‘Corners’, the sidelocks worn in obedience to the injunction: ‘Ye shall not round the corners of your heads’ (Leviticus 19: 27). The Talmudic Rabbis interpret this to mean that the hair of the head must not be removed in such a way that there is no hair between the back of the ears and the forehead. Maimonides gives as the reason for growing peot that the idolatrous priests used to ‘round the corners of their heads’ and thus the practice symbolizes rejection of idolatry. Hasidim tend to cultivate long, corkscrew peot, although this is not required by law. A typical description of a Hasid is ‘a Jew with beard and peot’.
Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.