BACK PEYOS OR FRONT PEYOS?

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  • #2072209
    Yoli Ben Ploni
    Participant

    The majority of the frum/yeshivish chevra seem to be hiding their peyos behind their ears. Should this be the mehalach or should we proudly showing our beautiful peyos in front of our ears. Following the tragic petira of the Sar HaTorah Hagaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky ZATZAL, it is well known that the godol often encouraged children to remove their peyos from behind their ears because it should not chas vesholom come across as a busha. What should we be doing? Is there even a makor for back peyos?

    #2072221
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    “What should we be doing? ” you should trop acting like a troll

    #2072214
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Is there even a makor for back peyos?

    Yes. Its called both pikuach nefesh and practicality. Sadly, hiding peyot behind the ears and/or wearing kipot toward the back of the head was likely deemed an inyan of pikuach nefesh at different times and places, so one would not be recognized as a Jew during times of anti-semitic violence. Clearly, that may be a legit concern in parts of Europe verus Bnai Brak. Also, for some who work in certain professions, I supsect having your peyos behind the ear may simply be a more practical option.

    #2072231
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Magen Avraham says about tzitzis that among goyim we can put it in the kanfos,
    see MB O’CH 8 s’k 25.

    #2072235
    huju
    Participant

    Different but related question: Most Chasidim wear peyos today. Did Jews have peyos before the founding of Chasidism in the mid-18th Century?

    #2072261
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Rav Moshe Wolfson says that having payos behind the ears circumvents a kabalistic problem of mixing beard hair with payos hair, though I would imagine he admits that the direct cause for the change (payos behind the ears, or not at all, i.e rav chatzkel) was anti semitism.

    It’s for the above kabalah reason (according to rav wolfson) that the minhag in chabad is not to have long payos.

    #2072284
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Huju, there’s ample evidence of non-chasidishe jews having long payos in most communities, including austria- germany, lita, poland, galitzia, and others. Among the litvish, the netziv was moser nefesh to keep his payos long and out. Rav Belsky would often say over that yemenite jews refer to their payos(which are identical to chasidim’s) as “simanim”.

    #2072291
    ujm
    Participant

    1. When (time wise in history) did some people first start hiding their Peyos behind their ears?

    2. Is it a fact that the reason was due to antisemitism? And was it pikuach nefesh? Even without noticeable Peyos a Jew can be identified as a Jew. When have we ever, in all of history, hidden that we are Jews?!

    3. What is the reason some people curl their Peyos?

    4. Why do some wear their Peyos over their head/under their Yarmulka, coming out on the other side of their face?

    5. How long should the Peyos *ideally* be, not considering antisemitism or other external/non-halachic factors?

    6. What is the reason some people have *no* Peyos hanging from their sides (i.e. not even hidden behind the ear)?

    #2072342
    yitz17
    Participant

    What “we” should do in the litvish world is to look at pictures of litvishe gedolim since World War II. And those pictures will show that almost all the gedolim had their peyos behind their ears. This includes the Chazon Ish, Reb Aharon Kotler, Reb Moshe, Reb Yaakov etc. etc. So the reason litvishe wear their peyos behind the ears is because this is what today’s dor saw the previous dor do. And what was good for those gedolim is good for us. The whole basis for the question of “what should we do” is that perhaps we should be “better” than the gedolim of the previous dor.

    #2072356
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    ujm

    1. – 4

    It is not completly clear, There was a Russian ban on peyos in trhe 1850s many beleive this is when attempts were made to “hide” them by putting behind ear, under yarmulka etc.

    5. Long enough that hair can be grasped ie a few mm

    6. They are less influenced by kabalistic ideas, al pi kabalah peyos should be long, not ever cut (some allow burning)/. al pi halacha as long as not removed completely (defined above) the peyos are long enough

    #2072359

    @huju
    btw, many jews had long peyos way before chasidim – just like jews wore long coats and spoke yiddish way before them. in fact, most of what we “call” chasidish today, is actually what mot jews had all along. (so “chasidish” is actually reffering to something else entirely)

    The yeminite jews have had peyos for a long time, and the LITVAKS and graniks (cant get any less chasidish than that) had peyos and STILL have peyos. it was the modern yeshivas in the 1800′ that took it all off.
    Thank You for the history lesson!

    #2072362
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    1. I believe it was in the time of the netziv; there was a gezerah against having long payos, and the litvishe poskim held that it wasn’t yehereg velo yaavor, and started putting them behind their ears, but the divrei chaim held that it was. The netziv was moser nefesh for it.

    2. I don’t think it was general anti semitism; there were often gezeros regarding how Jews dress; the shtreimel is part of that history.

    3. What is the reason some people curl their Peyos? No idea

    4. Why do some wear their Peyos over their head/under their Yarmulka, coming out on the other side of their face? That’s the minhag by gerrer chasidim. Rav wolfson’s reasoning could apply here, but best ask a gerrer chossid.

    5. How long should the Peyos *ideally* be, not considering antisemitism or other external/non-halachic factors? The satmar rov said that it shouldn’t be longer than the chin

    6. What is the reason some people have *no* Peyos hanging from their sides (i.e. not even hidden behind the ear)? It’s a minhag, not a din, and once there was a hault to the minhag in many places(and in places like Germany, where the reason was less than noble), many families didn’t restart the minhag.

    #2072391
    ujm
    Participant

    When/why did the Sefardim stop letting their Peyos hang from the sides of their faces? They weren’t subject to the Russian bans against Peyos and Jewish dress.

    #2072420
    Dr. E
    Participant

    When I was in shidduchim, depending on the girl I was going out with (or her father), I always kept a pair of clip-on peyos in the glove compartment. When I needed them, I opted for the back-peyos look though.

    #2072431

    > I always kept a pair of clip-on peyos

    Is this allowed? If you were to marry the girl, you would probably need to continue with the clip-ons up to 120.

    #2072437
    huju
    Participant

    To Chaylev Hawaryah: I thought Jews in Northern Europe wore long coats because it’s cold in Northern Europe.

    #2072520
    Participant
    Participant

    “5. How long should the Peyos *ideally* be, not considering antisemitism or other external/non-halachic factors? The satmar rov said that it shouldn’t be longer than the chin”

    Huh?
    you ever saw a picture of the satmar rov?

    #2072521
    Participant
    Participant

    “Rav Moshe Wolfson says that having payos behind the ears circumvents a kabalistic problem of mixing beard hair with payos hair,”

    Interesting. I know of a certain big talmid chacham (litvish) who twists his peyos into his beard. someone told me it was al pi Kabbalah.

    #2072544
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Participant; the English biography “the rebbe” records the satmar rebbe saying this, that the chitzonim grab on to it if it’s longer. The picture on the cover is one of the pictures which has his payos longer – I don’t have an answer for that

    #2072574
    abooseinak
    Participant

    There is no halachic requirement or source to have long peyos besides the ones on the sideburns. It’s nice of course and goes into the Category of hiddur Mitzva.

    Regarding how to wear your extra hidur Mitzva peyos, each should follow his customs.

    FYI the first ones by far to have the long peyos in front , curled or non curled were the Yemenite Jews. That’s where todays chasidim got it from

    #2072582
    ujm
    Participant

    abooseinak: The Chasidim didn’t get it from the Teimanim. As was pointed out, all Ashkenazim used to have such Peyos even long before Chasidim existed. When the Goyim started forcing Jews to abandon having such Peyos most non-Chasidim didn’t resist those antisemitic decree whereas most Chasidim did resist and persisted in continuing to maintain such long Peyos hanging from the sides.

    #2072581
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Aboos; there is no halachik requirement but there IS a source, as you yourself admit that it’s a hiddur. Hiddurim have reasons and sources, and in this case, it was an almost universally observed minhag until the goyim outlawed it/haskalah made jews want to look less jewish.

    Chasidim didn’t start the minhag by Ashkenazim or copy it from temanim. Litvishe and almost all other European groups of jews did it until the mid 1800s. The fact that our minhagim, though not found in gemara, were kept by temanim only serve to prove the universal language of torah, which transcends cultures and continents.

    #2072756
    inquisitive girl
    Participant

    Chaylev Hawaryah and huju,
    EVERYBODY wore long jackets in the 1800’s because it was in style. Jews, non Jews, Chassidim, Litvak’s…
    Did any of you ever open a history book in your life???

    #2072765
    inquisitive girl
    Participant

    Also, the Jews in the European countries spoke Yiddish, which is a German derivative language. It was never officially created as a language. And the Jews in Spanish countries spoke Ladino- a Spanish derivative language. Today, everybody speaks the language of the country they live. Only Chassidim speak Yiddish for a reason hard to comprehend.

    #2072785
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Inquisitive, using a judaicized version of non Jewish languages is a custom adopted by almost every community of jews in our galus. Your examples are a proof of this. It was and is a means of maintaining a separation between us and goyim(open pesukim – ve’avdil eschem min ha’amim – i have separated you from the nations…Hashem said it himself, not the “hasidic rabbis”) as well as an alternative to using lashon kodesh for mundane matters. It has an even more important role in today’s time, as we are more integrated due to necessity in the non jewish world than we were in Europe.

    “For some reason” is not at all difficult to comprehend; as you mentioned, it was the norm in most Jewish communities for millenia. So the reason why chasidim speak differently than goyim isn’t a historical anomaly; what you might ask is why chasidim didn’t make a yiddish/ladino/judeo-farsi/judeu-arabic/judeo-aramaic out of English. The litvishe in Lakewood practically do, with vocabulary heavily influenced by yiddish/hebrew/aramaic. Chasidim would probably say that we’re not on the level of pre war jewry and we need to try our best in ikvesa demishicha to maintain whatever we can from our forebears. Halacha (especially the rema) constantly reminds us of our inferiority in Torah compared with previous generations. We don’t know how to identify kosher grasshoppers, we don’t know how to differentiate between “thick” and “thin” mixtures regarding taaruvos, we don’t know how to make soft matzos, we don’t (for the most part) know how to do nikkur, the list goes on and on. People who learn halacha aren’t bothered by the axiomatic principle of yeridas hadoros, while it is a foreign concept to those outside of the yeshivos.

    The gedolim of our time(including my rebbe) have said that usually we go down in generations slowly, with the current generation still being able to conceptualize the previous one – after the loss ot the wonderous pre war yeshivos, the gedolim say that it wasn’t a yeridah, it was a nefilah – a cataclysmic fall, to the point where our best hope is to cling to whomever we have left from that time with a humble awareness of our meager stature.

    From that perspective, it’s no wonder there aren’t any decidedly “American” minhagim (aside from pizza for melava malka and making krias hakesuba into a kibbud, but i digress), nor is there an American yiddish in the formal sense – we’re not forming “nusach america”, the way European jews 1000 years ago were able to do.

    #2072786
    The little I know
    Participant

    Since peyos are being sported as a mitzvah, it is proper to treat them accordingly, with proper respect. If one has peyos that are oitherwise not neat, unkempt, and messay, then it is preferred that he do something to curtail that. Whatever works for him is acceptable. Behind the ear, curled, whatever. Different patterns emerged according to goegraphic location or other factors. Chassidim have a pattern of mimicking their rebbe. Otherwise, I’m not so sure there is any great significance to this trivial detail. I do not consider someone with front peyos more frum, more chassidish or more anything else than anyone else. It is time we pay attention to other things that are far more relevant than to trivia like this.

    #2072794
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Regarding long/short jackets – yidden did not dress like goyim abd merely copy their fashions. The yekkies were so called and criticized for changing their dress simply because the German goyim switched to short jackets. The rest of klal yisroel for many decades maintained long jackets, in Europe, sefardi countries, and yerushalayim. With the winds of haskalah, the litvishe caved and helavei it was the worst thing we did…be’avonosainu horabim it was around that time that the women stopped covering their hair, largely for the same reasons.

    Rav shach in a parshah sefer called “merosh amanah”( i believe this story is found there, if not it’s in a different anthology) told

    a chasidishe bochur in ponevezh yeshiva was having a hard time in shiduchim, because while he dressed chasidish, he was more aligned with the litvishe hashkofah and wanted that lifestyle. Litvishe girls didn’t want him, and chasidishe girls weren’t a fit. He asked rav shach if he can change to short jackets, and rav shach told him that there’s not a chisaron with short jackets – the olam hatorah wears them. But there is a maalah, an advantage in long jackets. They are a higher level of tznius, so changing for the sake of shiduchim isn’t valid hishtadlus, since it involves a slight yeridah. It’s like how rav moshe feinstein ruled that a shul with a balcony for the women’s section cannot change to a same-floor divisiob, since it’s a yeridah – it’s not bad in itself, but we don’t go down in kedushah, we only go up when we’re able to.

    #2072795
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Sorry, that should say “this story is in the sefer merosh amanah, or a different anthology of rav shach’s writings/stories”

    #2072804
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @inquestve, have you ever pursed professional help for all your pent up anger?

    #2072818
    Participant
    Participant

    “have you ever pursed professional help”
    is that the verb for putting a business card in ur pocketbook?

    #2073140
    yitz17
    Participant

    Your question about litvishe hiding their peyos behind the ears seems to assume that litvishe always had peyos and at some time decided to put them behind their ears. However this was not the case. In lita nobody, including bnai torah, had peyos. Even chabad chasidim, who come from the same areas, didn’t have and continue not to have peyos. And in America up to the early 80’s peyos in litvishe yeshivohs were almost none existent, including among roshei yeshiva. Reb Yeruchom Ulshin and Reb Yisroel Neuman did not have peyos even for years after they were already roshie yeshiva. In fact the earliest peyos in litvishe yeshivohs were mainly bochurim who came from semi chasidic backgrounds and daavened nusach sfard, for a while not having peyos was a sign of litvishe yichus. It is only over the last 20 years that litvishe bochurim started wearing peyos and they wore them behind the ears. So your assumption that they changed wearing their peyos from straight down to behind their ears is simply wrong. Instead after many years, beginning before World War I of not wearing peyos at all the style became to wear peyos behind their ears. Note that in Chabad till today they don’t have peyos at all.

    #2073091

    @inquisitive girl :
    the jews in eastern europe spoke a Germanic language – not a slavic one (like the ppl in eastern europe)!
    be MORE inquisitive and actually study history and language.


    @huju
    :
    no they wore long coats cuz that is what everyone wore back then – a robe and turban became a long coat and fur hat. (im doing good btw)

    #2073194
    ujm
    Participant

    Yitz17: Read the full thread. All Litvishe Yidden used to have long Peyos hanging down from the sides of their faces; and not behind their ears.

    #2073168
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Yitz, other chasidim from lita, like stolin, did have payos. Litvishe definitely had payos before the gezeros – look at pictures of litvishe gedolim from before the 1860s. Afterwards they dropped it or put it behind their ears, but most litvishe jews (maybe 70%) dropped it entirely. I’d venture that most of the gedolim did keep it however, including verifiable photos of the chofetz chaim, rav chaim brisker, rav elchonon vasserman, rav boruch ber, the alter of slabodka, rav chaim ozer, rav chaim shmulevitz, and many more. Other gedolim, like rav chatzkel, did not have payos.

    Juxtaposing chabad and litvishe in this regard is inaccurate; chabad had vastly different minhagim despite being in close proximity. They wore streimels before the last rebbe, while stolin didn’t.

    #2073411
    TS Baum
    Participant

    Chabad doesn’t have long peyos for the reason of the Arizal.

    #2073424
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    TS, the overwhelming majority of mekubalim have/had payos, i.e the leshem, rashash, rav fishel eisenbach, and today’s rav gamliel Rabinowitz, rav elya ber wachtfogel, and many others.

    #2073438
    abooseinak
    Participant

    @TS I love how do you say the overwhelming majority of the mekubalim and then you name 4 people…. I think this is a childish argument because it’s clearly not a black and white halachic ruling, it’s a custom and I’m sure it has leaning in the revealed as well as the hidden Torah…. With that being said the overwhelming majority of our in history are by far of Sephardic descent and the majority of them do not have….r Yosef Sharabani, Ben ish chai , Yitzchak Kaduri ,rav mutzafi etc were the rosh hamikubalim of Jerusalem in past century and did not have them … on the other hand you have great Sephardic mekubalim they do have it so it’s definitely has what to lean on but it’s not black and white and is customary thing

    #2073443
    ujm
    Participant

    Avira, which comment is your last one responding to?

    #2073454
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Ujm, I took issue with TS claiming that chabad doesn’t hold of payos “because of the arizal”. Those who follow the arizal by and large DO have payos. It’s a chabad minhag, and they are the exception in the chasidish world, and in a minority among those who are into the arizal/kabalah.

    Aboose, I named 4 because those are massive mekubalim who come to mind who I know for a fact had payos. The rashash was a towering authority on arizal, as was rav fishel eisenbach. I was mainly trying to refute TS’s implication that if one is following the arizal they would per force not have long payos.

    #2074114
    TS Baum
    Participant

    What are you talking about? I said THE ARIZAL, not “most mekuablim”????

    #2074118
    TS Baum
    Participant

    @Avirah Dearah Go check up what the arizal said first, before refuting it by looking at other mekubalim.

    #2074126
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I have seen when davening shemonei esrei they remove it from behind the ears.

    #2074169
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    I meant that those who are authorities on the arizals Torah, do not go with that opinion

    #2074315
    TS Baum
    Participant

    Did you forget about The Baal Hatanyah?

    #2074389
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Here we go with the myopia again – I’m saying it’s offensive to lay sole claim to the arizal”s shita, and say that chabad doesn’t have payos because of him, which would imply that everyone else doesn’t follow the arizal. To prove that point, I mention 4 leading figures in Arizal based kabalah, and your answer is “but what about the baal hatanya?” Yes he was an expert in kabalah(and halacha, and everything else for that matter), but he was not the only one and does not have any more of an objective authority on arizal than the gr”a(who held of payos).

    #2074441
    GefilteFish
    Participant

    I remember hearing rav berel wein discuss this topic.
    He did claim that the early mekubalim had very short peyos.
    This includes the arizal and his beis medrash.
    I know he also mentioned the ramchal as well.
    He claimed that they were worried about accidentally plucking peyos hair.
    He mentioned the famous story of the Steipler won touched his beard on shabbos and kept it there until motzei shabbos, or of coven for accidentally plucking hairs on shabbos.
    He claimed the early mekubalim were worried about this all the time for kabalistic reasons, so they kept it short.

    He also mentioned that rav Moshe Feinstein zatza’l said that he kept his peyos long and behind his ears only because otherwise, if he had short peyos, certain kehillos wouldn’t respect his piskei halachos.
    He felt it was important for a manhig to have certain standards since it’s important that klal yisrael respect its manhigim, and part of that is maintaining a certain “tzurah” (similar to wearing a frock and hamburg).

    #2074476
    TS Baum
    Participant

    Don’t make me answer for others who say that they follow the arizal. GO and ask them why they DO have peyos.
    I’m telling you the main reason why chabad doesn’t have long peyos. If you have a problem with that then go complain to the other people who say they follow the arizal.

    #2074505
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Speaking of tzurah the Chasam Sofer in O’CH 159 is lenient about shaving the beard.

    #2074588
    Baby Squirrel
    Participant

    I’m not here to tell you what Halacha says, because if you are looking for the most lenient path possible it can be found in Halacha; I’m only here to talk about what is the most Choshuv and what is the most ideal for a Frumme male of Am Yisroel:

    – Longer payos are definitely preferred over shorter payos, as long as it’s not too long (like some chasidim I know), messy, or in any way can cause a Chilul Hashem when walking around outdoors or dealing with the goyim. The payos should be longer than most yeshivishe/litvishe places & chabad but shorter than what most other chasidim have. The payos are also better in front of one’s ears than tucked behind one’s ears.

    – Having a beard (any length of beard) is better than having no beard at all as long as the beard makes you look like a Jew and is not some Goyishe style or something of the kind Chas V’Shalom. Having a longer beard is better than having any length of shorter beard as long as the beard is not messy and won’t cause a Chilul Hashem when walking around outside or dealing with the goyim. The best thing would be if yidden generally kept their beards untrimmed their whole lives starting from the moment the facial hair starts to grow – with only very minimal trimming here or there to keep neatness and derech eretz. Another thing is if your wife prefers a shorter beard then you should adhere to her request, but at least try to keep a beard of some sort; and of course if you have some skin condition that causes an above normal level of discomfort like red/itchy/dry skin then you should also probably keep a shorter beard.

    – Regarding clothing: Longer coats that go down past the knees are better than shorter/modern ones. Wearing black coats/jackets are better than wearing blue coats/jackets. If you are to wear blue, the darker the hue the better (same goes for grey, brown, or any other colour). Shoes are better if they’re black, and shoes should also not be too shiny, pointy, or goyish. Wearing a hat of some sort is also better than wearing no hat (although the frum-looking black hats are preferred), and the hats should not be too flimsy, bendy, modern, or goyish, and the brims should not be too short.

    The idea here is to dress like a frumme yid and act like a frumme yid at all times so we know our purpose and so we can constantly be ONLY a Kiddush Hashem among other jews and goyim (like not to have long and messy payos that fly into the face of other people as you walk past them) and a positive influence wherever we go.

    Again, I am talking here about what is the most IDEAL; not what Halacha says everyone must follow.

    #2074632
    Pekak
    Participant

    @TS Baum

    The Baal Hatanya doesn’t have a monopoly on the AriZal.

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