10 Holy Hairstyles

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6Pe’ot

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Photo credit: David Shankbone

Many people associate sidelocks known as pe’ot as a strictly Hasidic style. However, followers of the tradition believe all Jewish people should wear them. The practice derives from the same passage in Leviticus sited by the House of David. The Torah is unclear why the practice should be followed. Many believe it was a means of separating themselves from idol worshipers — known shavers. Others claim it simply emerged to differentiate men and women.

Pe’ot customs vary based on mystic teachings and community norms. Some tuck them behind ears, others wrap them around the ear or twist them into ringlets. Some Kabbalistic circles believe the beard is imbued with magical power. They make effort to separate pe’ot from beard hair — believing they have different mystical attributes.

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