Luke Ford writes: Noon. Thursday. Jan. 31. 2008.
I’m at the Robertson branch of the Los Angeles Public Library leafing through the February issue of Commentary magazine.
It’s been a few days since I’ve shaved.
I stop at an article on the role of the beard in Judaism by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik. I read it all the way through. I decide to not shave again.
The clean-shaven Rabbi Soloveichik says the beard plays an important role in Judaism. It’s been the way of the Jewish people for thousands of years. Growing a beard is a rejection of Egypt, where men would obsessively shave to look young. Judaism wants you to look your age. Judaism wants you to accept who you are. Judaism wants men to look like men and women to look like women. A beard distinguishes a man from a boy.
For the past 14 years, I’ve been using Grecian Formula to try to hide the growing amounts of grey in my hair. Now I decide to stop fighting my age and to embrace it.