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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Tetsaveh 20-4

You shall command

Exodus 29:1-18

Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred diadem to the turban... and put headbands on them. Then tie sashes on Aaron and his sons. The priesthood is theirs by a lasting ordinance. In this way you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.

Ex. 29:6, 9 NIVUK

Why do we cover our heads in the Eternal's presence?

In the earthly priestly service it is necessary to wear a head cover to enter in the Eternal's presence. All priests had to minister with their heads covered. The high priest had a cover called mitsnephet, מצנפת translated as “turban". The rest of the priests had a cover called migbaat, מגבעת translated as “sash".

The earthly high priest garments are a copy of the heavenly High Priest's garments. This teaches us that Yeshua is wearing a head cover for service before the Eternal. Aaron's sons, the priests, represent Yeshua's disciples. Consequently, Yeshua's disciples can have part of their heads covered in their service before the Eternal, just as the heavenly Rabbi.

The prohibition made by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:4 is to wear a veil similar to the women's veil that falls over to cover the face or the hair. The Greek text speaks about letting a cover fall down over the head. It's not the same as wearing a cover on the upper, top part of the head. A man, a disciple of Yeshua who covers his head with a veil like a woman's dishonours his Head, the Messiah. There was a lot of male prostitution in Corinth and men had a lot of customs that belonged to women. Paul wrote these instructions to avoid these customs to get into the Messiah's congregation.

Service in the tabernacle teaches us that covering one's head is not a sign of dishonor - on the contrary. He who covers himself before the Eternal honours Him. The head covering is a sign of submission and that one has authorisation as a representative.

It is a good habit to place something on the head when serving the Eternal. If you are Jewish you have the obligation to do so as it is custom among your people. Nowadays, devout Jews always wear a covering on their heads as a sign of their priestly ministry before the Eternal. This custom was taken from the temple service where everyone had to cover their heads as a sign of respect.

If you are not Jewish and you wish to cover your head during prayer time, you can freely do so even wearing the Jewish kind of covering. But if you are going to wear a covering every day in public as a sign of being in priestly service as a disciple of Yeshua, you shouldn't wear a kippah (yarmulke) so you are not identified as a Jew and become a stumbling stone for others.

Married women, both Jewish and not, should cover their heads always when praying. Single women don't have to cover their heads when praying but they can do it if they wish. Married Jewish women must always cover their heads in public as a sign of submission to their husbands and the Eternal. Non-Jewish women can adopt this good habit if they wish. May everything be done in love and respect.



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