Is one allowed to shave on the last day of Chol HaMoed, going into Yom Tov? Does it make a difference if Yom Tov itself goes directly into Shabbos (“three day Yom Tov”)?

On the one hand: The Mechaber says explicitly (OC 531) that except in certain extreme circumstances, one may not shave on Chol HaMoed. This is even if he shaved on Erev Yom Tov.

On the other hand: Mishnah Berurah (531:3) writes that the reason for this is because if they allowed shaving on Chol HaMoed, one might go into Yom Tov without shaving, relying on the fact that he can shave during Chol HaMoed. This would seem to indicate that since the entire reason one isn’t allowed to shave on Chol HaMoed is to honor Yom Tov, when one is shaving in order to honor Yom Tov it should be permissible.

Furthermore, the Mishnah Berurah earlier (530:1) set forth five general categories of Melacha permitted on Yom Tov, the first of which is something which will be lost if done later. Shaving for the sake of Yom Tov would seem to fall into that category. He further writes there that for a melacha related to Chol HaMoed that doesn’t have to do with eating, any non-specialized task is permissible. Nowadays, shaving would seem to fall into this category. He later specifies that this holds even if its for an individual’s needs and not for the public.

And yet, in spite of these logics, the Shulchan Aruch still writes that only in certain cases may one shave on Chol HaMoed.

Which way do we hold? (Of course, CYLOR.)

  • Pretty sure this is a dupe.
    – user6591
    Oct 11 '17 at 1:37
  • @user6591 If you can find the dupe, I would be more than happy to close my question personally.
    – DonielF
    Oct 11 '17 at 1:37
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/q/10707/759 @user6591 is that what you mean?
    – Double AA
    Oct 11 '17 at 1:39
  • 1
    " when one is shaving in order to honor Yom Tov it should be permissible" I don't follow this at all. The whole point is to forbid it on Chol HaMoed even if it is for the honor of the holiday! It should be permitted but we forbid it anyway in order to force you to do it earlier. If shaving to honor the holiday were permitted, then what have they gained through their enactment??
    – Double AA
    Oct 11 '17 at 1:40
  • 1
    "Shaving for the sake of Yom Tov would seem to fall into that category." I don't follow this at all. No one is claiming shaving is forbidden due to the five categories of work. It's a special Gezera to encourage not delaying till Chol HaMoed.
    – Double AA
    Oct 11 '17 at 1:41

אגרות משה ח"א קסג permits shaving on Chol Hamo'ed in a case of necessity or when there is extreme discomfort.

  • While R. Messas vehemently (IIRC) disagrees with his leniency. (Not near book now)
    – Oliver
    Oct 11 '17 at 1:45
  • Does he permit shaving on the last day of Chol HaMoed for Yom Tov? I thought he only permitted it for jobs and not in the OPs case?
    – Double AA
    Oct 11 '17 at 1:47
  • yeshiva.co/ask/?id=4904 Oct 11 '17 at 15:45

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