Payot is a Hebrew terminology that can be written as פֵּאָה and פֵּאוֹת in plural form. It can be pronounced as payois, peyois, peyos, payos, peyot or pe’ot in Ashkenazi language. The word payot defines to the Hebrew word, which is sideburn or sidelock. It is an item that is usually worn by many male Jewish in Orthodox communities and according to the theory of the Biblical injunction, the hair of the male Jewish in the said community must not shave the corners of their head. In fact, the term pe’ah has the meaning of edge, side, and corner. There are several shapes and designs of payot along Chardal, Yemenite, and Hasidic or Haredi Jewish. Some types of Jewish people specifically the Yemenite Jews usually call their payot as simonim which means signs. It is because their longer sidelocks that have curly styles will distinguish them among their neighbors that are non-Jewish. Their simonim will also distinguish them that they are Jews that came from the Yemenite societies.
Hassidic Jews usually wear their sidelocks or commonly known in the name of payot to distinguish themselves from the other people, as their kabbalistic or mystical practice, and as their obedience to their Jewish law. If you are asking yourself what is/are the reason/s why many Hasidic Jews usually their payot, then keep on reading this article to know why. Enjoy!
Hasidic Jews usually wear their payot because they believe that it has mystical importance to their traditions as Jews. They also believe that maintaining their long-haired sidecurls is a type of holy practice. To prove this belief of Hasidic Jews about payot, several Hasidic texts were printed in a book that is believed that these texts were derived from the Kabbalistic sources just like Arizal and Zohar.
As you read one of the Torah verses which are the Leviticus 19:27 says that “You shall not round off the ‘peyos’ (פְּאַת) of your head.” And Jewish people believe that the meaning of this verse from the Torah is not to shave the hair of the Jewish male above their cheekbone. However, Hasidic have a severe interpretation about this verse which is, they will not allow a single Hasidic Jew to cut his sidecurls forever.
Almost all of the Hasidic Jews believe that their localism is a very important factor to distinguish themselves from the other people to maintain the peacefulness in their community. To differentiate themselves from the other people is the major reason why Hasidic Jews wear their sidecurls or payot, usually, wear big hats and to maintain the longer length of their beards.
Almost all of the Hasidic Jews are living in London and in the city of New York, which we all know that is one of the overpopulated areas in the world. To differentiate themselves to the netizens of the said cities, they still maintain their localism, beliefs, and cultures. In some other ways, wearing Hasidic clothing and garment is also serve as a reminder to all Hasidic Jews that they are unique among people around them and they are in need to maintain their customs and laws.
Hasidic male Jewish usually wants to make their beards long not only to distinguish themselves from the non-Jews living in their community, but they also make their beards in a full length because they believe that it is the command for them by the Lord God. They also believe that wearing a long hair beard refers that they have a stronger connection with God, the longer the beard is the stronger the connection they create with the Lord God.
Similar to having a long hair side curls, Hasidic Jews also wear large hats to determine that they are Hasidic Jewish people and not just an ordinary type of Jews. Many non-Jewish people may think that Hasidic Jews are boastful because of the way they cloth, but they are wrong. In fact, Hasidic Jews are just like ordinary people, the only thing that differs them from the other people is their religion.
Understanding The World Today. The Brisker Rov zt”l said about his father Rav Chaim zt”l that his