With the passing of Simchat Torah, the last of the autumnal Jewish holidays, we thought we’d take a deeper dive into one of the more impressive faith-based grooming rituals: the Jewish payos (which is acceptably spelled about a dozen ways, including pe’ot, peyos, payot and so on).
Our fascination with the payos is similar to our intrigue with the burqa: we’re curious, but also wary of asking insensitive/dumb questions.
So, we did a little research.
As the story goes, in biblical times it was common practice among many idol worshipers to shave only the side of the head. The Jews, having absolutely zero interest in being confused with such heathens, decided it best (if not a little passive-aggressive) to specifically grow out the side of the head.
Thus, Leviticus 19:27: “You shall not round off the pe’ah [sides, corners] of your head.”