Photo Credit: Jewish Press
Lenny Solomon

Is it possible the National Hockey League follows the Rambam?

You see, in Vayikra it says, “You shall not round off the corners on your head, or destroy the corners of your beard” (19:27).

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It’s a custom in the NHL that during the playoffs, players have “playoff” beards. Now of course I jest, but perhaps we should dive deeper into the verse where peyos or sidelocks originate from.

The Rambam goes straight to the source. We want to differentiate between idol-worshipping priests and Jews. The Chabad movement has a strong directive never to shave. The Arizal actually never touched his beard for fear of a couple of hairs coming out.

Where I grew up in Queens, N.Y., we were a little more lenient. We never cut off our peyos, but we also were allowed to cut them below the bone.

Whether you never shave or you do shave but have sidelocks which are trimmed, the key is to understand that we are the chosen people and must keep our appearance special and holy.

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Lenny Solomon is a Jewish musician who has released 42 albums and has performed in over 2000 shows worldwide. He is the founder of the band Shlock Rock and a partner in the Kesher band. He is executive director of The 4 Corners Project, a nonprofit that produces informal Jewish educational projects using music and media. He lives in Bet Shemesh, Israel.