Project Genesis

Side Curls II

What is the reason some Jewish men grow long curls of hair from their Sideburns?

The long curls are commonly called “Payos”, or Corners. Two reasons for growing side curls are found in the writings of the Sages: One is that a man is compared to a tree (Deut. 20:19) and we let the corners of his head grow as we leave the corners of a field uncut. The second reason is to emphasize the commandment not to round off the corners of his head (Lev. 19:27). Growing long side curls is only a custom and Jewish law does not require it. It suffices not to shave the corners of the head.

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