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Jul 11, 2007

living like a Jew

We are now deep into the period knows as "The Three Weeks". A full week has passed. This period of time is meant to be one of mourning over the destruction of the Temples, and also of the various Jewish communities throughout history. It is a time of introspection and self-analysis.

It is difficult to arouse such feelings, in today's day and age. We, for the most part, have little understanding of what life was like with the Temples, and therefore it is difficult to arouse the appropriate levels of "mourning" and consideration. It was a long time ago, we never experienced it, it is very difficult to honestly mourn.

That is why, I think, that the mourning is barely visible on most people. Sure, we keep the customs associated with the time period - we do not listen to music, no weddings, no buying new clothes, etc.. but the actual mourning is missing.

There is one aspect that one will now begin to notice while walking the streets of Israel. That would be: no haircuts or shaving.

All of the sudden, everyone here looks like Bruce Willis. Everyone has the 5 o' clock shadow. Soon everyone will have the short, messy beards. One of the customs of the Three Weeks is no haircuts and shaving.

From what I remember in the US, most people use the excuse of "parnassah" to allow themselves to shave and get haircuts (it is a valid excuse and I am not criticizing it). Meaning, it is detrimental to their earning a livelihood, as it is inappropriate to show up to work, among the non-jews, looking "disheveled" because of not shaving. It is not acceptable, and many shave for that reason.

In Israel, a Jew can live like a Jew is supposed to, if he so desires, and the parnassah excuse is used much less frequently. One can work in the most secular of offices in Israel and does not have to shave. He can follow the Jewish customs and not be concerned about such repercussions.

Just walk down the street and see how suddenly everyone is sporting short beards, which will soon be longer. It is considered acceptable and legitimate to keep your religious practices, and one need not fear any external forces.

Only in Israel. Another reason to live in Israel - a person can live like a Jew.

9 comments:

  1. but it's stil ictches!

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  2. ahhh - but you itch like a Jew...

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  3. Things not to say to a father of newborn twins, at the brit: "You know you're allowed to shave." His response was that he had to have time. . . My comment was still better than the one accusing him of being too lazy to get up early on a MOnday or Thursday to name the girl . . .

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  4. you mean - he had a boy because he would have had to wake up early had he had a girl? that's funny

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  5. Read it again--he had TWINS. A boy AND a girl, born on Thursday evening. The girl was named the Shabbat after the brit.

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  6. sometimes I can't recognize women when they have a sheytl vs tichel, or vise versa....now with all the men growing their beards, i'll have an interesting time w/the men too.

    Mother in Israel- mazal tov, who had twins?

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  7. miriam, i don't understand.
    you have a hard time recognizing if a man's beard is real or fake?

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  8. So after a week without shaving, I now look thoroughly disreputable.

    Good thing I freelance from home.

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  9. it is good to freelance from home, but about your looks, everyone looks like that right now!!

    ReplyDelete

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