Thursday, 23 January 2014

Beards in Jewish Law and Lore - 1

«Questions & Answers
Why don't chassidic men shave their beards?
By Menachem Posner

«The Torah1 forbids the "destruction" of specific parts of the beard. The Talmud2 interprets "destruction" as shaving with a razor.3 This prohibition also includes shaving with any implement which completely removes all the facial hair, but does not include trimming, or shaving with a scissors or other tool which does not provide the smooth shave provided by a razor.4

There are halachic authorities (including the Tzemach Tzedek, third Chabad rebbe) who opine that cutting any part of the beard, even without a razor-like implement, falls under the prohibition of cross-dressing.5 This opinion is especially followed by Chabad chassidim.
In addition, Kabbalah attaches great importance to the beard, teaching that the "thirteen locks" of the beard are representative of G‑d's thirteen supernal Attributes of Mercy. Growing a beard makes one a beneficiary of the bounty which originates from G‑d's compassion.»
Why don't chassidic men shave their beards? - Questions & Answers

Kol Tuv,

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