Payos behind the ears? Why?

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Controversial Topics Payos behind the ears? Why?

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 60 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1722764

    The Alter
    Participant

    I have noticed that in the yeshivish velt having payos behind your ears is becoming the new norm, especially with younger kids. Those who don’t adhere to this style are frowned upon and considered more modern. What is the reason for this is it a halachic thing, or is it just the next superficial “thing” that became “real”.

    #1722795

    Joseph
    Participant

    Are you suggesting that they’re embarrassed to proudly wear their peyos in front so they hide it behind their ears?

    #1722805

    funnybone
    Participant

    Joseph; could you provide a concrete reason why you think he is suggesting that?

    #1722890

    Heargod
    Participant

    The reason is be neat. Without hair flying in every direction.
    A talmud chachum must dress well and appear well dressed and groomed

    #1722828

    jdb
    Participant

    This isn’t new, the trend is 30 years old. It’s a cultural thing.

    #1722898

    Yabia Omer
    Participant

    Purely cultural. You are not less religious if you don’t do it. Ashkenazic meshugas.

    #1722929

    shuali
    Participant

    It is not new. It is not thirty years old. In Europe it was very common among the Ashkenazim to have peyos both behind and in front of ones ears. The Vilna Gaon, the Netziv, the Chazon Ish, Rav Shimshon (ben) Refoel Hirsch, Rav Moshe, Rav Yaakov, Rav Aharon Kotler all had noticeable payos. Rav Chaim Brisker, the Brisker Rav, Rav Chaim Kanievsky and his father the Steipler all have/had peyos. Rav Beinish Finkle and Rav Noson Tzvi both had Peyos

    Unfortunately, some of these minhagim were lost as Yidden crossed the Atlantic before, during, and after the war. B”H they are being returned to there original place.

    #1722930

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yabia: You believe that Teimanim are Ashkenazim?!

    #1722937

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    YO: I am sorry but peyos behind the ears is not “ashkenazik meshugas”.

    #1722946

    Joseph
    Participant

    As Shuali pointed out, Yidden traditionally wore their peyos in front of their ears, not behind it. And, no, we’re not just taking about Chasidim. Can you make Gedolei Rabbonim of yesteryear that hid their peyos, unseen, behind their ears? In Europe until not long before the war basically all Yidden had their peyos out.

    #1722951

    haskafah
    Participant

    Shuali
    I wish you did some research and look at pics before the war
    Look at slbokda Keli and any prewar Yeshiva group pics the Rosh yeshiva might have pesos but almost no yeshiva litvak had pesos my Rosh Yeshiva was against this minhag bec it wasn’t the litvish minhag in europe
    Amongst bachurim neither were just black hats or black suites

    #1722983

    shuali
    Participant

    @haskafah – With all due respect, you should perhaps look at the list I presented. I did not mention any from the era or yeshivos you mention and claim they had peyos. Although I could mention Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, Rav A. Y. HaKohein Kook, Rav M. M. Epstein, and Rav Aharon Cohen (the former two being from Slabodka/Chevron).

    I am certain that you are aware that the heads of many (non-chasidish) Yeshivos made a decision in the years between the two world wars to bring the dress code of their bochrim more in line with the aristocracy of the times. This was simply because more and more women (prior to the acceptance and success of Sarah Schnirer) had little interest in marrying benei Yeshivah. Ergo, the three-piece grey suits, the fancy fedoras, pocket watches, pinc-nez (sp.?) glasses, and no beards and close-to-the-skin peyos.

    My point is only that this “style” is better described as REnewed rather than simply new.

    All this is a matter of historical record. The fact the Mir, Telz, and Slobodka adopted a hora’ah sha’ah style, does not in the slightest cause the pictoral history mentioned in my original post to disappear.

    #1722969

    AdamLev
    Participant

    Rav Chaim Kanievsky addresses this in his sefer Orchos Yosher, in the chapter about the beard. He writes disapprovingly of those in Eretz Yisroel who put their payos behind their ears, while more sympathetic of those of us in Chutz La’Aretz who do so. See there.

    #1723006

    David Y
    Participant

    When I was a boy I had beautiful black peyotim curling down in front of my ears. It is an adornment of beauty, not a mitzvah. Hashem simply says to not cut the corners of our beards, we offer more. I was sent to a public school and the German teacher used to flick them behind my ears and there was not a thing I could do about it except glare at her hatefully. Now people want to be machmir but hide them from the goyim and their bosses, to improve their employment prospects etc. That’s all.

    #1723097

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    I personally think small peyos look better in front of the ears

    #1722953

    haskafah
    Participant

    Also ray hunter and other were spotty dressers. no one had pesos
    Rav Moshe as told to e by numerous people put on Paros bec he felt the chasidim wouldn’t otherwise accept him as a posek

    #1723131

    shuali
    Participant

    @haskafah – Both Rav Hutner and Rav Moshe had peyos behind their ears (more or less). Rav Hutner put on peyos after his arrival in the United States, while Rav Moshe always had.

    #1723135

    shuali
    Participant

    @david Y – See the Sefer HaChinuch and Minchas Chinuch on this subject. While you are correct that there is a minimum requirement, the source for growing the peyos “into the beard” (i.e. long enough to reach the pe’as ha zakein) is found in more ancient texts. Reb Avrohom ben HaRambam discusses the Teimonie “simonim” with his father. The AriZal discusses longer peyos. And as mentioned before, many “Litvish Roshei Yeshivah and poskim had such peyos. Some I did not mention; Rav Shach and Rav Elyashiv.

    #1723147

    haskafah
    Participant

    All of what i wrote came from a gadol whos Tata learned in slabodka and his haskafas came from him

    #1723145

    haskafah
    Participant

    The litvish minhag was that the regular sideburns going down the side of your face till about the middle of the ear was the halachic peyos chassidish influence after the war had a big influence on the litvish velt in certain ways and i can state more then just peyous such as mikvah on non yomim norim days reading pitim hktoros from a klaf and more
    There is such an idea as mesorah it just depends how strong the mesorah is followed and fefended by a paticular mosod
    By the way all the many bachruim that learned in pre war europe the no peyous spitzy dressing etc didnt hurt them into becoming gedolim

    #1723248

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    In response to the OP:
    I have never witnessed the situation you described of ear-peyes people being judgmental and thinking everyone else is more modern than them. Are you sure you aren’t projected what you think they think?

    Also, it’s a major trend for kids, not adults. I assume the logic is that people want their kids to be able to have peyes if the kids want, rather than committing them to not having them. They’ll probably all end up cutting them when they enter the workforce.

    #1723226

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Among the goyim they hid it behind the ears, but by davening they would unwind it.

    #1723220

    shuali
    Participant

    @haskafah – Regarding mikveh: you are again suffering from what be best described as myopic orthodoxy. Rav Yisroel Meir HaKohein Poupko (better known as the Chofetz Chaim or the Mishnah Berurah, no chasidic Rebbe – never missed tevilas Ezra. Rav Elya Lopian, also no Rebbe, discussed feeling the entry of his neshamah yiseirah when he would go to the mikveh on Erev Shabbos. The Vilna Gaon, quoted in the Maaseh Rav, says regarding tevilas Ezra, that it is better to go on Motza’ai Shabbos than on Shabbos so as to avoid issues of sichitah, but go he did. He also wore a gartle. His Talmid, Rav Chaim Volishiner, wished to put on tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam as mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch (as do many Litvisheh Roshei Yeshiva (Rav Aharon, his son Rav Schneur, Rav Hutner, Rav Yaakov, Rav Moshe). This was not due to the influence of the chasidim, I assure you. If anything is true, movement AWAY from peyos, long coats, gartlich, beards, R”T tefillin, etc. was to distance themselves from them. That coupled with the older version of the shidduch crises prompted movement away from these things. This has all, B”H, changed and minhagim and tzuras haYihudi has returned to its former glory.
    I am NOT arguing with your description of the pre and post WWII Litvisheh standard, only with your understanding of what the original minhag was.

    #1723213

    shuali
    Participant

    @haskafah – Again, the minhag (original and very wide spread minhag) in Lita (actually almost throughout Europe) was to gave peyos (either behind or in front of the ears). This is clear from pictures and paintings of Gedolim such as Rav Eliyahu Kramer (The Vilna Gaon) , Rav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (The NeTZi”V), Rav Shimshon (ben) Refoel Hirsch, Rav Moshe, Rav Yaakov, Rav Aharon, the Soloveitchik family, Rav Kook, Rav Shach, and many more. They also had beards and wore long costs. The mingag changed when shiduchim – and therefore the continuity of Klal Yisroel – were threatened. Ergo, your father’s kabbolah from the Slabodka talmid is accurate albeit limitedly so, as it was not always the case. The old minhag has had a rebirth of sorts, but it is not new. That is indisputable.

    #1723206

    Joseph
    Participant

    The Chasidim simply didn’t change the way Yidden went for centuries and millennia. Like Shuali pointed out, the Litvish also went with long flowing peyos in front of the ears originally. Including the Vilna Gaon, etc. But in the prewar years things got weaker in both peyos and dress in general. Litvaks also used to all wear a long rekel and many even shtreimals. But starting in the mid to late 1800s the goyishe authorities in Russia, which controlled Lithuania until almost WWI, forced the Yidden to stop dressing very overtly as Yidden. The Chasidim resisted but the Litvishe rabbonim allowed some changes due to the shas hadchak.

    #1723217

    Joseph
    Participant

    If you look around online you can find a picture of R’ Aron Wolfssohn Halle, the Rov of Hildesheim in the early 1800s and a Yekke, with long curly (just like the Chasidim today) peyos. You can also find a picture of R Eliezer Lipman Zilberman, the editor in the late 1800s of the Maggid L’Yisroel newspaper in Berlin, and also a Yekke, with long curly peyos.

    And, as is well known, the Teimanim have had long curly peyos since antiquity times. This is certainly the traditional way Yidden went.

    See Gitin 58a where R’ Yehoshua ben Chanania sees a beautiful boy, with curly peyos, in prison. R’ Yehoshua ben Chanania cried out, citing Yeshaiah 42:24, “Mi noasan limshissah Yaaqov,
    veyisrale’ levozezim, halo Hashem?” The [future R’] Yishmael ben Elisha completed the posek from his cell, “Zu, chatanu lo…. vayishpokh alava
    cheimah apo…”

    We see from this Gemera that curly peyos was considered part of a young Jewish boy’s beauty as far back as the days of the Tannaim. ( R’ Yehoshua ben Chanania died right before R’ Akiva joined bar Kochva, 131 CE.)

    #1723262

    haskafah
    Participant

    Very interesting conversation. As far as i understand, theres a machlokes if you have what i can call detacted payos or the sideburns that go down your face by your ear. As far i can ascertain, the “attached” sideburns is what the non chassidc world held is halachic peyos.
    Did you assume all of the gedolim you mention look like that in thete youth.Also a number of gedolim including rav pam rav rav David Feinstein and foe a number of years rav henoch lebowitz didnt ware long
    Also, there is a mahalach and it pertains to many areas of yiddishkiet that once something is not done for lets say a hundred years so then that becomes the meorah or mahleach to do it that way.

    #1723533

    shuali
    Participant

    @haskafah – A great discussion indeed. Thank you for ypur participation and contributions. I don’t think there is any machlokes as to what defines halachik peyos (see the Mishnah and Gemora in the third perek in Makos, theRambam, Shulchan Aruch, etc.). Two reasons have been brought in a number of sources for the basis for longer peyos. One is found in either the Sefer HaChinuch or the Minchas Chinuch; to make it clear we do not do as the non-Jewish world (e.g. monks) who round their corners and we therefore specifically grow them longer. Another reason, brought inbthe the sefer Maamar Mordechai, I believe, is Zeh Keili v’anveihu.

    On the subject of short jackets which you mention, the famous teshuvah from the Noda BiYehuda says that the first Yid to go short was “following the chukos akum, but ince he did, there us no Torah issue of not going long. But, once again, that IS the way all Yidden went until, for various reasons, a change was made. But once again we see a RE newal and a REturn to the original order.

    #1723558

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Shuali:
    The Mishnah Berura is meikel (in how he poskens) on just about every single halachah you mentioned.

    We posken by sifrei halachah, not by “gedolim biographies” and pictures.

    #1723585

    shuali
    Participant

    @Neville Chaim Berlin – Very interesting. Could you please post where in the Mishnah Berurah (which is exclusively on Orach Chaim) where he paskins on the issues of peyos or long coats?

    #1723586

    Phil
    Participant

    “Rav Yisroel Meir HaKohein Poupko”

    Shuali,

    The Chafetz Chaim, zt”l did not have the last name of “Poupko”. His eldest son, R. Aryeh Leib, took that name when he obtained documents from that well-known Radin family to be exempted from army service.

    #1723594

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Chafetz Chaim’s zt’l last name was Kagan.

    #1723595

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The shiur of payos is to the bone.

    #1723614

    shuali
    Participant

    @Phil – Except that the family record, in the Chofetz Chaim’s handwriting, published in one of the early volumes of the Hebrew Meir Einei Yisroel, uses repeatedly the name Poupko. Also a cousin (I believe) a Rav in Flatbush for many years, likewise had that name.

    Kagen, on the other hand, is the Russian spelling of Kohen/Cohen (such as Horodna/Gorodna and Horowitz/Gorwitz).

    #1723617

    shuali
    Participant

    @laskern – I don’t believe anyone is disputing that here (although which bone and if with mouth open or closed is a dispute amongst the poskim). What was being discussed is if the “style” of the modern day Yeshivah bochur is indeed a style or an old minhag to have longer more noticeable peyos for either one of the reasons mentioned above. Also being discussed was the reason for the old minhag, even among Uekesheh Yidden, for being lost.

    #1723687

    Yabia Omer
    Participant

    The Ben Ish Hai says that Mordechai had long peot

    #1723709

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Shuali,
    Sorry, you had made a lot of comments. I was responding specifically to the one regarding tevelas Ezra, with which the MB is meikel (this is common knowledge), and R”T tefilliln, which he says normal people shouldn’t wear due to bal gaavah (also a well known psak). Machlokes with chassidim has nothing to do with either of these halachos. As for payos, I’m sure it’s brought down somewhere, but you don’t seem to be disputing the required length.

    For coat length, are you really suggesting that if the M”B makes no mention of coat length that we should just assume he assur’s short coats? I don’t follow that logic.

    #1723723

    shuali
    Participant

    @Neville Chaim Berlin –
    Firstly: Actually you wrote, “The Mishnah Berura is meikel (in how he poskens) on just about every single halachah you mentioned.” Sorry, I had no idea that you were only referring to tevilas Ezra.

    Secondly you write, “We posken by sifrei halachah, not by “gedolim biographies” and pictures.” The OP was about hanhagah not halachah. Therefore the rule of “shimusho gedolah mei’limudah certainly applies here as do any and all historical records.

    Thirdly, the Mishnah Berurah indeed wore a long coat (actually discusses the קאפאטע in hilchos tzitzis describing it as a beged which has gained much popularity, had longer, noticeable peyos, wore a gartle (at least on Friday nights (the family still has the gartle), and never missed tevilas Ezra.

    All this points to the fact that peyos are not new, and are not only Chasidish. That was the jist of the original thread.

    #1723793

    haskafah
    Participant

    Shuli what malacha do u do
    Also i did say its interesting that rav dovid lebowitz son did not wear long till rav aharon kotler told him to the current 2 rosh yeshivas just put on long after rav shmuael told them to
    Rav pam who was a talmid movak of rav david lebowitz never wore long
    Rav moshes son rav david doesnt wear long one of the rosh yeshivas in passaic also doesnt wear long so thete must be something to it and rav henoch lebowitz only wore long at simchas shabbos yom tov otherwise he wore a dark gray suite for many years

    #1723775

    Phil
    Participant

    “Except that the family record, in the Chofetz Chaim’s handwriting, published in one of the early volumes of the Hebrew Meir Einei Yisroel, uses repeatedly the name Poupko”

    Shuali,

    Are you able to specify the volume, as well as where and when it was printed?

    #1723827

    shuali
    Participant

    @Phil – Sure. I will look for it, bli neder, and post.

    #1723882

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “Sorry, I had no idea that you were only referring to tevilas Ezra.”
    That was my mistake. I had only seen that one post.

    He talks about the kapote in regards to how to make it such that it doesn’t require tzitzis (rounding off the back corner). That doesn’t imply one has to wear one. Most Roshei Yeshiva still do wear them, which brings me to another point: we don’t copy our rabbis every move in the Litvish world. We have a concept of differentiating (as is the case with the R”T tefillin psak mentioned before). If wore a kapote to a litvish yeshiva in which the Rosh Yeshiva wore a kapote, and the bochrim didn’t, you’d probably get in trouble.

    “All this points to the fact that peyos are not new, and are not only Chasidish. ”
    Who ever said they were new? They’re based in a d’oraisa; of course they aren’t new. I think the OP was talking about the families you see walking around where the father has no peyes yet the children do. It’s pretty common and perplexing.

    #1723953

    ccb45
    Participant

    Interesting: Actually where I grew up (Bobov), it’s customary to where payos on the outside curled meeting the collar bone. It is hiddur mitzva to walk with payos unabashed and not afraid of anyone.

    The way I see it and many others agree with me: thatsince people work in industries that don’t know jews nor their payos minhag, hiding is the right thing to do. I happen to agree with this unless the individual get away with it.

    I had the curled payos when I got married but put it behind the ears due to my leaving kolel and starting to work for fortune 500 company.

    I guess another perspective. Btw, On Shaboss and Yom Tov, I would curl back my payos.

    #1723947

    Joseph
    Participant

    Neveille: Why is it perplexing to you? You also can see fathers without a hat and the children with. Or the father without a long rekel and the children with. Or the father wearing colored shirts and the children wearing white.

    It’s okay for children to improve their Yiddishkeit.

    #1723986

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Lubavitch follows the AriZal custom of trimming his peyos with scissors when they grew into his beard.

    #1723998

    Joseph
    Participant

    cherrybim: Letting the peyos reach the beard is still nice and long.

    #1724023

    shuali
    Participant

    Regarding the קאפאטע mentioned in the Mishnah Berurah, my point was that he writes over there that it has become common to wear this garment and therefore he discusses the solution to the issue of tzitzis.

    But either way, it is clear from the aforementioned teshuvah of the Nodeh b’Yehudah that the way of all Yidden was “to go long.” There are a few reasons for this. And as mentioned above this changed for practical reasons (getting bnei Yeshivah married).

    #1724019

    shuali
    Participant

    @Neville Chaim Berlin – “I think the OP was talking about the families you see walking around where the father has no peyes yet the children do. It’s pretty common and perplexing.”

    Not completely perplexing. Keep in mind the following. In the late 40’s and continuing through the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s parents often not only did not leave (longer, behind the ears) peyos on their sons, but often did not allow them outside to play or walk around the street with a Yarmulke, choosing a baseball cap or similar hat. As our communities grew in size and neighborhoods began developing, old customs returned with more comfort and ease. A case in point. . .
    A very chashuveh talmid chocham, now a R”M in a major Brooklyn Yeshiva, who did not have “litvisheh” peyos at the time, put them on his three sons. When asked about this, he answered, that he simply left his son’s peyos, or better put did not remove them. That is a passive act. To remove them would have required he take a positive action (i.e. cutting them off). To grow them on himself is a conscious decision and requires an action, so to speak.

    #1724027

    shuali
    Participant

    It is very well known, by the way, that the original minhag among CHaBa”D chasidim was to have longer, noticeable peyos. That changed when the Rebbe RaYa”TZ came to America. Both the Rebbe RaYa”TZ and the previous Rebbe, zichronom li’vrochah, had very long peyos kept under their yarmulka. None the less the minhag here, or perhaps in general outside of Tomchei Temimim, was not to have.

    #1724122

    shuali
    Participant

    I have not had the chance to carefully go through the four volumes of Meir Einei Yisroel which I own for the family record mentioned above, but I did notice the following. On the Chofetz Chaim’s letterhead on the lashon ha’kodesh side, it is printed ישראל מאיר הכהן, while on the “English” side it says Yisroel Meir Kagen. Clearly Kagen is not his last name as, if it were, he would have had the other side say either כהן or הכהן כהן. Kagen is merely a translation of הכהן (again with the “g” being the closest thing to a Russian “h”. I will continue to look for the document, nonetheless.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 60 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.