One of the participants offered a link to an interesting Jewish take on the spiritual meaning of beard-growing. Rabbi Aron Moss writes:
One of the greatest struggles in life is to live up to our ideals. ... Between theory and practice there is a huge gulf. It is one thing to have good intentions, but that is far from actually doing good. ... This is what the beard represents. The beard is hair that grows down from the head to the rest of the body. It is the bridge between mind and heart, thoughts and actions, theory and practice, good intentions and good deeds.Read the whole thing here.
When I was a kid the Chabad-Lubavitchers had a van that they would park in town in order to attract unobservant Jews and therein convert them. People called it the 'Mitzvah Tank.'