web analytics
March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: Incongruous And Unbecoming (Part II)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

The same baraita also notes that members of the house of Rabban Gamliel were permitted to sit with the authorities and discuss Greek philosophy. Thus cutting one’s hair in a heathen manner (possibly dressing like them too) and participating in philosophical discussions were allowed, not only to avoid censure, but also to promote the success of their endeavors. (It is also possibly allowed for personal endeavors such as attaining a parnassa since this personal endeavor is an indirect public good inasmuch as it relieves a burden from the communal chest.)

The exact definition of a beloriyoth depends on a dispute among halachic authorities in the explanation of the Mishnah in Avodah Zara 8a. The Mishnah states that the day a heathen cuts his beloriyoth was considered to be a festival for his idolatry. Rashi (s.v. “beloriyoth”) explains that the heathens would, on a regular basis, shave their hair in the front but leave hair in the back. However, once a year they would shave off the hair in the back as well and on that day they would hold a celebration to their gods. The hair in the back was called the beloriyoth. Rashi in Bava Kamma, as we noted above (83a s.v. “midarchei amori”) also mentions the opinion held by Teshuvat Geonim that heathens would shave the hair above their ears. Thus, according to Rashi, it would seem that this prohibition does not refer to growing long hair in the front of the head since this was clearly not the specified practice.

Rambam’s opinion (Hilchos Avodah Zara 11:1) remains a matter of dispute. Some authorities (Beth Yosef, ibid.) maintain that Rambam only forbids shaving the entire head except for the hair in the middle of the crown of the head, or shaving the hair in front and leaving hair in back. There is no prohibition, however, against allowing the hair in front to grow.

The Pri Chadash (Kuntres Mayim Chayyim on Rambam, Hilchos Avodah Zara 11) maintains that according to Rambam, heathens wore their hair long, loose on top and braided underneath, and wearing such a hairstyle would be considered following the ways of the Amorites, and is forbidden. Others (Bach Y.D. 178; Machatzis HaShekel, Orach Chayyim 27) maintain that according to Rambam, someone who grows long bangs or forelocks also transgresses this prohibition.

Some would wish to interpret from the Mishnah Berurah (Orach Chayyim 27:15) that he is of the same view. Yet, he mentions hair on the forehead only when discussing whether hair is considered a chatzitzah, an interposition between the tefillin shel rosh and the forehead in placement of the tefillin.

We find that the gaon Rabbi Yom Tov Lipman Heller (Divrei Chamudot to Rosh, Halachot Ketanot, Hilchot Tefillin, found in our Vilna Shas at the end of Menachot), in the course of his discussion of this matter cites a contrary view found in Teshuvot Rashba. Rashba states that there is a view that a hat or head covering (and surely one’s own hair) might not necessarily constitute a chatzitzah under the tefillin shel rosh. He also cites the Jerusalem Talmud saying that we should see what the preponderance of people do (compare B.T. Berachot 45a). Thus, according to this view, one’s own hair would not constitute a chatzitzah, seemingly causing no problems with growing the front of one’s hair. Today we do see that to have some hair in the front is common practice.

 

(To be continued)

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Q & A: Incongruous And Unbecoming (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many of the Bibicotters
Want to Tell the BibiCotters What You Think? Here’s How You Can.
Latest Judaism Stories
Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Esther Denouncing Haman

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Vol. LXVI No. 6 5775   NYC Candle Lighting Time February 6, 2015 – 17 Shevat 5775 5:01 p.m. NYC E.S.T.   Sabbath Ends: 6:04 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 6:33 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: Yisro Weekly Haftara: Bi’shenas Mos HaMelech (Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6 Ashkenazim; Isaiah 6:1-13 Sephardim) Daf Yomi: Kesuvos 4 […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-incongruous-and-unbecoming-part-ii/2011/10/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: