I remember hearing that there were gentiles from years ago (not sure what time period) that used to leave a lot of hair on the front of their heads and would have the rest of their hair either shaved totally or very short and that this practice was considered Idol Worship.
I would really appreciate the source for this if true.

Nowadays it is the common practice for people to leave bangs, leaving quite a bit of hair even, with the other parts shaven short.

My first question is: If it was the practice of gentiles back then to leave a lot of hair and that it was considered idol worship, what is the היתר nowadays to leave a lot of hair with the rest shaven?

My second is: What is the היתר to make hairdos with ones hair and comb it in a stylish way? It appears to be a practice of the gentiles nowadays, so why would it be permissible to copy that?

I may be totally mistaken. Please source your answers.

  • 1
    do you have a source for bangs being connected to idolatry? A comb is the item that is used for your hair. Do you have a source that says it can only be used by gentiles? Gentiles sit in chairs but no one would suggest that Jews must always stand.
    – Dude
    Sep 13, 2022 at 21:19
  • Avodah Zara 8A discusses the Bluris which is the hair left in the manner you describe. The issue is that they did it for idol worship not style
    – Chatzkel
    Sep 13, 2022 at 21:20
  • A “bluris” may also be a min issue for tefillin. Talk to your rabbi
    – mroll
    Sep 13, 2022 at 22:32
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/75300/…
    – Alex
    Sep 14, 2022 at 3:01

4 Answers 4


To answer your question about a source for this being idolatry, Herodotus, known as "the Father of History", wrote about the Arabs:

"they say that the cutting of their hair is done after the same fashion as that of Dionysos himself; and they cut their hair in a circle round, shaving away the hair of the temples." (Histories Book III:8).

Herodotus lived a while before the Alexandrian conquest of the Levant, so when he says that they did so because Dionysus looked like this, he was equating an Arab deity with the Greek Dionysus, as he himself states in the next sentence:

"Now they call Dionysos Orotalt and Urania they call Alilat."

Orotalt is the Arabian deity Ruḍā, according to a number of scholars, see here for example.

A number of decades before Herodotus came the prophet Yirmiyahu who wrote about the Arabian tribes and their shaved heads, but without mentioning an idolatrous connection:

"of Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the desert dwellers who have the hair of their temples clipped." (Yirmiyahu 9:25)
"Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and all those who have their hair clipped; all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed peoples who live in the desert" (Yirmiyahu 25:23-24)
"...And I will scatter to every quarter Those who have their hair clipped..." (Yirmiyahu 49:32).

See here for more discussion of these verses and this Arabian custom.


The Medresh Rabbah (ואתחנן פ' יח) says that a bloris is only asur if grown for the purpose of avodah zara. I don't know if this is brought down by any poskim. On a related note, I heard from a prominent Rosh Yeshiva in E"Y that it would be baffling to say that there's any issue regarding chatzitzah for tefillin due to long hair. Harei, the Torah tells us about nidrei nezirus, which makes it asur to cut one's hair for a certain length of time, and there is no mention of any issue for tefillin).


It seems to me that you are asking about a haircut that is colloquially referred to in the Yeshivah world as having a "tshup" (I believe the term comes from Yiddish by way of Russian чуб). Many of the later Aharonim/Poseqim use the term בלורית to describe this haircut, however they are not using it in the technical sense in which it originally refers to a forbidden heathen haircut (the Tosefta Shabboth 7:1 deems a בלורית darkhei ha-Emori, the ways of the Emorites).

There is a debate about what exactly the classical בלורית consists of (see Rashi on Sotah 49b and Rambam, H. AZ 11:1, and Beth Yosef YD 178 for different interpretations of the Rambam). However what is contemporarily known as a בלורית does not satisfy these positions. Rabbi Yaaqov Sasson (following the rulings of his grandfather R. Obhadia Yosef) clarifies (האם מותר לגדל בלורית):

אין איסור בגידול הבלורית באופן שמגדל קצת שיער לצד הפנים. (שנקרא בזמנינו "בלורית"). ואין איסור בגידול בלורית כפי שנוהגים בזמנינו, משום שאין זה בגדר חוקות הגויים.

There is no prohibition in growing a בלורית in a manner wherein the hair on the sides is grown shorter (which is called in our times "בלורית"). And there is no prohibition on growing a בלורית in the manner that people are accustomed to in our day, since this does not fall within the purview of following gentile ways.

The Aharonim/Poseqim that criticize the contemporary בלורית (aka a "tshup") primarily condemn it on two grounds: 1) That it is a conceited hairstyle, and 2) its effects on the proper donning of tefillin.

For example, the Mishnah Berurah 27:15 states:

כתב בספר מחצית השקל ורע עלי המעשה של אותן האנשים שמגדלין בלורותיהן מלבד כי הוא דרך שחץ וגאוה עיין מה שכתוב ביו"ד סימן קע"ו יש בו איסור בהנחת תפילין דכיון דגדולין הרבה ליכא למימר בהו היינו רביתייהו וחוצצים עי"ש ובלאו חציצה נמי בשביל הני שערות המרובים א"א לצמצם שיהיו מהודקין ומונחין על מקומן כדין

In the work Mahasith ha-Sheqel, the author writes "I am vexed by the conduct of those people who allow their forelocks (בלורותיהן) to grow. Apart from the fact that this is haughty and arrogant behavior (see YD 176), it also involves the transgression of a prohibition, when one dons tefillin. For in view of the fact that the locks of the hair are very long, one cannot argue that they constitute normal growth and they are therefore ruled as an interposition between the tefillin unit and the flesh." See there. Actually this practice would also be objectionable without the question of the interposition. For because of those numerous hairs it is impossible to adjust the position of the tefillin with exactitude so that they will be tightly donned in their proper place, in accordance with halakhic requirements.

As far as the first concern comes into play, this is more in the realm of middoth than outright din per se, and accordingly some take a more lenient tact whilst cautioning against growing the hair too long and/or being preoccupied with looks. On the issue of an interposition between the tefillin and the head, the Arukh ha-Shulhan takes the position that even long hair in its own natural place is not a problem of interposition, however where a בלורית is grown such that its hair encircles/envelops the hair of another area of the head then it would be a problem (AH 27:15):

ויש רוצים להחמיר גם כשהשיער גדול מאוד. ואיני רואה בזה שום טעם, דאיזה גבול תתן להשיער? ושיער הראש כעצם הראש דמי. ואולי אם יש לו בלורית שמסבב גם צדדי השיער של מקום אחר למקום הנחת תפילין – בזה וודאי יש חציצה, אבל לא השיער הטבעי הגדל במקום זה. וכן המנהג פשוט, ואין לפקפק כלל בזה

This perspective seems to allow for a minor/moderate "tshup" provided that it doesn't fall subject to the aforementioned consideration.


Look in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 10 sif 6 He says long hair, besides being an issur, is also a chatzitzah for tefilin

  • 2
    That is a difficult minority opinion judaism.stackexchange.com/q/127391/759
    – Double AA
    May 18, 2023 at 1:56
  • 1
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    May 18, 2023 at 2:59

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