Tuesday, August 07, 2007


"Queen Elizabeth I, succeeding Mary, is said to have disliked beards and therefore established a tax on them."

"It has been noted that there is a close and consistent association of long standing in American film between facial hair and role—if one lead male character has more facial hair than another, he is far more likely to be the antagonist, and the man with less (or no) facial hair the protagonist."

"One stratum of American society where facial hair is virtually nonexistent is in government and politics. The last President to wear any type of facial hair was William Howard Taft, who was in office nearly a century ago. Virtually no current state governors or members of Congress have beards or mustaches."

"The Bible states in Leviticus 19:27 that "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard." Talmudic rabbis understood this to mean that a man may not shave his beard with a razor with a single blade, since the cutting action of the blade against the skin "mars" the beard. Because scissors have two blades, halakha (rabbinic law) permits their use to trim the beard, as the cutting action comes from contact of the two blades and not the blade against the skin. For this reason, most poskim (Jewish legal decisors) rule that Orthodox Jews may use electric razors to remain cleanshaven, as such shavers cut by trapping the hair between the blades and the metal grating, halakhically a scissor-like action. Some prominent contemporary poskim maintain that electric shavers constitute a razor-like action and consequently prohibit their use."

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