Devarim, chapter 14:1

בָּנִ֣ים אַתֶּ֔ם לַֽה׳ ﭏהֵיכֶ֑ם לֹ֣א תִתְגֹּֽדְד֗וּ וְלֹֽא־תָשִׂ֧ימוּ קָרְחָ֛ה בֵּ֥ין עֵֽינֵיכֶ֖ם לָמֵֽת:


בין עיניכם: אצל הפדחת. ובמקום אחר הוא אומר (ויקרא כא, ה) לא יקרחו קרחה בראשם, לעשות כל הראש כבין העינים:

Rashi English translation

[nor make any baldness] between your eyes: [i.e.,] near the forehead. Elsewhere, however, it says: “They shall not make their head bald” (Lev. 21: 5), to make the entire head like between the eyes (בֵּין עֵינַיִם) [i.e., one must not make bald spots on any part of the head]. — [Sifrei]

  • 2
    They don't shave bald; they leave a little hair.
    – N.T.
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 8:22

1 Answer 1


The Shulchan Aruch Y"D 180 states that the issur is only if its over the death of a loved one. However the Bais Yosef and the Bach have a disagreement if there is an issur (just no malkus) if it is done over other grievances or not. The Minchas Chinuch (mitzva 487) proposes that if it's done for Torah then it's ok. Furthermore, the Minchas Chinuch in Mitzvah 488 says that it's only if the hair is destroyed that it can't grow back (bald spot) not if it will grow back.

  • The requirement for a razor in seif 5 is only for scratching the skin, not for removing hair, which is in seif 9.
    – N.T.
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 8:21
  • The argument between Bais Yosef and Bach is irrelevant, as in this case there is no grievance at all. And the idea that for Torah it is ok comes from the Rosh quoted by the Beis Yosef.
    – N.T.
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 8:26
  • @N.T. i removed that part of the answer (I had seen some who had said it needed a razor like by shaving, but it's not in shulchan aruch per se). The reason i brought the machlokes and the Bach, is because there are some who suggest that it applies even without grievances (the minchas Chinuch in srita, IIRC, brings such a possibility) so i put it in as another angle
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 13:47
  • Since there is a question (between the בית יוסף and ב"ח) whether there is an issur (when done for non grieving purposes). Why rely on a היתר? Even if it strengthens the emotional connection to the mitzvah of payos which are being emphasized (which I imagine is the intention).
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 15:11
  • @N.T. - Why do you say that there is no מחלוקת between the בית יוסף and ב"ח in this case? I don't know the sugya, I'm just going on the OP who stated that there is. Please clarify.
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 15:13

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