Can a Nazir cut his hair with shears (gezaz)?

Numbers 6:5 says not to put a razor (tahar) on the head. But there is another word for shears (gezaz) which seems like scissors and scissors don't have to be placed on the head.

gezaz - https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1494.htm

1 Answer 1


It is forbidden for a nazir to cut his hair completely no matter what tool he uses. The Rambam writes (MT Nazir 5:11-12)

When a nazirite cuts off one hair, whether using a razor or a scissor, he is liable for lashes, provided he cuts it from its roots as a razor would. Similarly, if he pulls out [a hair] by hand, he is liable for lashes. [...] If he left enough of [the hair] so that it could be bent over for its tip to touch its root, he does not receive lashes, because [cutting in this manner] is not [equivalent to shaving it] with a razor.

(see also footnote 28)

It is theoretically possible to shave without a tool or one's hand but with a cream, see 5:12

If a person applied a potion that removed hair to his head and in this way, removed his hair, he is not liable for lashes. He is, however, nullifying the observance of a positive commandment, as [Numbers 6:5] states: "He shall let the mane of the hair of his head grow."

  • I meant can a Nazir cut his hair if he keeps it long. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 6:58
  • 1
    No it is forbidden as the verse says "the hair of his head should be left to grow untrimmed". The discussion in the Rambam is what will be the punishment for cutting his hair with what tool - but there is no question it is forbidden for a nazir to cut his hair. See for instance pictures of a recent Nazir here and here
    – mbloch
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 7:16
  • I think that the question might still stand, assuming that nezirut in our days is different from what it would be in the Mikdash Commented Jul 29, 2021 at 14:37

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