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22 votes

Did the Shadal use a razor to shave his beard?

Shadal himself admits to this in a letter to Shlomo Yehuda Rapaport published in Igrot Shadal Volume II p.246: ואני גם כי אינני מאוהביו כבר קיבלתי פירושו (נגד ההלכה) בפסוק לא תקיפו פאת ראשכם שאינו ...
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21 votes
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Is using hair removal cream on one's face a violation of "rounding one's beard?"

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 ...
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15 votes

Is using hair removal cream on one's face a violation of "rounding one's beard?"

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 ...
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8 votes

Did the Shadal use a razor to shave his beard?

In the course of my translating Shadal’s perush on Vayikra, I have given a good deal of thought to this difficult issue. Here are some of my conclusions: Before criticizing Shadal, it is important ...
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8 votes

Why is a full haircut part of the Metzora's purification process?

The Sefer Hachinuch in mitzva 174 writes: משרשי המצוה. קצת מן הטעם שאמרנו למעלה (מצוה קעג) במים כדי שיראה האדם כאלו היום נברא והיום מתחיל שערו לצמח ויחדש מעשיו לטוב, A partial explanation of the root ...
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  • 485
7 votes

Minhag of married women shaving during marriage

These are vey good questions and I do not have all the answers, but one thing I wish to clarify as this misconception is quite widespread: this custom was not invented by Hassidim. In fact, this ...
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  • 2,571
6 votes

Earliest Sources for Custom of Not Shaving from 17th of Tammuz

The Rama himself actually forbids haircuts starting on the 17th of Tammuz (ShA OC 551:4). In his Darkei Moshe, he cites Minhagim Tirna on Tammuz (written ~1400 CE) which mentions this custom.
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6 votes

Is using hair removal cream on one's face a violation of "rounding one's beard?"

Pischei Tshuva in Yoreh Deah 181 #5 brings opinions that it is allowed, warning however, not to scrape the application off with a knife. אבל במשיחה הנעשה כעין טיח טיט והחריפות שבו שורף השער מותר ...
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  • 32.3k
6 votes

Heter, esp. from R' Moshe, for shaving with a machine?

A written (albeit 2nd hand) source for R. Moshe is in the Sefer Meged Giv'os Olam of his longtime student R. Michel Shurkin. He discusses the view of R. Moshe at length in chelek one starting on page ...
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  • 34.9k
5 votes

Why is shaving with a regular razor not allowed?

I don't think your friend is correct that standard razors are forbidden because they destroy the hair follicle. Proof is that plucking (pulling) hair manually is allowed despite pulling out the ...
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4 votes

How long do you really need to keep your sideburns?

If I recall, R. Moshe Feinstein is cited in Megged Giv'os Olam as holding that any hair that does not grow in until the onset of puberty may be shaved. I heard this from Rabbi Heineman as well.
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  • 34.9k
4 votes
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Can we use hair clippers?

The same logic used with an electric shaver would apply here. If it's not "razor-sharp", it's fine. There are a few different definitions; Rabbi Heinemann of the Star-K, shlit'a, in the name of R' ...
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  • 127k
4 votes

Jewish Barber, Gentile Customer

Wikipedia's article on הקפת הראש והשחתת הזקן says: מחמת האיסור על המסתפר, אסור להסתפר גם על ידי גוי. מאידך, לרוב הדעות מותר ליהודי לגלח את פיאותיו של גוי, או של אשה, מאחר שהמסתפר אינו חייב ...
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4 votes

Chazal rationale regarding shaving beard

You ascertained: How did our Sages come up with the halacha (or rather idea) that using scissors (or appliances that do not cut the root like most electric shavers) does not constitute 'destroying the ...
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3 votes
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Halachic Hair Cut

Based on my experience, the general stance on Lev. 19:27 ("you shall not round the corners of your heads") in Conservative communities is that it's not observed, and left to the individual ...
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3 votes

Is it permissible to shave for business purposes after Shiva but during shloshim?

This should answer your question: The custom of refraining from haircuts during the sheloshim is generally applied even to shaving, but there is some room to distinguish between them, because ...
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  • 69k
3 votes

Is the pop-up trimmer on the back of an electric rotary shaver okay to use?

Excerpt from a Star K article about shavers: Hagaon R' Moshe Feinstein זצ"ל was of the opinion that the גמרא 's statement - איזהו גילוח שיש בו השחתה הוי אומר זה is teaching us that only the ...
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3 votes

Is using hair removal cream on one's face a violation of "rounding one's beard?"

This is already mentioned by the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in 170:2 as being permitted with the caveat of not using something sharp as a scraper. וְאוֹתָן שֶׁמְּסִירִין שְׂעַר הַזָּקָן עַל יְדֵי מִשְׁחָה ...
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3 votes
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Why do the Chassidish community take bald haircuts if it's a biblical commandment to not have a bald head?

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 ...
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2 votes

Trimming or Shaving the Moustache

Shaving only the mustache but keeping the beard may make a person appear to be Amish, which might be chukat akum (Vayikra 18:3, Rambam (Sefer HaMitzvot Lav no. 30), Sefer HaChinuch (n. 262)). All the ...
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2 votes

Shaving on Chol Hamoed

The Tur in Orach Chaim 531 quotes Rabbeinu Tam who opines that one who shaved before the moed may shave on chol hamoed as well. The Tur strongly disagrees and seemingly all subsequent authorities were ...
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  • 32.3k
2 votes

Heter, esp. from R' Moshe, for shaving with a machine?

As mentioned by Curiouser, many פוסקים, including R’ Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, felt that the foil of a shaver differentiates it from a razor. Likewise, R’ Pesach Zvi Frank allowed electric shavers. R’ ...
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2 votes
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How long do you really need to keep your sideburns?

All sources from Shulchan Aruch - Yoreh De'ah - 181 Regarding the shaver in the Payos area: ג: אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא בְּתַעַר. וְיֵשׁ אוֹסְרִים בְּמִסְפָּרַיִם (ב) כְּעֵין תַּעַר, וְיֵשׁ לָחוּשׁ ...
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2 votes
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Can we use nail-clippers to shave?

I asked this question to Rabbi Belsky one time and he said It's fine. He said clipping with a nail clipper is like cutting with a scissor, not like shaving with a razor. I then mentioned that my ...
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  • 32.3k
2 votes

Is the pop-up trimmer on the back of an electric rotary shaver okay to use?

Yes, absolutely. It doesn't cut beneath the skin, and none of its individual components are sharp enough to cut a whisker.
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  • 127k
2 votes

How long do you really need to keep your sideburns?

See Rabbi Leibowitz's article section E here The Shulchan Aruch writes they need to go down to the bottom of the ear. Rabbis Zilber and Arik maintain this does not include the earlobe as part of the ...
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  • 32.3k
2 votes

Haircuts on 5 Iyar?

R' Eliezer Melamed discusses this in the Zmanim volume of פניני הלכה. He writes that the generally accepted approach to all of the minhagim of avielut of the omer is to be lenient with those things ...
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  • 441
2 votes
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Is shaving with this kosher?

The question actually involves whether the laser is considered a "blade" that cuts the hair or a "fire" that burns the hair off. However, the gemoro in nazir talks about the hashchasa (destruction) of ...
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2 votes
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Shaved or Trimmed

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, ...
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  • 22.3k
2 votes

Is it permitted to shave during Sefirah for an engagement party?

Both the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (120) and the Aruch Hashulchan (493) allow the Mohel and the father of the baby to shave and have a haircut the afternoon before the Bris. Neither of them mentions this ...
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