Friday, June 19, 2009

Let's Talk About Hair

I've been lucky to get so many compliments on Asher while we're out and about:
"She's so sweet!"
"What a pretty little girl!"
"Aw, isn't she precious?"

Yep! Even when he's dressed in a polo shirt and cargo pants,
strangers think that Ashi's a girl.

So, why haven't we cut that boy's hair yet?
It's a Jewish custom to let it grow.
Until he's three.


(I'm glad you asked.)

The Bible compares people to trees:
"...They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper." (Ps.1:3)*

In the Torah,** the Israelites are instructed to refrain from harvesting a tree's fruit for the first three years of its life.

We want our children to be like trees.

We know that small children need lots of special love, care, and devotion to build strong roots.
We know that they need a different kind of love to grow tall and strong.
And yet a different kind to grow branches, leaves, and fruit of their own.

We want our children to be strong enough
to weather the storms of life,
which also means being flexible enough
not to break in the fiercest winds.

So, as a symbol of this deepest of hopes,
we leave his hair alone,
just like the fruit of a tree,
for his first three years.

(Also, it's a sneaky way for me to avoid getting rid of this last little remnant of his baby-hood. Oh, you'd better believe I'm going to cry buckets when we cut it next year.)

To see the whole "Ashi's hair" set, inspired by this post, click here.
*Another favorite example of mine is Psalms 92:12 .
**Leviticus 19:23.


Phyllis Sommer said...

oh goodness he's so yummy. we didn't make it with my boys - i got so much heat for the hair, i couldn't even make it a whole year for either of them. and then we had the lice thing with the girl - it was just so unfair.

love your new header, btw.

Anonymous said...

I like this post :) Shows all the people who don't know him in person that yes, he is indeed a beautiful baby boy :) Amazing...even in cargo pants and polos :)

Ima said...

I am feeling a bit coerced by religion this week. I will tell you about it in length some other time. In any case, being the amazing rabbi that you are, you inspired me so, that if ever I am to have a boy, I am not touching a hair on his head for the first three years. I miss you guys! See you soon!

Ima said...

Just sent this to a friend. I was inspired!

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