Ted Cruz's 'Talmudic beard' wins rabbinic approbation

Texas senator touts Israeli rabbi's praise for sporting the only beard in the US Senate.

David Rosenberg,

Ted Cruz sports beard as he is sworn in for second term in Senate
Ted Cruz sports beard as he is sworn in for second term in Senate

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is currently the only member of the US Senate with a beard, but he’s taking criticism of his new facial hair in stride, citing the praise of an Israeli rabbi.

In mid-December, journalists on Capitol Hill noticed the senator had begun growing out his facial hair, quickly leading to friendly (and not-so-friendly) ribbing of Texas’ junior senator.

By the time of his swearing-in for a second term in the US Senate last week, Cruz had grown out a full beard, making him the only sitting member the upper chamber of the US Congress with a beard.

Arkansas’s junior senator, Tom Cotton, had sported a beard in early 2017, but later returned to the clean-shaven look.

On Wednesday, Cruz defended his beard, citing praise for it from an unnamed Israeli rabbi.

In a tweet, Cruz related a story from a friend studying in an Israeli yeshiva. A rabbi at the yeshiva, Cruz said, told his friend that the new beard gave the senator a “Talmudic” and “rabbinic” look.

“Pretty cool: A good friend is studying in Yeshiva in Israel,” wrote Cruz.

“His rabbi told him he liked my beard, elaborating ‘It gives Cruz a Talmudic & Rabbinic look & presence that will put the fear of the Lord into Israel’s enemies & promote Middle East peace.’ Wow. Perhaps a bit much...”