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The White Beard

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The white Beard and old age seem to go together. It is not surprising that they share the same cognate in Hebrew; a beard is zakan and old age is zaken. The Torah tells us that Abraham became zaken. Our sages combined the two meanings by saying that until that time, men did not grow beards. Abraham prayed that men grow beards and that they grow white as we age.

The Talmud’s stated reason for this prayer was so that Abraham would be distinguishable from his son Isaac who was his perfect resemblance. But why specifically with a beard and why a white beard? Also, every Torah teaching must contain an eternal lesson, what does this teach us?

The Beard
Many people prefer to go without facial hair. Yet, not very long ago, beards were in fashion. In fact, beards are coming back. Judaism has always encouraged beards and prohibits shaving with a razor. Many Jews believe that any form of shaving is forbidden.

This is because the beard carries huge mystical significance. The beard is the only hair that grows vertically from above to below, which represents the flow of Divine energy into the world.

G-d’s energy is infinite. There is no way that His entire pool of energy to wash down on us. We would be washed away; flooded and drowned by His energy. Instead, He allows a trickle to flow down to us from above. This trickle is infinitesimal compared to its source, but for us it is plenty. This is represented by the hair follicles in the beard. Each follicle symbolizes a channel of Divine energy. It is a trickle, but that is because it must........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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