Hadras Ponim Zokon

Proclamation from the Rebbe Rashab addressed to the entire Klal Yisroel

A proclamation from the Rebbe Rashab, addressed to the entire Klal Yisroel, was discovered by the acclaimed scholar, R' Yehoshua Mondshein z'l of Jerusalem.

In honor of Chof Cheshvan, the Rebbe Rashab's birthday, we are pleased to share a translation of this historic document, as follows (underlining by the translator):

Important Announcement

To our Jewish brethren, "believers, children of believers":

Since there are many who permit themselves to cut their beards with scissors, basing it on what is quoted in the Shulchan Aruch and declaring that they are acting thus in accordance with the Halacha as stated in Shulchan Aruch -

It is our obligation to announce publicly that they are in error, for this is absolutely prohibited (Isur Gomur) according to the Torah itself (Midorayso), as many of the earlier and later Torah giants (Rishonim and Achronim) have proven and clarified that those doing this transgress several Torah prohibitions (Kamo Lav'vin)... [here the Rebbe Rashab cites several source references].

Everyone is obligated to inform his family members of this severe prohibition (Isur Chomur) so that it not be a root for growth of [spiritual] decay from his family. Everyone should be aware that all the issues about which we wrote were stated in accordance with the dictate of our holy Torah (Daas Torah), and whoever transgresses this should know that the sin is upon his head. And whoever listens to our words here shall be blessed with abundant blessings for all good forever.

  • For the original Hebrew of this proclamation, see the Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rashab, vol. II p.527 and Shaalos U'Teshuvos Toras Sholom section 45.
  • For a poster including the original Hebrew and English translation in PDF format, click here.
  • For a comprehensive treatment of this topic, please see sefer Hadras Ponim - Zokon [a third, greatly expanded edition (1,024 pages) has been published and is available at your local sefarim store or on-line at Kehot.
  • Also, an English language work on this topic (translated by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger) has been published by KTAV Publishing House, entitled "The Beard in Jewish Law: Halachic Imperative or Kabbalistic Stringency?," and is available at your local Jewish book store, or online at: Kehot | Amazon | Judaica World | AbeBooks