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HALACHA-----beards payos and shaving

jj Posted - 12 January 2001 15:17
Hi, I would like to ask two things.

1) could you please tell me the different shitos regarding shaving and trimming why some people don’t do it at all etc. and

2)if the whole point of having payos is that al pi kabala you should never cut it, then why do yeshiva bochrim have payos behind their ears? they should only have like the halacha is till the bone or the end of the ear (whichever their minhag is) but once they’re cutting it, why do they them have longer than the halacha says? what’s the inyin behind it?

MODERATOR Posted - 21 January 2001 21:14
Having a beard is considered an honor (Shabbos 152a). There are many Shitos that hold having a beard in Halachicly obligatory. For a collection of advantages of having a beard from a Torah perspective, see Orchos Yoshor, by R. Chaim Kanievsky shlita, Ch. 5. There is also a Sefer called Hadras Panim Zokon that has a lot of information on this.

Trimming the beard is a Machlokes in the poskim. The Tzemach Tzadek and others prohibit even trimming it, but many others permit. There are Kabbalistic reasons for not trimming the beard at all.

Re Payos, there's a machlokes if you can cut them, see Tiferes Yisroel (Makos 3:5) and R. Hillel Kalama (quoted in Shaul Sha'al 98) - who prohibit, and Chasam Sofer (OH 154) and others - who permit.

The Chasam Sofer (Haghos YD 181 quoted by his son Ksav Sofer) says that it is customary to let the payos grow long, down to the jaw. This is unnecessary, says the Chasam Sofer, but those who do it are considered holy.

The Arizal (quoted in Bais Lechem Yehuda YD 1818) says that the payos need not be longer than the bottom of the beard, and he would cut them when they reached there.

Maharasham, however says that he was told by R. Meir Promishlaner that he should never cut his payos, and it will be a segulah for Arichus Yomim.
Maharshal (Yam Shel Shlomo Yevamos 12:18) says it is worthwhile not to cut the payos at all, since the exact measure for the payos is uncertain.

Mishna Brura (251:2, Biur Halachah) says that at least the hair from the temple until the bottom of the ear should not be cut, because it is a possible issur d'oraysa.

In any case, it is true that the "shiur" of the payos being able to fit neatly behind the ears and then being cut as they protrude from below the earlobe has no Halachic validity. It is just a style by certain segments of Klall Yisroel. They are using the Halachic shiur of the Mishna Brura (until the bottom of the ears), and the rest of it is for no real Halachic reason.

As far as putting the payos behind the ears, that began as a way to avoid anti-Semitism in Europe from goyim who would harass Jews with long payos. Nowadays at least in Eretz Yisroel there's totally no reason for it, and in fact Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita (Orchos Yoshor p.20) writes that it's wrong, since it looks like you’re embarrassed of the Mitzvah. But that's how these

Me Posted - 29 January 2001 23:35
If it's so important to have a beard is it wrong when Rabbeim don't? I know quite a few without beards.

- 06 February 2001 13:58
You cannot say they are violating the Halachah since there are poskim who permit shaving. However, they are definitely paying a price in terms of all of the above spiritual advantages of having a beard.

However, you should not judge any individual before speaking to him first, since it is possible that a rabbi may decide that it is best to pay this price in return for being able to deal with his misguided congregation better, who perhaps would not respect a rabbi with a beard or certainly not a long one. Or some other reason.

Honestly, nowadays such reasons are, thank G-d, much fewer than they used to be, and more often than not this will not be the case, but there can be exceptions.

cvmn Posted - 07 February 2001 23:10
I heard from a big Rosh Yeshiva that his father (also a great man) did not have a beard because his wife didn’t like it. I guess shalom bayis also could play a role

- 07 February 2001 23:13
It's a pity the woman didn't realize or didn't care how she's hurting her husband by making such demands.

Its all Good!! Posted - 08 May 2001 20:28
could you please explain I was once told that the sherayim that a rebba gives out is taken from the church, when the galach blesses the wafer?

- 08 May 2001 20:38
Nonsense. The custom of Shirayim from Rebbe's originates from the concept that the table of a Tzadik is considered like a Mizbeach, and his eating, like a sacrifice. The Shirayim is like eating from a Korbon
The idea of the table of a Tzadik being like a Mizbeach and the food a Korban is not even limited to Chassidic sources. Rav Chaim Volozhen ZT"L in Ruach Chaim (Avos III) expounds on it as well, saying that if Divrei Torah are said at a table the Torah burns the food like a Korban and the "evil" part of the physical meat that was instilled when Adam did his sin, are incinerated.

Meahachuz Posted - 09 May 2001 14:33
Is there a specific age when a man should have a beard? Usually bachurim don’t have beards so I was just wondering...

MODERATOR Posted - 09 May 2001 16:16
There is no specific age.

e Posted - 22 October 2001 17:19
how can hair on someone's face make someone more spiritual?

>>> Posted - 22 October 2001 17:19
I heard that many people hold that yeshiva-bochrim shouldn't have beards. apparently this is the case in the mir yeshiva. why?

- 24 October 2001 19:53
If you mean the type of spiritual that you can feel high with, it indeed cannot. But the Torah's definition of spiritual is not something we can feel, nor understand, especially when it comes to these kinds of kabbalistic things.

The doctors will tell you that certain chemicals are good for your body and certain are harmful. It's all due to the way your body was made. So too your soul was made in such a way that certain things strengthen it and certain weaken it.

I can tell you what the Seforim say about how the face of a person has a special quality in that is reflects what is in his soul, and as such is subject to special Kabbalistic details - but unless we're on the level to understand this stuff we shouldn’t bother trying.

Lets leave it like when a doctor says Resisi Mushrooms are healthy. We're like oooookay, but I guess you know these things.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 October 2001 20:02
Yeshiva bochurim can have beards. In certain Litvishe Yeshivas most (not all) Bochurim did not have beards, but so did many married men as well, and even now and then a Rosh Yeshiva.

A beard in these communities is considered an item of "chashivus", like a kapote for instance, and appropriate for people who have reached a certain level.

ponder2 Posted - 26 October 2001 16:08
Is it true they also don't have beards before they get married so they can look more attractive?

- 29 October 2001 19:09
That’s not the reason.

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