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Monday, December 14, 2009

Orthodoxy & Beards!

Some have made their views known at the forum.

And The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas has also made a post about it at their blogsite:

To shave or not to shave?

As seen from the webpage:
"For three tumultuous decades — 1907 to 1938 — Fr. Basil
Kerbawy was the dean of St. Nicholas Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn.
Apparently, in 1911, he was having some issues related to his beard, and things
got so bad that he wrote to William Gaynor, the mayor of New York. I can’t
resist reprinting their correspondence. Here is Kerbawy’s original letter, which
got picked up by the newspapers (my copy is from the Columbus Enquirer-Sun of
Georgia, 4/29/1911):
Most Honored Sir — I want to know if it is a crime to
wear a beard? I suppose that this may appear to be a foolish question to you,
but to me it means a great deal. I am the pastor of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox
church on Pacific street, Brooklyn, and my profession calls for the wearing of a
beard. When I got out on the street the boys and young men mistake me for a
Jewish rabbi and insult and assault me.

They often throw decayed
vegetables at me. If I were a rabbi, would that be an excuse for loafers to
assault and insult me? I am a citizen and as such should be protected from

I have borne the insults and assaults patiently up to last
Saturday night, when an incident occured that made me lose all patience. I was
alighting from a car at Seventy-third street and Thirteenth avenue, Brooklyn,
when a little loafer hit me with a decayed vegetable, which I believe was a more
than ripe tomato. This exhausted my patience. I went for the lad, who, luckily
for him, escaped."

To read the rest, please visit the blog.



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