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וַהֲבֵאתָהּ, אֶל-תּוֹךְ בֵּיתֶךָ; וְגִלְּחָה, אֶת-רֹאשָׁהּ, וְעָשְׂתָה, אֶת-צִפָּרְנֶיהָ. In Deuteronmy 21:12, the JPS translates גלחה as “she shall trim her hair”. The entire verse translated in the JPS as: “you shall bring her into your house and she shall trim her hair, pare her nails,” However, in the dictionary and other translations, I find it translated as “shave”. Is any cutting of the hair considered shaving? And does this only refer to women who are taken under the particular circumstances of war or all non-Jewish women?

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    Why would you think this applies to all non-Jewish women??? – Double AA May 4 '16 at 18:53
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Giluach is shaving

The word is used in Nazir in Metsora (lepers) parashiot.
Shaving is admitted as not beautyfull for a women, see Mishna in nazir. 4, 5. A husband can stop the Nezirut of the wife, justifying that he do not want a shaved women because this make a women ugly. {At the end of Nezirut, nazir need to shave.}

נִזְרַק עָלֶיהָ אֶחָד מִן הַדָּמִים, אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, אֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁחֲטָה עָלֶיהָ אַחַת מִכָּל הַבְּהֵמוֹת, אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר. בַּמֶּה דְבָרִים אֲמוּרִים, בְּתִגְלַחַת הַטָּהֳרָה. אֲבָל בְּתִגְלַחַת הַטֻּמְאָה, יָפֵר {טו}, שֶׁהוּא יָכוֹל לוֹמַר אִי אֶפְשִׁי בְאִשָּׁה מְנֻוָּלֶת. רַבִּי אוֹמֵר, אַף בְּתִגְלַחַת הַטָּהֳרָה יָפֵר, שֶׁהוּא יָכוֹל לוֹמַר אִי אֶפְשִׁי ‏בְּאִשָּׁה מְגֻלָּחַת:
If one of the kinds of blood has been sprinkled on her behalf, [the husband] can no longer annul [the vow]. R'Akiba says, if even one of the animals has been slaughtered on her behalf, he can no longer annul [the vow]. the above is true only if she is polling [after observing the naziriteship] in purity, but if she is polling after ritual defilement, he can [still] annul [the vow], because he can say, "i cannot tolerate an unseemly wife," Rabbi says that he can annul [her vow] even if she is polling [after observing the naziriteship] in purity, since he can aver that he cannot tolerate a woman who is polled.

To shave according to the Halacha is to leave hairs shorter than a certain length: Length of hairs are treated in Mishna Nidda 6,12

שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת הָאֲמוּרוֹת בַּפָּרָה וּבַנְּגָעִים, וְהָאֲמוּרוֹת בְּכָל מָקוֹם, כְּדֵי לָכֹף רֹאשָׁן לְעִקָּרָן, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אוֹמֵר, כְּדֵי לִקְרֹץ בַּצִּפֹּרֶן. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא אוֹמֵר, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהוּ נִטָּלוֹת בְּזוּג:‏
The two hairs spoken of in regard to the red heifer and in regard to leprosy as well as those spoken of anywhere else must be long enough for their tips to be bent to their roots; so R' Ishmael. R' Eliezer ruled: long enough to be grasped by a finger-nail, R'Akiba ruled: long enough to be taken off with scissors.

But the Gemara in Nazir says:

נזיר שגילחוהו לסטים ושיירו בו כדי לכוף ראשו לעיקרו אינו סותר ... וקים להו לרבנן כל ז' יומין אתיא מזייא כדי לכוף ראשו לעיקרו: ‏
But it has been taught [as follows]: A nazirite polled by bandits who left sufficient [of each hair] for the end to be curled inwards towards the root is not required to render void [his naziriteship]... etc... and the Rabbis knew for a fact that every seven days enough hair grows for the tip to be curled inwards towards the root.

What we do know is that "She shall trim..." so that her hairs will be shorter than "to be curled inwards towards the root"
The aim will be to make the beautiful women ugliness. ‏ Non Jewish women in an Elective War. See here more details on the topic.

  • please translate Milchemet hareshut. I am not sure how we see from the quote that it means shaving rather than perhaps a close trim. – mevaqesh May 4 '16 at 20:07
  • @mevaqesh I want to explain that shaved women is not beautiful, and because this the Torah ordering shaving. I agree that the quote is more associative than a proof. the same word is used in nazir: Gilach. – kouty May 4 '16 at 20:13
  • @mevaqesh I will try to translate – kouty May 4 '16 at 20:13
  • Maybe very short trimmed hair is considered ugly. I would try to find more convincing proof-texts – mevaqesh May 4 '16 at 20:26
  • @mevaqesh I added some argumentation. – kouty May 4 '16 at 22:11

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