Ever wonder why actress Kate Hudson has not yet cut her toddler’s hair? Me neither. But someone recently asked about it on a celebrity-watch website and the answer was rather interesting.
Certain Jewish traditions are commonly practiced: the Passover seder. Bagels with cream cheese. But Kate Hudson (who was raised Jewish and Buddhist) and husband Chris Robinson come to teach us that perhaps some lesser-known Jewish traditions are ripe for revival. Upsherin is the tradition of not cutting a boy’s hair until his third birthday. Kate explained why they’ve chosen to practice this tradition with their son Ryder:
I’m part-Jewish. Hasidic Jews—they don’t cut their kids hair until they’re three. I’m not very religious, but it’s actually kind of beautiful, they compare the men to a tree and trees don’t bear fruit for three years. So I just figured maybe on his third birthday I’ll cut it.
The custom is related to a law called Orla, stating that one cannot pick fruits from a tree in its first three years. A child, like a tree, will eventually grow strong and bear “fruit.” Perhaps a child, like a tree, also needs some stability in preparation for life; waiting for a haircut allows the child to collect resources in advance of future challenges.
Kudos to Kate and Chris for bringing Judaism into the public space and showing by example that we can explore traditions and discover ones that we find meaningful!