Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bald is beautiful

In today's Chitas we learn about all sorts of permitted and forbidden animals. This is rather strange, because the Torah already dealt with this topic in Leviticus. Why does it need to reiterate in Deuteronomy? The Rabbis answer (as brought down by Rashi) that they were repeated because the first time around two important species were left out: the Shesuah (an animal with two backs and two backbones) and the raah (which actually was mentioned in Leviticus, but under a different name). My question is, if the whole topic was only repeated because those two species were missing, why weren't they simply mentioned in the first place?

In other news, today's Chitas also comments, "You are the children of the Omnipresent, and you are fit to be handsome." Just saying.

20 comments:

e said...

Indeed, that question bothered me back in the day.

e said...

(Well not that precise question, but a wholly similar one regarding the repition of some other parsha in Leviticus.)

sarabonne said...

"You may not gash yourselves or make any baldness between your eyes..."
I suppose men must keep their unibrows then? Your title belongs in Elle magazine.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

e: Check Welthausen and get back to us.
Re unibrows: Yes, and I presume Lubavitchers don't trim them either. ;)

sarabonne said...

Then they get hitched and the wives take care of it when they're sleeping.

The Real Shliach said...

e: I'm sure there are answers. Somewhere.

Sara: Hey, if you can trim a mustache...

Modeh: Lav davka.

sarabonne said...

Actually I don't think tweezing the brow is ok but I wonder why trimming the mustache is.

The Real Shliach said...

Why isn't removal of the brow permitted? And does the Torah mention a prohibition regarding the cutting of the mustache?

sarabonne said...

According to Chabad.org and more specifically the "writings of the Ari, Taamei Hamitzvot, parashat Kedoshim," trimming the mustache where it overlaps the top lip is fine.
Re. unibrows, I think it was a custom for Amorites to do that but I'm not sure if such was only in a case of mourning.

The Real Shliach said...

There you go.

Where does it say anything about unibrows?

sarabonne said...

*sigh*
A bald spot-here the Torah speaks only of tearing out the hair at the hairline above the area between the eyes, but Leviticus 21:5 extends the prohibition to a bald spot anywhere (Rashi). Apparently the prevailing Amorite custom was to tear out the hair between the eyes.
-The Stone Editon Chumash

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh, intriguing. I'd ask for a Rabbi before prohibiting it though.

sarabonne said...

Half the reason why I mentioned it was in hopes that I could get some verification.

The Real Shliach said...

Is this an issue that's been bothering you?

sarabonne said...

Not really but now I'm curious.

The Real Shliach said...

Well, when you get an answer, tell me.

e said...

Methinks the prohibition is only if you balden yourself for mourning purposes.

Thus eyebrow tweezing is OK for women, but it's lo silbash for men (probably).

sarabonne said...

And there we are. Probably.

Anonymous said...

I recollect that in Shaarei Halacha U'Minhag (prob. vol. 3 - Yore Deiah), the Rebbe writes - in response to a query about the moustache's trimming/cutting in general - and refers the inquirer to ask Rabbonei Chabad in his area.

Seemingly - the topic in question was the moustache as an entity, not just the one above the lip?

(Although the Chabad.org-point which "sarabonne" brought, may be related to the idea of "me'akev ha'achila.." -- Which reminds me of an anecdote from the early part of last century: An otherwise beard-donning man cuts it, and in response to those who ask - says, it's "me'akev ha'MAachilah" - business which is the breadwinner..)

learn english!! said...

"don" ≠ "wear"
I have met many "beard-wearing" men, but no "beard-donning" men.