Shave the Hypocrite!

beard cutting offThe Chida (R. Chaim Dovid Yosef Azulai) wrote in his diary (Ma’agal Tov Ha-shalem) about the tzoraot hazaken, the plague of the beard, referring to hypocrites whose appearance was religious while  their conduct betrayed their claimed piety.

As posted in the wonderful blog On The Main Line the Chida recounts an episode in Modena, Italy in 1777.

Signore Samson [Levi] told me about  …  Signor Zecharia Padova, whom the leaders of Modena ordered to remove his beard because he was “suspected” and was causing a chillul hashem and they shaved it off. . .

At night I spoke with him [and] reproached him a great deal, but he remained rebellious. May G-d allow him to repent for the honor of his rabbinic ancestors.

The Jewish leaders of Modena got it right when they insisted on depriving this man of his religious disguise. Nowadays many Jewish leaders rise to the defense of such scoundrels and argue for their innocence. It does not fool non-Jews.  It creates yet more chillul hashem by encouraging others to exploit religious appearances. People have to stop saying, “I cannot believe that a religious looking man like Baruch Lebovits could have molested children.” Instead they have to ask “How can an unrepentant molester of children have the chutzpah to dress like a chasid?”

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7 thoughts on “Shave the Hypocrite!

  1. I have heard that the Pupa Rav once told his talmidim to shave off the beard of reported molester. It is also recorded that the Noda B’yehuda once chopped off the fingers of a Sofer (so that he would not be able to write and sell his safrus) who was caught with an act of Znus.

    • This story. Of pupa Rabbi is exploding Becouse if you have proof its hot Becouse he was a top posak and never spoke.or.did bad for any human being not like.the the phony satmar munkatch rabbis who are now the. Face. To whom are kids.look and kiss there a….. if someone has more info please.let it know for the public

  2. And you don’t think that the Agudah or other Rabbis in positions of power would use their thugs to shave the beards of people they didn’t like?

    Thank G-d we live in the USA.

    There should be SOCIAL pressure on the family to put pressure on the criminal to voluntarily shave his beard.

    But instead, people are defending the criminal…

    When the criminals get shunned, and the social pressures to shave their beards and take off their yarmulkas intensifies, only then will it happen.

    When we start having mob justice, their will be lynchings of the innocent. Don’t wish for it, please!

  3. The story with the Noda B’yehuda can be found in the last section of the Sefer Toldos Noda B’yehuda, titled Sipoorim (stories). This is verbatim what his student records there;

    “And another story I will tell you. In the city of Prague there was a Sofer Stam, who it was told over about him to the Noda B’yehuda, that there were witnesses that knew that he had violated a, grave, sexually immoral sin by committing adultery with his daughter-in-law, rachmana litslon. Immediately, the Noda B’yuehuda sent for him and he came before him. And the Noda B’yehuda said to him, “Rasha admit your sin”, and he denied it. So, our Rebbi gave him a piece of klaf, ink, and a pen and instructed him to write, which he did. Afterward, he instructed him to write the verse “ervas kalascha lo sigalai”. And trying as hard as he could, he couldn’t write those words. The Noda b’yehuda then screamed, “this rasha will go to another place where nobody recognizes him and continue writing as a Sofer Stam and be machshil the rabim. We have no choice and Bais Din is allowed to hit and punish”, and he grabbed an ax and chopped off two fingers from his right hand, so that he would never be able to write again. And it was a miracle.”

    In the main section of the sefer, there is another story recorded from his student with regard to shaving off a beard. The story was as follows; (not verbatim) there was an individual in the city who went against the Halacha and he shaved his beard with a razor. Eventually he got sick and died. However, prior to his death, while being sick, he couldn’t shave, and a small beard grew. During his Lavaya, the Noda B’yehuda commanded the chevra kadisha to halt the proceedings, and he opened the Aron in front of everyone and proclaimed, “This individual who violated the sin of shaving with a razor should go before the almighty with a beard?”. He then instructed the barber to shave off whatever beard remained on the Mais, which he did.

  4. Now I understand why so many of the Satmar sect of Aron shave and trim their beards they don’t want to make a chilul hasham when they go to the N….. clubs .& Atlantic city gambling .

  5. In response to Mendel;

    It’s a bit complicated, but as follows;

    The actual title of the Sefer is “Mofais Hador”. It was written by an individual named Reb Yekusiel Arye Camelhar (not sure the exact english spelling of his name).

    The sub-title of the main section of the Sefer “Mofais Hador” is called “Toldos D’rabainu Yecheskel Haleivi Landau”. Hence the name used in reference to it is Toldos Noda B’yehuda.

    The story, though, is found in the last section of the Sefer “Mofais Hador” titled “Sipoorim” (stories). The older prints of the Shailos Uteshuvos Noda B’yehuda have the Sefer in the back.

    Hatslacha in finding it.

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