For Hasidism Jewish, inward and outward are connected in a mysterious way.

World Religions
The recent Times News told us the Hasidic Jews tries to use beards of the young hip as a way to reach out to them. ( In the story, Hasidism (a Jewish branch inclined to the mysticism direction) Rabbi Manis Friedman said, “the facial hair actually grows from the head towards the heart” according to him, the facial hair is “a flow of energy that connects the mind and heart.” By doing this, the Hasidism seems to identify with those hips who often have beards.

Judaism is “a way of life” through liturgical practice and communal involvement as well as family life . The religious aspect of the main stream Judaism is focused on scholarship study of the law in order to carry on the teaching of law in the daily life. However, the Hasidism Judaism emphasized the “need to cling to God in prayer” . For them, true religion consists not primarily of Talmudic scholarship, but of “a sincere love of God combined with warm faith and belief in the efficacy of prayer”. It is fair to say that Hasidism is a more personal and psychological approach of Judaism.

For Hasidism Jewish, the facial hair issue is not a cultural issue but a theological issue. However, unlike the main stream Judaism, which takes a more legal approach to understanding the facial hair issue, Hasidism Jews takes a mythical approach to understand the issue. For them, the omnipresence of God is the key to understand their dress code and facial hair.

The material thing connect with the image of Deity in this world. The facial hair is a small matter, however, it is a way to serve God. And this is no small matter. The outer practice is thus has a metaphorical relation to God. In such a way of thinking, we could understand why Rabbi Friedman said that. Their hair style, as well as clothing style, has a mystical intent. They are not about law but about a heartfelt way to follow God’s instruction in life.

As a Christian, I see how important for a believer to have the fervent to know God personally. The key of faith is to experience the psychological change as well as change in our acts. Faith is about integrity which unite our practice and our belief. In the Hasidism effort, we see such a fervent.

2 thoughts on “For Hasidism Jewish, inward and outward are connected in a mysterious way.

  1. There are things that can be learned from the “fervent” of the Hasidic Jews, as you describe. I have noticed recently, how Evangelical Christians can often reject time-honoured practices and traditions, dismissing them because they are unfamiliar, or because–for some reason–the practice reminds them of other denominations they consider to be apostate. There is a subtle gnosticism imbedded in much of the Evangelical Christianity I’ve experienced. Without stating it outright, many tend to live their lives as if the material is evil while the spiritual is good. Thoughts and feelings are emphasized while actions are underplayed or ignored. But the Hasidic Jews are right with regard to the connection between the spiritual and the material, or rather, that faith is “a way of life.” Either faith is lived, or it is not. The challenge for many of us is the make that connection so that it is indeed inseparable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s