Sideburns, Black Clothes, Rabbi Eats Pork, Woman’s Dress

Question

why a rabbi has got this long sideburns?why you always wear black clothes?what happens if a rabbi eats blood?and pork?do you enjoy the life living in this way?why the women always must wear long sleeve,long skirts and leggins?

16 years

Answers

  1. First of all let me answer one question out of order. Do we enjoy life? We love life, and we love living it in the Jewish way. We eat good foods, drink good wine, we marry and engage in intimacy and the pleasures of sexuality. We read poetry, we pray, we sing and we have close families and social groups. We enjoy the intellectual challenge of Torah study, and we celebrate the world of nature that God created in our festivals. We say blessings and appreciate what we have. I think that on the whole our world is a lot happier than the secular world. We have lower crime rates, lower divorce rates, lower rates of substance abuse and violence. To me these are good measures of whether a society is happy. Now to the specifices of your questions.

    Regarding sideburns, The Torah states,

    You shall not round off the edge of your scalp and you shall not destroy the edges of your beard.1

    Some commentaries explain that the prohibition against a man eradicating his beard and sideburns (peyot or peyos) is related to the idea of maintaining and emphasizing the distinction between men and women.2 Other authorities suggest that it is intended to avoid any similarity to pagan practice. Since the pagans would shave their heads completely, or shave around their heads and remove the sideburns,3 Jews specifically allow hair to grow in these areas.

    Jewish law only prohibits shaving the beard and sideburns with a razor blade. Using scissors or a scissors-like device4 (e.g. certain electric shavers5), is permitted. It is not unusual, therefore, to see observant Jewish men who are clean-shaven or have a trimmed beard. Even with scissors, the sideburns should not be trimmed above the point where the skull joins the jawbone.6 Some groups, such as Chassidim, do not trim their beards, sideburns or side-locks at all.7 Many Chassidim grow their peyos exceptionally long, and curl them, in order to enhance and beautify this Biblical commandment.8

    1. Leviticus 19:27.

    2. Horeb ibid.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team