history reference that I'm hoping to clarify - from a translation of my ancestors Yizkor book #ukraine


Good morning,

My family is from Lyubeshiv, Ukraine, a town that had a small Jewish population of 1888 at its peak and doesn't have much written materials that I could find.  But I did find a YIzkor book that included it as a surrounding town and had someone translate the Yiddish into English. I am hoping someone might be able to help me with context of the following line, and what it means when they say "shaved their beards in violation of religion prohibition:

"The town of Lubeshov is soaked in historical ancestry of many generations - with great heroes, nobelman and Jews who had shaved their beards in violation of religious prohibition - beginning with the time of the Cloister of Kaputz."

Thank you,
Johanna Pertuis

Sherri Bobish


You may find these pages of interest:

Best regards,

Sherri Bobish


I am currently translating the Kamin Kashirsky YB, and Lubashov (Lyubashiv)  comes up numerous times as  neighboring town.  In any case, to answer your question, there is a biblical prohibition regarding shaving parts of the beard (see Lev. 19:27). Since we do not know the exact location of these points, the prohibition is generally understood to include the entire beard. You might ask, how is it that observant Jews go about cleanshaven? The prohibition applies only to cutting the beard with a razor (i.e. through scraping off the beard). The use of depilatories or scissors is not forbidden. And these days, many electric shavers work by a cutting motion rather than a scraping motion -- so it is very easy for an observant Jew to go about cleanshaven these days (although some current electric shavers may cut too close, so one interested in observing the law should consult a rabbinic authority). Pre electric shavers, it was more difficult, as it would have to be done with depilatories. And it seems that there is a typo in the YB quote above (perhaps from the translation): 'violation of religion prohibition' should be 'violation of a religious prohibition' 
Jerrold Landau

Goldberg, Yeshaye

In the Ukraine, Poland, Galicia, and Russia, having beards was standard for Jews and non-Jews alike. I am not sure what the "time of the cloister of Kaputz" is. It would help if you could provide the Yiddish version. Shaving was something that was prevalent in the "western world". Peter the Great in the 18th century came back from a meeting where his counterparts from "western" countries were clean shaven. He tried to institute in Russia the idea of being clean shaven. He even personally shaved the members of his court (with a few exceptions). He instituted a "beard tax". The purpose was to become more modern like the western civilization. That is when the idea of shaving became an issue in Jewish circles. According to Halacha, one may not shave certain areas of the beard. In Halacha, shaving means using a razor. one may cut (shave) with anything that does it with a scissors action (two blades - Many electric shavers today are considered to be really electric scissors. Here is not the place to discuss the intricacies of the shaving Halacha) or with chemicals. The idea of changing traditional garb or the "look of someone Jewish" is in and of itself considered a Jewish prohibition. That could very well be the intent of the writer. Again, it would help to have a time frame. I am not sure of the rules that the "Vaad Daled Arotzos" (council of the 4 lands), and if shaving even in a permitted fashion was prohibited by them.

Yeshaye Goldberg
Researching Limanov, Zabno, Bochnia, Krushnik, Goldberg, Steger, Kellerstein