Not Shaving During Sefirah
Pesach is coming up. This means that I will not be able to shave until lag baomer. I have never done this before as I have always been worried about looking weird.
Can you give me an idea of how to have an attitude that I will actually keep the omer properly? I do not mix with girls but I still always have a thing in my head of trying to look good in front of them. I want to make this Pesach a time when I could break out of this.
I once heard an inspiring story with Rav Moshe Feinstein. Someone came to him and asked for a heter to shave because he was going to an interview with a major company for an important job and wanted to look good. Rav Moshe did NOT give him a heter, but he couldn't resist the nisayon and shaved. At the interview, the boss told him that he does not want to accept him because he knows that frum Jews don't shave during this period, he had another few frum workers, and he was looking for people with real integrity!
The same with the girls. Any girl that YOU would want to be interested in, will want a guy that puts his spiritual integrity ahead of his good looks :-)
I can't begin to explain how much you have impacted my life. That message really hit the nail on the head! Really powerful and true.
Why should I care about 'looking good'? For what? I don't want to go near a girl who cares about that. My Yiddishkeit is much more important.
This is something that will take time for me to work on but this step of not shaving will surely be the first leap.
A month later he writes:
I was so scared with the whole not shaving in the omer business. But looking back, I realise how much spiritual growth it has caused me to have already.
Thanks to you, I realise that it's never about the look in life. It's about the inside. There is no doubt that it's not a coincidence that we can't shave or hear music etc during the Omer which is also about spiritual growth, up to shavuous, as these two things lead to growth as a person, and seeing what's important in life.
I just heard an incredible shiur about what it means to be an ideal Jew. It has to do with making Hashem the centre of our lives. There is never enough "taking" if we make ourselves the centre.
I was so worried, as my beard does grow quicker than my friends, but now I realise fully that I am not living for myself and my looks are irrelevant. As Dov says, "the heck with me, what can I do for you?". That needs to be the focus in my life.