The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Hot answers tagged

19

This is a can of such powder (cream) that Jews would use on the Lower East Side around 100 years ago. If you look closely you will see that it says Mutar based off the teshuva of the Noda B'Yehuda, YD 81. Yiddish text on top says: א שייוו אהן א רייזאר נור מיט א פוידער איז מותר.


15

From the Sefer Nishmas Avraham Siman 182 וכן שמעתי מהגרש״ז אויערבאך זצ״ל לגבי בחור שצמחו לו שערות בין שתי גבות עיניו שזה נקרא מום ומותר לו להסירם: Uni brow is called a blemish and it can be removed. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 182:1; unofficial translation available) holds like the Rambam (Avodas Kochavim 12:9; translation available) that one can ...


15

It is permitted to use depilatory cream (but not on Shabbat). R Jack Abramowitz writes The Torah only prohibits using a razor to cut the corners of the beard. There are five such corners and many positions when it comes to the details, so a pious person should not use a razor on any part of his beard, nor even on his mustache or on his neck. There ...


14

Presumably standard practice is that once a woman begins treating her hair as erva, she should continue doing so. (I believe I've heard this from Rabbis Broyde or Willig.) Rabbi Moshe Feinstein does write that hair-covering while married is dat moshe, but hair-covering afterwards is dat yehudit. There is a great deal of discussion over what those terms mean,...


14

The Shulchan Aruch in the beginning of YD 182 says: א.המעביר שער בית השחי ובית הערוה אפילו במספרים כעין תער היו מכין אותו מכת מרדות בד"א במקום שאין מעבירין אותו אלא נשים כדי שלא יתקן עצמו תיקון נשים אבל במקום שמעבירין אותו גם האנשים אם העביר אין מכין אותו: {הגה: ואפילו לכתחילה שרי (ר"ן פ"ב דעבודת כוכבים) רק החברים נמנעים בכ"מ (שם ובב"י בשם נ"י) My rough ...


13

Let me break this question down. First, there is a minhag (custom) that men should cover their head as a sign of reverence to G-d. The custom was codified as halacha for men (Orach Chaim 91:3) which stated that it is forbidden to say G-d's name or to even walk into a Synagogue with your head uncovered. For me the practical aspects are (a) that the kippah ...


12

The Kaliver Rebbi. It was pulled out by the Nazis Yemach Shemom. http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%91%D7%A5:Kaliver_rebbe.jpg


12

Yes. It is normal in our current Western society for men to do such things (certainly for a unibrow), and the rule of thumb for Lo Yilbash is if it's normal, it's not forbidden (Shulchan Aruch and Rema YD 182:1). R. Akiva Eiger (ad loc.) cites a Perisha who writes that we look at the non-Jewish society around us to determine what is normal.


11

From the Shiurim of Rav Baruch Gigi of Yeshivat Har Etzion The Rashba (Torat Ha-bayit Ha-katzar 32b) wrote in a similar vein about a woman who dyed her hair: "It [the coloring] is now part of the hair, like dye is part of a colored garment. Dye is not considered a separate thing that is a chatzitza, but part of the garment itself that does not ...


10

As others have answered, the photo of the Rebbe you are thinking of is all but certainly the Kaliver Rebbe shlita, HaRav Menachem Mendel Traub. As mentioned, the Kaliver Rebbe shlita is a Holocaust survivor, and it is my understanding (as well) that it was during this time he lost his beard. The version of the story I heard is different than Gershon Gold's ...


9

They are indeed disqualifications for serving in the Beis Hamikdash (Rambam, Hil. Bias Mikdash 8:1,11). This doesn't apply to birkas kohanim, though; there, a kohen is disqualified only by blemishes that are visible and will distract the congregation. (And even then, not if everyone in town is already familiar with him and his physical defects, or in places ...


9

In terms of using a #1 guard: The Rambam (Hilchos Parah Adumah 1:4) rules that a completely red cow that has two white or black hairs would not have the status of a Parah Adumah. If however, the hairs are so short that one would not be able to grab them with tweezers the hair is considered to not be there at all. Apparently the Rambam has another ...


9

The Beit Yosef there quotes many Rishonim who have a version of the story (Yevamot 62b) that Rabbi Akiva's students died until פרוס העצרת a half [month] before Shavuot. So 49-15=34 and on the last day we say that a partial day counts as the whole day so on the 34th in the morning, the mourning ends.


9

The answer to this question can have various outcomes all depending on what you hold regarding kippa and what you hold regarding a woman's head covering. There are shittos which hold that wearing a kippa saves your from the issur min HaTorah of bechukasaim lo teilachu (Taz opinion in Orach Chaim 8:3). Then there are those who hold you can even learn without ...


8

Short Version: Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik and others are of the opinion that it is permitted for one who regularly shaves to shave, and since it is permitted it is a mitzva to do so, so as not to look disgraceful on chol hamoed (Source). Rav Moshe Feinstein makes a similar argument in Igrot Moshe OC I 163. Long Version: The Mishna in Moed Katan 3:1 (page ...


8

There is a poster available online. If you will keep it in the barber shop they promise to send it to you a free copy. EDIT The website seems down. There is a backup poster on the Web Archive


8

According to R. Benyamin Shlomo Hamberger of Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz, the Upsherin comes from foreign (perhaps Arab) sources which somehow were emulated by the Jews. Professor Daniel Sperber (Minhagei Yisrael 8: 13-30) also suggests foreign origins along these lines. http://seforim.traditiononline.org/index.cfm/2008/5/22/Lag-BaOmer-and-Upsherins-in-Recent-...


8

Mishna B'rura (2:12) writes that there are those who say that a toupee-wearer must wear a kippa on top of it because of maris ayin, but there are others who say it's not necessary. In other words: technically, it is a valid head-covering. But since we are worried that people will think that the toupee is his real hair and that he is not wearing a head ...


8

The Ramchal's beardless face is referenced in several letters among the Italian rabbinic communities of the 18th century, all of which are part of the general controversy that escalated after the Ramchal's assertion of learning through a maggid and his teachings of kabbalah, both activities that led some to suspect him of being a secret follower of Shabbetai ...


7

There are a lot of possible allusions listed in other answers. However, one thing not mentioned is that the practice has a German name, upsheren, and furthermore that: The Pennsylvania German superstition prescribes a wait of a year before the first haircut, lest the infant lose its hair, be a weakling, or die young: EM Fogel, op. cit. (see note 24), 42, ...


7

To add to Fred's answer: in Sifra (to Num. 5:18, the same verse that the Gemara cites) R. Yishmael finds support for the idea that unmarried virgins don't need to cover their hair in II Sam. 13:19, ותקח תמר אפר על ראשה, by explaining אפר as "a scarf" - i.e., we see that Tamar began covering her head with one only after she was violated. (As the commentary ...


7

No. I don't have any sources but one can definitely see pictures of uncovered hair of brides in wedding photos posted proudly in the homes of great rabbis.


7

While the Rosh (Makkot 3:2) rules that the prohibition of cutting the peyot applies even to cutting them short with a scissors, the Rambam (Avoda Zara 12:6) rules that the prohibition is equivalent to that of the shaving the beard which is only prohibited with a razor. The Shulchan Aruch (YD 181:3) rules: אינו חייב אלא בתער. ויש אוסרים במספרים כעין תער, ...


7

Qitzur Shulhhan 'Arukh - Yalqut Yosef (Even HaEzer 21:9) writes (my translation): פשט המנהג שבנות רווקות הולכות בגילוי ראש ברשות הרבים, שמעיקר ההלכה אשה שאינה נשואה אינה חייבת בכיסוי ראש. ורק בעת שמתפללות או מברכות ומזכירות שם שמים, תכסנה ראשן The general custom is for single women to go in public with uncovered hair; because, per 'Iqar HaHalakhah, ...


7

The Biur Halacha (340:1 ד"ה וחייב) addresses this question at significant length. Here is an abridged synopsis: Rivash (394) explains that cutting hair and nails in order to enhance one's appearance is מלאכה הצריכה לגופה similar to the shearing of hair on the Oros Ailim that was performed to enhance the appearance of the ram skins. This is also the opinion ...


6

From here: The Shulchan Aruch prohibits shaving (Simon 531:2, SS”K 66:23) and it is the prevalent custom. Rav Moshe Feinstein (Ig”M O"C vol. I simon 163) discusses this issue at length and many are accustomed to be lenient based on the Nodah Biyhuda. Rav Moshe Feinstein concludes that he is not accustomed to be lenient unless in certain cases or for ...


6

According to this article from the Zomet Institute, even unaltered "lift-and-cut" shavers are permitted lechatechila.


6

Shulchan Aruch Y"D 198:17- צבע שצובעות הנשים על פניהן וידיהן ושער ראשן, אינו חוצץ. (My translation) "Color that women use to color on their faces, hands, and hair of their heads, is not chotzetz." Maran doesn't seem to object to the practice of women coloring their hair; i doubt he would have written dinnim about it if it was assur.


6

Nit'ei Gavriel (Pesach, vol. 3, 50:11) cites authorities on both sides of the issue: The bar mitzvah boy and his father are indeed allowed to take haircuts (Mekor Chaim); They are not (Rivevos Ephraim); The boy can have his hair cut before his actual bar mitzvah date, when he's still a minor and not fully obligated (Divrei Shalom); If his hair is really ...


6

A requirement for a married woman to cover her hair, whether d'oraysa or d'rabbanan, is suggested by the fact that the kohein would uncover a sotah's hair (Kesuvos 72a). Hair is additionally considered an ervah when it is customarily kept covered. Since married women must cover their hair, the sight of this normally covered area is an ervah. For single women ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible