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    This has gone from a halachic discussion to one of hashkafa.

    When has a CR thread ever NOT gone off-track after the first page (and very often before)?


    The Wolf


    I just want to share my own rational for letting my beard grow. This decision was made shortly after I got married over 35 years ago.

    There is no question in my mind that the ideal “tzurah” of a Jew includes a visable beard. Second I really did not want to go through my whole life with a question if I was violating an “issur deoraisa” every day.


    For what its worth,

    I believe the sign language for a jew is moving the hands as if stroking a beard.



    interesting site


    “A more important question to ask is (and I know I’m going to the lowest circle of gehenim for even suggesting this) — is R. Kanievsky’s teshuva normative halacha?”

    Yes you are going. Who are you to question R. Chaim one of the gedolei hador. If he says its assur than its assur. Period.


    Wolf what “yeshiva” are you sending yur son to that he is forced to shave an be oiver a deorissa?


    “There’s a name to this game that you’re playing. It’s called “my rav is bigger than your rav.” I don’t play that game. “

    No yur playin a game called Im not gonna listen to the gedolim becuz I can listen to my rov. Unless your rov is greater than those gedolim how can you follow him?


    This has really gone way off this entire thread.

    Again, all or almost poskim are not against not growing a beard. Using powder or cream is muttar as well as tweezers. There is a debate regarding using an electric shaver, some poskim matir some oser. Recently there has been an effort in E”Y to come up with an electric shaver, which is kosher based upon all the shitas. The shaver apparently already exists for quite some time now, and got big publicity in the newspapers.

    Regarding Kabbalah, there is as well a debate. Some are of the opinion one should not even touch his beard. Some say one most grow his beard, and some including a present day Godel say one should not grow a beard.

    A final debate is based upon tzuros hayid. The Chassidic as well as the previous generation Sephardic were clearly against shaving. The Litvishe-Yeshiviish were in favor for bochurim. That is to the exceptions of some, like the Chazin-Ish and his following, Reb Chayim Kanievsky etc.


    I looked up where Reb Chaim Kaneievsky quotes the Chazon Ish as nearly vomiting when he saw a clean-shaven bachur. He writes that the Chazon Ish had the same reaction when he saw a man with his payos behind his ears, and explains the revulsion to both of them was because they are embarrassed to openly look Jewish.

    This is obviously NOT a halachic issur but a personal sensitivity.

    The bottom line is, while there are numerous worthy reasons to grow a beard, it is certainly permitted according to Halacha to remove it with any shaver that leaves over k’chagiras tziporen.


    There is a whole sefer on this topic it is called something Hadras Tzadik Zakein I know that Chabad is makpid and they say that the tzemach tzedek says it is assur because of beged isha

    Ben Torah

    earlier someone cited the chofetz chaim saying it is lo yilbash. is that a halachic prohibition?


    earlier someone cited the chofetz chaim saying it is lo yilbash. is that a halachic prohibition?

    That’s what it says in Chofetz Chaim perek 6.

    He also writes about how important it is for a Jew have a beard in Nidchei Yisroel & Zachor Limiriam. In Sefer Hamitzvos Hakozer he’s machmir like the Chinuch and says a Jew who takes off his beard is also oiver Lo Sillbash and Chukas Ha’akum. In Machane Yisroel he says a Jew in a goyishe army that has no choice but to take off his beard, should let a goy shave him. He wrote an entire Sefer, Tiferes Ha’odom, on how important it is for a Jew to have a beard. He writes there that a Jew that takes off his beard is mavatel a tzivuy Hashem. He writes that no chillel Hashem is comparable to one who brazenly goes in public with a clean shaven face. He does not says oiver an issur d’oireisa, but rather such a person walks down the street and proclaims “The tzivu Hashem of Lo Sashchisu is not important to me.” In perek 2 he writes that shaving is worse than eating treif.

    If there is any error in these citations, please so state.


    The Chasam Sofer, Orach Chaim 159 writes that one is permitted to shave and that “??? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ???, ????? ??? ????? ??? ??”. It’s a long tshuva, I’ll let everyone find the quote by him or her self.


    The Tur in OC 581 quotes a Medrash that approvingly states that Yidden shave their beards for Rosh HaShana.


    Trim or remove?


    the expression used is ???? ????, which means to remove completely.


    It seems it is neither “goyish” nor “beged isha”.

    so right

    That would depend on which shitta you are going by, apparently.


    I know a rosh yeshiva who is old enough to have studied in the Chofetz Chaim’s yeshiva in Poland. He once showed me pictures of bocherim in a different well known yeshiva where he studied in the late 1930s after the Chofetz Chaim had died. Not a single one of the bocherim had any facial hair. I expressed surprise and he said that they all used depilatories.


    so right: I’m going with the Tur and Medrash, who could argue.

    so right

    hello99: According to your own description of what the Tur says, it is almost a side point of the discussion and doesn’t directly discuss the issue of beards as its main point.

    But to answer your question, who can argue with you? From previous citations, amongst others they would include:

    The Chofetz Chaim

    Rav Schach

    The Chazon Ish

    Rav Chaim Kanievsky

    Rav Elyashev


    The Tur is clear that as a matter of fact, all Jews shaved their beards for Rosh HaShana. He didn’t NEED to address any issue.

    Not “who can argue with ME”, who can believe these rumors about the Gedolim you names against an explicit Rishon and Chazal???

    so right

    What do you want from me? All those against shaving were previously cited.

    Nesei sefer venechzei.



    Who is this rosh yeshiva?


    Having a beard is considered an honor (Shabbos 152a). There are many Shitos that hold having a beard is 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.

    Regarding 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 wrothwhile 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 Klal 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 harrass 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 youre embarrassed of the Mitvzah.


    Tiferes Yisroel does NOT prohibit trimming payos in Makkos 3:5, but he does write there that one may remove his beard with cream l’chatchila.

    Maharshal writes not to SHAVE the payos at all, even with a scissors. He makes no mention of trimming where the concern would not apply.

    Mishna Berura writes ?? ??? ?? ?? ??????? they may not be REMOVED completely. He doesn’t say they may not be trimmed.


    In the introduction to Igros Moshe vol 8 it says that Rav Moshe never refused a request to give a haskama on a sefer, with the sole exception of Hadras Pnei Zaken, the sefer forbidding shaving!!!


    Isn’t vol. 8 the controversial posthumous volume?



    Who is this rosh yeshiva? “

    Rabbi Gershon Yankelewitz of RIETS.


    In light of quark2’s mention of the Ramchal having shaved, I decided to dig this up. Is there any reliable proof of the Ramchal having shaved? Did he shave as a Bachur or later on as well? How about when he moved on to Eretz Yisroel? The interesting thing is that you don’t find this mentioned amongst the many complaints that his contemporaries had on him.

    There was a mention here of the Rama Miphano having shaved. That comes from the Teshuvos Be’er Esek, that heard from his Rebbe, that the Rama Miphano shaved every Erev Shabbos. The Ri Irgis (Shomer Emunim – Hakadmon) dismisses this off hand, and refused to believe it.

    I saw in the Ben Ish Chai that someone asked him if he can shave for business purposes. The Ben Ish Chai allowed him to do so. He explained that leaving the roots of the hairs will be a Siman for the channels of Kedusha that they represent (and which Joseph explained at length, for some reason).

    The Tur can be explained as referring to the Mashal, which is not necessarily talking about a Yid. However, the simple reading would suggest that they at least trimmed. The Maharil on Sefira is also Mashma that he trimmed.

    The Chafetz Chaim, in his Kuntres against shaving focuses the whole work on the problem of the machine. Only in the beginning does he try to find a rational as to why we don’t trim. He says, probably it was to show that we are careful not to be Over on Ta’ar. He also adds that perhaps the Minhag of the Mekubalim became widespread. Then he writes that since it was accepted as a Din that we don’t shave at all, it should be followed.

    There is no doubt that the Arizal taught that you shouldn’t touch the beard. That can be taken literally or as not to cut it. It should be realized, though, that Inyanim in the Arizal are for a level of Hisdabkus, they aren’t Halachos. Even the Arizal violated his own teachings when it was impractical.

    By the way, the Shaalos Teshuvos Min Shamayim (Shaala 36) seems to be Machmir on scissors.


    Rav Libowirz of Chofetz Chaim A’H forbid people from having a beard unless they were a talmid chacham


    What is the svora? I know that being beardless was common in Slabodka, Mir, and elsewhere. But, why?


    Jews don’t really shave because we don’t use razors.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    There must be Jews who shave because there are a lot of Jews without beards .


    6yo thread




    SO problem to shave or not? Trimming? Only keep a full beard if Talmic Chachom?


    Jewish boys and men virtually all had beards until the time the Russian Czar, in his quest to secularize a Russia that until then (in the mid-1800s) had been a very religious country – in order to bring it closer to Western European norms, passed and enforced oppressive laws forbidding citizens (both Jewish and Orthodox Christians) from publicly being seen as openly religious.

    This included forbidding men from having beards, women covering their hair, wearing long jackets (kapote), wearing religious hats (shtreimals), etc.


    Even German Jews had beards and long curly peyos. Many people think that is a Chasidishe things, but really until not too long ago Jewish boys and men having a beard, long peyos, wearing a long kapote and a shtreimal was universal across Jewish men. (At least in Europe. In the Levant the Jewish men had their own unique headcovering that differed from European Jews. But interestingly enough the Jews in Teiman – Yemen – also have the peyos, though they use another term to refer to it by.)

    At the time these oppressive anti-religious laws were passed, Russia included Lithuania and Poland. In Western Europe the Jews started to stop dressing very ostensibly Jewish due to the increasing secularization wrought upon us by the haskala, Reform, and various secular forces such as communism, bundism, etc.


    Whats the reason that some ppl have a “boot” on the side of their face?

    Its the yeshivish elvis look!

    Yechi Hamelech

    You guys should buy a sefer called “hadras ponim zokon” written by Moshe Weiner. It talks about the importance of keeping your beard; not even trimming it.
    The Kapischnitzer Rebbe ZT”L was one of the most biggest Torah Giants before World War 2, and he won the respect of even the litvisher gedolim including the Chazon Ish ZT”L.
    During the Holocaust, the Nazis ym”s forced the leaders of every community to clean the streets with a toothbrush. The idea was to humiliate them in front the Poles who would stand by and laugh, pointing at the elderly Rabbi with the long beard, scrubbing the streets with a toothbrush.
    On one such occasion, the Kapischnitzer Rebbe was, naturally, chosen to receive the “honor” of cleaning the streets that day.

    While he was scrubbing, a Nazi commander ordered one of his soldiers to cut off the Kapischnitzer Rebbe’s beard r”l. When the soldier approached with the big scissors in his hand, the Rebbe looked up and immediately understood what was about to happen. he held up his hand and shouted angrily “rather cut of my fingers but don’t touch my beard!”
    startled by the Rebbes stubbornness, the soldier steeped back and did not carry out his evil command. This story goes to show the great importance of having a beard, so much so that the Kapischnitzer Rebbe was willing to have all of his fingers cut off in order to keep his beard. One of the reasons why it is so important not to touch your beard is because it is written up in Zohar that the yud gimmel midas harachamim are in the strands of the beard. Cutting it off would be cutting off the yud gimmel midas harachamim.

    Yechi Hamelech

    Following is the Daas Torah of Maran HaGaon Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman zt’l Regarding GROWING A BEARD
    Emulate Other Bochurim or Disregard Them?
    Maran HaRav Shteinman was recently asked by a number of yeshiva bochurim: “The rest of the bochurim in my yeshiva do not grow their beards. Should I follow their example or not?”

    To each of them he replied that they should disregard their colleagues’ conduct.
    • To one bochur he quoted the Mishna in Ediyos (5:6): “Better to be called a shoteh your entire life than to be a rasha even once.”
    • To another he responded even more sharply: “If everyone around you is eating chazir, is that a reason for you to eat it as well?!”
    • To a third he said: “No one ever lost anything from growing a beard!”

    Maran HaRav Shteinman was once approached by a bochur who followed the opinion of the Mechaber, that one may cut his hair between Lag Ba’Omer and Shavuos. “Most of the bochurim in my yeshiva do not cut their hair until the yemei hagbalah,” he said. “Since I follow the Mechaber’s opinion, may I shave my beard before that time?”

    “Any method you use to shave your beard will be problematic,” Maran HaRav Shteinman replied. “Using an electric shaver may involve an issur de’oraysa. Even using shaving cream is not acceptable, as some say this involves the issur of lo yilbash.”

    Some claim that growing a beard demonstrates arrogance, as if he thinks he is perfect.

    “It is still better to grow a beard,” Maran HaRav Shteinman once commented. “This will protect a person spiritually to a certain extent.”

    Maran HaRav Shteinman further remarked: “The reason it was once common for yeshiva bochurim to shave is because the issur involved was not widely known.”

    פרי חיים ממרן הרב שטיינמן , שופר ארגון להפצת יהדות, צוות שופר גנזי המלך, כו תמוז תשע”ב

    Student of Torah

    What about a bachur who can only grow a partial beard? Should he not shave and look like a shlump?


    A Yid mit ah burd never looks like a shlump, regardless of how it naturally grows!


    Maran HaGaon Rabbi Chayim Kanievsky, shlita, refutes many of the posts here in his sefer Orchos Yosher (p.19), where he wrote: “Throughout our history, it has been a disgrace for anyone not to have a beard. It is only in recent generations that some have started to treat this irreverently, having learned this from the non-Jews.
    Targum Yonoson states that one who does this transgresses the prohibition of “A man shall not wear woman’s dress,” which means even if he cuts his beard using scissors.
    Sefer Hachinuch states the same, adding that one transgresses also the prohibition of “You shall not follow their [non-Jewish] rules.” This is quoted by the Chofetz Chayim in his Sefer Hamitzvos Hakotzer (Prohibitions 177)…
    In Kovetz Igros (volume I, #198) of our teacher, the Chazon Ish, he writes: “Although this sickness has spread even among Torah scholars, may they be well, the issue has not changed as a result of this, and therefore my soul burns with rage because of this practice.”
    He [the Chazon Ish] once said that when someone who removes his beard..comes in to see him, he feels so sick that he almost vomits..”
    This concludes the quotation from Maran Rav Chayim Kanievsky shlita.

    Yechi Hamelech

    A father wrote into the chazon ish zt”l that his bochur was in shidduchim and he was worried that the girl wouldn’t like his beard…
    The chazon ish responded “If the young lady is bothered by the fact that your son wears a beard, then that is a sign that she is not the right match for your bochur”

    Reb Eliezer

    See Chasam Soder O”CH 159 says there is nothing wrong in shaving.
    The proof might be from the mishneh ואלו מגלחין במועד.


    I didnt read all the posts here on this topic, so maybe someone already mentiond it. there is a sefer הדרת פנים זקן where the mechaber brings down all shitos. most say its assur min hatorah or miderabonon.
    it always bothered me and couldnt understand why frum choshuve yidden would shave if so many poskim say its not allowed. would anyone eat something if many doctors say its poisen? would you say im eating it because many doctors say its not poisen?
    thats in addition to whats explained in kabolo. that man is made betselem elokim. for example: man has right hand and left hand because lemaalo חסד דרועא ימינא גבורה דרועא שמאלא etc. etc. and lenaalo there is a beard too, whatever that means י”ג תיקוני דיקנא. why would a yid who is otherwise medakdek bekala kevachamura shave or even trim their beard?


    Doctors aren’t responsible for determining which foods are not poison.


    There is a famous Teshuva by the Chasam Sofer on the topic. Very in depth.

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