and never discarded. It is likely to be given as a special gift, as from father to son. When a man dies, it is traditional that he be buried dressed only in his kittel – a white robe signifying expectant resurrection, with his tallit draped over him.





A kippah is a kind of hat (often like a beanie) that men wear to indicate reverence for God above. Only priests are under a Biblical mandate to wear a separate head covering.


1 Corinthians 11

1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.


The overall statement is: (1 Corinthians 11:3) God is the head of Messiah, Messiah is the head of every man, and man is the head of woman.


Paul’s argument for man being head of the woman (verse 9) is from creation (Genesis 2:20-22, 3:16): it is not based upon custom. Then, lest this be wrongly used, he clarifies the positions of men and women (verses 11-12). A man has a legitimate authority in leading a woman only as he is following Messiah, for there is no right to selfishness.


Now, let us consider some background.


Priests were required to wear a migba’ah / turban (Leviticus 8:13).  The High Priest was not allowed to uncover his head (Leviticus 21:10), was not allowed to go out of the sanctuary, (v.12) and could only marry a virgin (v.13). Priests were not permitted to have long hair: “The following priests incur the penalty of death: those who are intoxicated with wine and those whose hair has grown long . ‘Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads (Ezek 44:20)’ ” (Talmud: Ta’anit 17b).


If a (man or) woman had an infection of tzaraat (commonly translated leprosy) of the scalp, she had to be shaved and stay out of society as a niddah  (one who is quarantined) until pronounced clean; this was shameful to her, because it was a discipline for gossip or slander (Leviticus 13:29-37 – see Commentaries Y2-33 and Y2-35).


A woman wearing her hair upon her head was representing that she was married – under the authority of a husband. Wearing her hair down represented availability: she would be considered either available for marriage, or a prostitute. “And these are they that are divorced without their marriage settlement: she who transgresses the Law of Moses and Jewish custom. . . And what is meant by Jewish custom? – If she go forth with her hair loose, . . . (Mishnah: Ketubot 7:6).


Men normally wore a tallit (prayer shawl) over the head while reciting the Sh’ma (Talmud: Berachot 24b), and at other prayer times: “Cover your head so that the reverence for heaven may be upon you, and pray” (Talmud: Shabbat 156b). Yeshua instructed men to be enwrapped and covered in their tallitot (prayer shawls) for prayer: this is commonly translated something like “go into your closet and shut the door” (Matthew 6:6).


There is no term in I Corinthians 11 that would translate covering or veil, except in verse 15, “her hair is given to her for a covering”. Many translations, in other verses, supply a word like “covering” that is not from the Greek text.


The conclusion is: Paul was not contradicting Torah, Yeshua, and custom; he was not telling men that it was a shame to wear tallitot or kippot (head coverings). And he was not telling women to wear hats or scarves: he was telling married women to wear their hair upon their heads – so as not to bring shame upon themselves and the congregation.


The issue is displaying propriety – for men to represent themselves as subject to Messiah, and for married women to represent themselves as subject to a husband.


4 Every man who has it on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head (Messiah). 5 But every woman who has it not on her head while praying or prophesying disgraces her head (her husband), for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. (6 For if a woman does not have it on her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her have it on her head.) 7 For a man ought not to have it on his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have (a symbol of) authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man (has his birth) through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God without it on (her head)? 14 Does not even custom itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.



© 2006  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)






jordan 11 low bred cement tongue 5s low bred 11s cement tongue 5s jordan 5 cement tongue jordan 5 cement tongue jordan 5 space jam jordan 5 cement tongue cement tongue 5s cement tongue 5s jordan 5 space jam space jam 5s low bred 11s low bred 11s jordan 5 cement tongue space jam 5s low bred 11s low bred 11s cement tongue 5s jordan 5 cement tongue jordan 13 low bred jordan 13 low bred low citrus 11s jordan 13 low bred low bred 13s low bred 13s Jordan retro 11 jordan 5 space jam jordan 5 space jam Jordan retro 11 jordan 13 low bred jordan 11 low citrus low citrus 11s low citrus 11s low bred 13s low citrus 11s jordan 11 low citrus Jordan retro 11 Jordan retro 11 jordan 5 space jam