Where is there a source for having long payos ,and if there are sources what is the oldest source.?

I am talking about the extra length besides for the halachic necessity.

Like behind the ears or down to the chin.

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    See this article, section VI.
    – Fred
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 2:17
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    The source is Yayikra - 19:27 and 21:5. I'm sure some of the well-read folks around here can list the commentaries' say on the customs for the times they were written...
    – Gary
    Commented Apr 19, 2014 at 1:41
  • See the comments of the תפארת ישראל (יכין ס"ק לג) to the משנה in מכות (ג, ה) Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 13:48

2 Answers 2


Olas Yitzchak 292 says it is known from the times of the Rambam even though the Rambam did not hold it was necessary. He brings in the name of the Sefer Shaar HaMitzvos - Rabbi Chaim Vital - Parshas Kedoshim in the name of the Arizal. Ben Ish Chai in his Sefer Ben Ish Chayil says that when Mordechai was Muchtar Binimuso it means long Paiyos.

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    actually the arizal held one should keep your payos short
    – Dude
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 1:24
  • @Dude: A source for your comment would be appreciated. Should you have a source I will edit my answer. Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 13:21
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    I don't have a direct source for the arizal but looking at my gutnik eddition of the chumash... "according to the chabad custom the payes may-and indeed-should-be trimmed with scissors. This is based on the precedent of the Arizal(founder of the dominant system of kabalistic mysticism on which chasidism is based) of whom it is explicitly documented that he trimmed his peyos with scissors. Thus, it is difficult to fathom why a person who follows in the paths of the Aizal would grow his payos long"
    – Dude
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 0:57
  • @Dude: If you read my link to Rabbi Chaim Vital he says that one may cut them with a scissor, however they should be long. Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 13:00
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    my comment was not in reference to chaim vital but in reference to the arizal who held they should not be too long as the beard and payos should be kept seperate
    – Dude
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 18:55

Per Rabbi Shraga Simmons at About.com:

Question: Why do male Chasidic Jews have the long side curls in their hair?

Answer: The Torah says, "You shall not round off the peyos of your head" (Leviticus 19:27). The word peyos refers to sideburns -- i.e. the hair in front of the ears that extends to underneath the cheekbone which is level with the nose (Talmud - Makkot 20a). The Talmud explains that this law only applies to men, not to women.

Maimonides explains that the prohibition of “rounding” prohibits the removal of sideburns, by razor, tweezers or any other means. Though it is permitted to trim the sideburns, even very close to the skin, using scissors.

Even though sideburns are enough to satisfy the Torah requirement of peyos, many Jews grow their peyos long as a way of emphasizing the commandment (Peyos sounds like pious, right?!), or simply of Jewish identification. Some will curl their peyos, while others while tuck them behind their ear. It’s just a matter of individual taste, or communal custom.

Hair is also a symbol of vanity, a preoccupation of how one looks. The prohibition against cutting off the peyos reminds a person to de-emphasize his looks, and instead depend on intellect and good character. (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, 19th century Germany)

From a mystical perspective, peyos separate between the front part of the brain which is used for abstract thought that can be used for holiness, and the back part of the brain that governs the body.

With blessings from Jerusalem,
Rabbi Shraga Simmons

  • "Maimonides explains that the prohibition of “rounding” prohibits the removal of sideburns, by razor, tweezers or any other means. Though it is permitted to trim the sideburns, even very close to the skin, using scissors." Isnt this internally contradictory? May the sideburns be cut with a scissors, or not. Interestingly in reality Rambam is of the opinion that the prohibition only includes cutting the hair with a razor.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 18:10

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