Ashton Kutcher

Gabo/Friolo/, RAMEY Photo

OK, so Ashton Kutcher's been growing this crazy beard for months now, and all of a sudden I see today he's shaved it off. What gives?
—Janice, Santa Fe, N.M.

Yep, Ashton Kutcher had a beard there for a quite a few weeks all right. He grew it as part of a Jewish tradition, per In Touch. Kutcher isn't Jewish, and neither is his wife, Demi Moore, but, like their mutual friend Madonna, they like to study Kabbalah, a mystical offshoot of Judaism.

"He is growing [the beard] because of the Jewish and Kabbalah holiday called Lag Ba'Omer," one "insider" told the magazine.

Um, not quite. Experts tell me that this insider didn't get it quite right. Here's the real deal behind Kutcher's hot fuzz...

Some Jews and Kabbalah followers adjust their habits during a 50-day stretch in the springtime. In honor of one the sadder periods in their history, they forego certain indulgences, such as weddings, music, shaves or haircuts. Indeed, according to photos, Kutcher started growing his beard right around Passover, the start of that 50-day phase.

At the other end is Savuot, which ended yesterday, leaving Ashton clean to scrape that beast off his face. Which he did.

There's only one day during that stretch when it's A-OK to whip out the Gillette Mach Five, and that's a day called Lag Ba'Omer. This year it fell on May 23. Lag Ba'Omer is supposed to be like a little oasis of happy in the middle of the sad. You can even light bonfires, if you're into it.

In other words, you don't grow your hair because of Lag Ba'Omer, as In Touch reported. You cut it off, if you want to, on Lag Ba'Omer.

Got that? Good. Now just wait till you see what shenanigans Asthon's planning for the Fast of Tammuz in July!

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