Movember may be months away but the latest facial hair viral video is already here, courtesy of a Gillette campaign in Israel. With over a million views, the ad follows an Israeli man who shaves his beard after 14 years. Barely recognized by his father, he then gives a beardless surprise to his wife and children at the playground.
All this facial hair made us wonder: What other famous Jewish beards have caught our fancy?
Here’s a not-so-definitive list. Let us know what other ones you think deserve a mention.
Let’s begin with the beginning. This prince of Egypt probably kept his imperial face clean-shaven as per dynastic Egyptian norms. That is, until his chin bush was inspired by the burning bush.
Jumping a few millennia into the future we meet a Spanish philosopher so wise even his beard wrote books.
3) Karl Marx
Marx would have gladly divided his beard among the masses.
4) Theodore Herzl
When it came to growing facial hair, this famed journalist and father of modern Zionism willed it and the beard was no dream.
5) Sigmund Freud
Sometimes a beard is just a beard. And sometimes a beard is a result of Oedipal love for your mother. Who knows? All we know is this fashionably trim beard has been described as the “mustache-beard-sideburn trifecta.”
6) Woody Allen
Legend has it that one is born into the Jewish tribe. That’s false. You receive your acceptance letter only upon seeing Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall.”
7) Mandy Patinkin
You came for Barbra, but you stayed for Mandy. We wanted to feature Barbra Streisand’s “Yentl” beard until we remembered that she didn’t actually have one. But look who did! Mandy is as much of a heartthrob now as he was then.
Let’s just take a moment.
8) Steven Spielberg
Behind all your favorite blockbusters, there’s this man. And his beard.
It was the shave heard ‘round the world when Orthodox singer Matisyahu made the bold move to nix his beard.
Who knew he was hiding that jaw underneath all that hair.
10) The Fat Jew
The beard with 5.4 million Instagram followers. This Jewish comedian’s irreverent humor and unapologetic style have helped him become one of the photo sharing app’s most popular account.
11) Jake Gyllenhal
We’ll just leave you with this photo. You’re welcome.
12) Ryan Braun
In the matter of two years, the baseball outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers was named the National League MVP and was suspended for 65 games for violating the MLB’s antidoping laws. But who cares — look at his just-the-perfect-length beard.
13) Seth Rogen
Even Kim Jong Un could not resist this funnyman’s fluffy beard. He had us at “Knocked Up” and is about to win out hearts with “The Night Before,” his new Jewish Christmas movie.
14) Paul Rudd
Yes, we know this is not quite a beard but Paul Rudd’s epic handlebar moustache for “Anchorman” deserves an honorary mention and a spot on our list.
Maia Efrem has worked at the Forward since 2010 and currently serves as research editor and assistant to the editor. Maia is the editor of the Assimilator, the Forward’s arts and culture blog and is responsible for the Forward’s annual Salary Survey. Previously she served as the editor of Blognik Beat, a blog written by students who emigrated from or have ties to the Former Soviet Union. Maia is a graduate of Hunter College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.