Head Covering

Q. In 1st Corinthians 11, it says that a man dishonors his head when he covers his head while praying but a woman should be covered. I know it’s talking about submission to authority and headship, but I was thinking of the Jewish people. When the Jewish men pray, they have a yamakah (sp?) on their head, or perhaps even a tallit, but the women don’t. What was Paul meaning when he wrote this passage – specifically, should women be wearing some covering when they pray?

A. Jewish men wear a kippa, or yarmulke, out of respect for the Lord. Most admit that it’s traditional rather than religious and based on Middle Eastern courtesy which is the opposite of Western culture where a man removes his hat out of respect.

Many Orthodox Jewish women who appear to be bare headed are actually wearing wigs, which are acceptable head coverings since they hide the woman’s natural hair.

Yes, although it’s almost universally disregarded, women should wear a head covering while praying as a sign of respect. (1 Cor. 11:6-10)

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