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Much more common was the simple cloth skullcap, dating back to Egyptian times when those of high society routinely shaved their heads, to prevent lice.Conversely, their skullcaps then served as protection against irritation from their wigs.Because of the ground which is cracked, for there hath been no rain in the land, the plowmen are ashamed, they cover their heads. The Vilna Gaon said one can make a berakhah without a kippah, since wearing a kippah is only an midos chassidus ("exemplary attribute").Recently, there has been an effort to suppress earlier sources that practiced this leniency, including erasing lenient responsa from newly published books.
He held that nowadays wearing a kippah is required by halacha.
The Israelites on Sennacherib's marble relief appear with headdress, and although the ambassadors of Jehu on the Shalmaneser stele have head coverings, their costume seems to be Israelite.