Actress Looks Beyond Kabbalah

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Ever wonder why actress Kate Hudson has not yet cut her toddler’s hair? Me neither. Kate, Chris, and RyderBut 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!


  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing this tidbit on the blog!
    The fact that Kate Hudson continues to find meaning in and identify with the Jewish part of her upbringing and heritage also speaks powerfully for the message that JOI seeks to promote, in contrast to the voices of those who say that intermarriage leads only and inevitably to assimilation. As we all know from Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song, Kate’s mom “Goldie Hawn’s half-Jewish” by family background–but both Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson identify (if rather eclecticly) with their Jewish heritage.

    Comment by Becca — July 19, 2006 @ 8:11 pm

  2. Um, how old does her HUSBAND have to be before she cuts his hair?! ;)

    Comment by Scott Egolinsky — July 20, 2006 @ 11:17 am

  3. the comparision between man and tree is greatly accepted.And nice sense of humour

    Comment by bishal dhital — February 6, 2008 @ 4:43 pm

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