Saturday, November 19, 2011


Beard, Where is your Jew?

The following story was shared by Rav Aviner in response to a halachic query about using electric shavers…

There is a story about a Holocaust survivor who knew the Satmar Rebbe before the Holocaust and came to visit the him in America. The Rebbe’s students saw a clean-shaven Jew speaking about all sorts of Torah subjects with the Rebbe and were surprised.

After he left, one of the students asked the Rebbe: who is this clean-shaven person who came to speak with the Rebbe?

The Satmar Rebbe responded: "When that Jew ascends to give a divine accounting, Hashem will ask him: "Jew, where is your beard?" But when you ascend to give a divine accounting, Hashem will ask you: "Beard, where is your Jew?"

(Picture is for illustrative purposes only. Unknown “bearded Jew” by Life Magazine.)


  1. I've always loved this story; it says so much.

  2. I understand there is more background to American beardless rabbis (maybe I read it here?) In the early 20th century, beards were associated with homeless bums and not respectful so many cut them off. Apparently, this [disrespect] changed after the 60s, but the practice seemed to have become a stringent minhag even until today.


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