Folding the beard


May one fold his beard if it is long?[1]

From the letter of the law there is no prohibition against folding the beard. Nevertheless, it is improper to fold the beard, even if it is very long and makes one look disorderly in his eyes. Even if this leads to one’s ridicule by others one should not pay attention to their ridicule. One is to leave the beard to grow in its natural G-d given state.[2] The length of a beard is a G-d given gift, as it represents the abundance of Divine revelation that the person receives from the level of Dikna, and hence the longer the beard the more of a blessing it is from G-d. Therefore, those that fold the beard, even though they care careful not to cut it, are denying G-d’s gift and are hence doing something improper.[3] Leaving the beard in its natural state despite the ridicule brings a person the revelation of the inner part of his soul. Folding the beard due to so called holy intentions [of being of acceptable appearance to others] is an act of self denial and opposes G-dliness.[4]

[1] Torah Leshma [of Ben Ish Chaiy] 447; Rebbe Rashab in Toras Shalom p. 94 [Hebrew]; Hadarta Panim Zakein pp. 302; 522

[2] Rebbe Rashab ibid

[3] Ben Ish Chaiy ibid

[4] Rebbe Rashab ibid

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