Almost inevitably when a man tells his friend that he believes in the Torah, that friend responds with something like, "If you're following Torah then why do you shave? God told the Israelites that they weren't allowed to cut their beards." If I've heard this once, I've heard it a thousand times. The passage that seems to be in question is in this week's Torah portion, so let's unpack it a bit and see if, in fact, men are not allowed to trim their beards.
PART 1: DON'T DISQUALIFY YOURSELF!
In chapter 23 of this week's Torah portion, Emor, which means "say," we have the main instructions for the Feasts of the LORD. But because that topic has been covered extensively by both me and many other teachers, I'm going to take time to unpack the part of the parsha that deals with the regulations for the priests. There are several important things we can learn from these instructions, so let's jump right in!