Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Per Yoreh Deah 241:3 one should not take out a thorn embedded in his father as it may cause a wound. One should also not do a phlebotomy on his father. I have heard people saying that this would extend to haircuts also as at times it may lead to slight bleeding. Is there a source for this one way or the other?

share|improve this question
Haircuts lead to bleeding? – Double AA Jul 24 '12 at 15:19
I don't know how this could lead to bleeding. Maybe just don't shave the back of the neck? – Seth J Jul 24 '12 at 15:24
If the fellow has a pimple perhaps? I also think the answer is that there is no problem, however someone told me there is a problem and I would like to verify either way. – Gershon Gold Jul 24 '12 at 15:24

Leket Hayosher Yoreh Deah page 37 says that it is prohibited since it may cause bleeding.

However in the Sefer Moreh Horim U'Kevodom 10:12 it brings down in the name of Rabbi Ben Zion Abba Shaul Zatzal that a son may trim his father's nails and cut his hair.

Also the Debreziner in Shaalos U'Teshuvos Beer Moshe 4:84 permits a child to cut his fathers hair.

share|improve this answer
What about Shelihuth? If someone hires a nurse to care for his or her parents in their old age, according to the opinion that the person cannot cut his own father's hair/nails, can the nurse do so? – Seth J Jul 24 '12 at 15:58
I do not know. I guess you have a good question to ask. – Gershon Gold Jul 24 '12 at 16:01
@SethJ I imagine it's fine. People hire doctors to do surgery on their parents all the time. – Double AA Jul 24 '12 at 16:24
@DoubleAA, I suppose, though, that a child may not perform surgery on a parent, even if the child is the only qualified person to do so? And then, what about an emergency situation (general surgeon taking vacation with his father, father experiences sudden, severe abdominal pain while hiking, surgeon realizes it's the appendix and that it will burst before they can get to the nearest hospital, but has sterile emergency medical equipment in his bag for just that type of situation and can remove the appendix and suture the wound in under an hour and then take his dad to the ER. – Seth J Jul 24 '12 at 16:35
.... @SethJ in those cases mechon-mamre.org/i/e305.htm#7 – Double AA Jul 24 '12 at 16:59

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.