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  • Hootman, here is an article I found on Chabad.org about beards:

    The Beard

    By Aron Moss

    Question:

    I have often wondered why many religious Jews have long hairy beards. Is this, like the kipah, a means of identifying oneself as a Jew or do the beards serve some other purpose?

    Answer:

    There is more to the beard than just identifying as a Jew. According to Kabbalah the beard should not even be trimmed, but should be allowed to grow freely. Why?

    Kabbalistically, our outer physical appearance is a reflection of our inner spiritual reality. The hands represent our ability to give and receive. The feet symbolize the power to progress. What does the beard represent?

    One of the greatest struggles in life is to live up to our ideals. Many of us know what is right in our minds, but find it difficult to apply that knowledge in our daily lives. Often we do things that we know are wrong, but feel we "couldn't help ourselves". For example, we know that it is wrong to lose our temper, but when we get annoyed at someone we find it impossible to control our anger. Or we may know that it is good to give charity, but never get around to actually giving.

    Between theory and practice there is a huge gulf. It is one thing to have good intentions, but that is far from actually doing good. It is like realizing a dream; without diligence, determination and hard work, it will always remain just a dream.

    The greatest step we can take in our personal growth is learning to bridge this gap and implement our good intentions.

    This is what the beard represents. The beard is hair that grows down from the head to the rest of the body. It is the bridge between mind and heart, thoughts and actions, theory and practice, good intentions and good deeds.

    So we don't cut the beard, but rather let it flow freely, to open a direct flow from the ideals and philosophies of our minds into our everyday lifestyle.

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    • Wow! Look at all the responses! Some good, some bad. Thanks for all the input, folks!!

      Oh, and I was wrong on the celtic cross...it's not. I don't know exactly what it's called.

      Here's a photo:

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      • the cross is really good work. and the fish is such an awesome idea! i'd like to get something similair. now please pray for me as i am wearing my pants below my waitline!! RAAAH!!

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        • The Bible certainly has it's reasons for what it asked of it's believers, God certainly knows far better then any of us what is and what isn't. Is it a sin or isn't? But isn't it really the motive behind what we do? God certainly knows our hearts. But the question might be, Why did you or does anyone get a tatoo? What is it's purpose? Is it a worldly issue? For instance, my sister inlaw has a tasmania devil, right in the middle of her, ummm chest... So asked my brother, how he likes everyone looking at his wife's chest, and of course she wears low cutting shirts to show it off, ummm, is this a good thing?
          What would you think? Could be alot of things, but really why? Not enough attention already? Hmmmm.

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          • Originally posted by Beulahland View Post
            The Bible certainly has it's reasons for what it asked of it's believers, God certainly knows far better then any of us what is and what isn't. Is it a sin or isn't? But isn't it really the motive behind what we do? God certainly knows our hearts. But the question might be, Why did you or does anyone get a tatoo? What is it's purpose? Is it a worldly issue? For instance, my sister inlaw has a tasmania devil, right in the middle of her, ummm chest... So asked my brother, how he likes everyone looking at his wife's chest, and of course she wears low cutting shirts to show it off, ummm, is this a good thing?
            What would you think? Could be alot of things, but really why? Not enough attention already? Hmmmm.
            probably an outward expression of what she finds to be visually appealing?

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            • Yeah, it sure is...So does everyone else...And so was the forbidden fruit...
              Last edited by Beulahland; October 7th, 2008, 10:36 AM.

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              • I've actually been considering the idea of a tattoo myself. I have many scars from minor surgeries, some of which are visible on my arms. I want to get a couple of small tattoos in those places. The verse against getting tattoos, as well as trying to figure out the most 'sterile' tattoo place have been two issues that I can't get over yet.

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                • Originally posted by 1angel4u View Post
                  Wow! Look at all the responses! Some good, some bad. Thanks for all the input, folks!!

                  Oh, and I was wrong on the celtic cross...it's not. I don't know exactly what it's called.

                  Here's a photo:

                  nice i think the new one is in a good spot and like the colouring in GAL 6:17...that tattoo looks kinda surfy. the cross i like but IMO it would look better if it were on his shoulder...but don't tell your son that
                  "without Jesus my life on earth would be like listening to a neverending Fleetwood Mac song" BB

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                  • My daughter got a tattoo of her brother's name on her wrist with angel wings one each side. I've always hated tattoos, but I understand why she wanted it. Only God knows what's in someones heart.

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                    • Originally posted by BigBunny View Post
                      nice i think the new one is in a good spot and like the colouring in GAL 6:17...that tattoo looks kinda surfy. the cross i like but IMO it would look better if it were on his shoulder...but don't tell your son that
                      True, it isn't your typical Jesus Fish - - surfy! That's funny He's never been a surfer.

                      He says the cross has a "spikey" look to it whatever that means.

                      Anyway, they're there for keeps and I'm just glad he didn't get something gross that I couldn't stand to look at during our last days here on earth.

                      Quite frankly, I wish they were both on his shoulders

                      What he wanted to do was have Not Of This World starting at his neck just below his ear, running all the way down his arm After I mentioned how STUPID it would be to (sorry other folks, who have tattoo's above your neck line ) have tattoo's above your neck line, I told him people would see an "N" and part of an "O" (with his t-shirt on), then part of a small "f" under his shirt sleeve and "This World"

                      Yikes!

                      Originally posted by pumkin67 View Post
                      My daughter got a tattoo of her brother's name on her wrist with angel wings one each side. I've always hated tattoos, but I understand why she wanted it. Only God knows what's in someones heart.
                      Very true, only God knows our hearts.

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                      • I would agree with pumkin67 in that only the Lord knows what is in someone's heart. I never thought I would get a tatoo but a year after my divorce I did. I got a small butterfly on my arm. I was going to get it right after the divorce but I decided to wait a year and 'think on it' and also decide what I wanted in the way of a tatoo. To me my butterfly means two things - freedom from an emotionally abusive relationship and more importantly freedom in Jesus. I have had many compliments on it and I always tell people that it means freedom in Jesus.
                        Both my daughters have large tatoos which I do not agree with. My youngest has a large
                        design on her back and then a panda bear on her ankle ( that's kind of sweet because my nickname for her is Ling Ling the panda bear ) and my oldest daughter had her boyfriend's name tatooed on her back. Never, ever get that done lol. Needless to say they broke up and now her new boyfriend is stuck with someone else's name.

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                        • I got my first tattoo when I was 17, yes against my mothers wishes. She called me a Nazi? I got a Celtic cross on my hip, I didn't think it a big deal at the time. I still like it, I feel like its an art expressing my feelings and beliefs. I see it's wrong but I think I will be forgiven. I try not to judge people with Tattoo's or piercing's because then they may be judging me. I won't get anymore because I give blood too much, but I think some of them are very beautiful.
                          Lorr

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                          • I guess I'm ok with some tatoos. As I was reading this, a short story called "Parker's Back" came to mind.

                            Poor old O.E. Parker tries to impress his hyper-religious wife by getting a byzantine portrait of Jesus tattooed on his back.

                            Hilarity does not ensue..................
                            “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” G. K. Chesterton

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                            • Personally, I'm not a fan of tattoos. No offense to anyone here who likes them or has them. I remember hearing from two people, both separate occassions, that the pain they felt while receiving their tattoos was an addictive pain. After their first one they were planning their second one.

                              I just can't help but wonder if there isn't something spiritual behind it? Some kind of a pull?

                              If a Christian is looking for a way to witness there are better ways to do it, imho.
                              If we look at scriptures we're really not supposed to be all decked out with gold and jewelry, I'm wondering if tattoos wouldn't fall in there too? God doesn't tell us to write His Words on our skin but to hide them in our heart.

                              The one thing we are to do to our flesh daily is crucify it, along with a lot of our desires.
                              We are called to live a holy life and that is not legalism.

                              By the way, my post is in no way a slam against the poster whose son just got his tattoos, I know he is young and meant well.

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                              • Right or wrong, He forgives.

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