The Tzemach Tzedek (1789-1866; 3rd Chabad-Lubavitcher Rebbe) in a lengthy Tshuva (Yoreh Deah, Siman 93: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1614&st=&pgnum=164) discusses the matter of shaving and concludes that it is strictly forbidden to shave the beard and furthermore concludes that one must be strict not to trim around the beard as there is uncertainty where the "corners" of the face begin and end. This is the normative practice among Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidim.

Are there other groups of Chassidim and non-Chassidim that adhere strictly to the Tzemach Tzedek's practice?

  • 2
    Not relevant to your question, but I don't understand what you quote from the TT. Even if we don't know where the 'corners' are, why would that halachically bar trimming? Only hashchasa is forbidden, no? But I guess I can ask that as a separate question....
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 16:30
  • Do you mean do they not trim because of the reason of the Tzemach Tzedek, or do they just not trim, for whatever reason? In other words, are you asking about practice or reason behind the practice?
    – Yishai
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 16:48
  • 2
    I know that there are other groups that don't, but am insufficiently sure which groups they are. Even if I knew, it would be only from word-of-mouth. I believe both Skver and Satmar do not trim the beard at all. I have even heard that in New Square, NY (a Skver community), one cannot daven from the amud if he has EVER shaved, even if presently in possession of a full beard. The Artscroll Chazon Ish Haggadah quotes the Chazon Ish as prohibiting from hands-on involvement in the matza baking process anyone who shaves.
    – Ze'ev
    Commented Jun 11, 2014 at 17:30
  • It is well recorded that the Babe-Sali was against trimming one's beard. Where "well recorded" means lots of stories where he promised Salvation if they stopped trimming their beards. Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


Almost no traditional chassidim trim at all. On a different note, the chafets chayim wrote a one volume piece called Tifferes Adam where he suggests in the first chapter to follow the kabbalistic practice of not trimming one's beard at all. Its not on hebrew books but its printed in the standard kol kisvei. This is a point besides his view of shaving.

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/20225/…
    – Yishai
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 16:14
  • 1
    So almost all traditional chassidim trim some?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 16:45
  • Im sorry if i wasnt clear. 99% of people who call themselves chasidish will never in their life so much as cut a single hair on their beard, even just to trim or even a scraggly one off with the rest. There are other more 'modern' chassidim, if you can call it that who will trim their beards but, say still wear a streimul and have long curly peyos. They are not the standard.
    – user6591
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 20:46
  • @user6591, every Satmar chossid I have met trims at least some of his beard, including chazzonim Commented May 19, 2016 at 23:28
  • @Noach have you been to Boropark Williamsburg or Kiryas Joel?
    – user6591
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 23:29

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