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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

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 ...


13

As the Rambam states in H. A"Z 12:8: ואינו חייב עד שיגלחנו בתער--שנאמר "ולא תשחית, את פאת זקנך" (ויקרא יט,כז), גילוח שיש בו השחתה; לפיכך אם גילח זקנו במספריים, פטור. ואין המתגלח לוקה, עד שיסייע. One is liable only when one shaves with a razor, as [implied by Leviticus 19:27]: "Do not destroy the corners of your beard." [We can infer that this applies ...


9

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 ...


9

Rav Herschel Schachter told me that the reason they do it is because they are afraid that a hair will be left out of the mikveh when they do tevila. To avoid this problem they shave their heads. I have also heard that they suspect that there will be tangles, which are חציצה for the tevila, so they shave their heads. Neither of these reasons would really ...


7

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 custom predates chassidus and possibly dates back to the days of the rishonim. See for example Shut tashbatz part 3, 299, where he mentions a custom of קציצת הפיאות ...


7

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

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 94, and is in turn quoted by R. Ovadiah in Yabia Omer (vol. 9 YD ch. 10 #18) R. Moshe remarked (as quoted there) that he didn't include this in Igros Moshe ...


6

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.


6

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 דזה הוי השחתה בלי גלוח. אך אם אחר המשיחה נשאר טיח זה על פניהם אין נגררו בסכין אלא ביד ע"ש וע' בזה בתשובת שמש צדקה חלק י"ד סי' ס"א בד"ה לבד זה:


5

The following picture, from this page which has since gone down, depicts all the opinions with pictures as to where exactly those five points are. Translation of the Hebrew text: Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah), siman 181:11: The corners of the beard are five, and there are a multitude of opinions (as to what they are). Therefore one who fears heaven should ...


4

Borrowing from this answer, which quoted from this site (and setting aside the discussion of electric razors, because they are not the topic at hand): Rav Moshe Feinstein understood the aforementioned sugyah in accordance with this latter approach. According to this approach, when the Gemara rules that an item which both destroys and shaves is prohibited, ...


4

Nitei Gavriel Aveilus2 3:1 says that the prohibition of cutting hair beyond 30 days is only for a parent, which requires one to be told that he looks unkempt prior to taking a haircut. For one who is mourning a child or sibling the prohibition is only for 30 days and then may cut his hair immediately after the 30 days whenever he wants because the Aveilus ...


4

The Mishna Berura (OC 551 sk 32) rules that one may shave or take a haircut to look nice for Shabbat if one generally does that action at least once a week.


4

I heard in the name of the Ben Ish Hai that the mustache isn't allowed to cover the lips because it is Meakev the Tefila. The Arizal would even trim his mustache so he could eat (Taame HaMiswot pg. 195).


4

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' Moshe Feinstein suggests taking a whisker from someone's beard, and seeing whether the cutter can cut it the same way a razor would. Hagaon R' Moshe Feinstein ...


4

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.


4

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 במצווה  ואין זה דומה לילד קטן, שאסור לגלח את פיאותיו למרות שאיננו חייב [במצוות, מאחר שהקטן עתיד לגדול ולהגיע לכלל חיוב במצווה.[51 Because the issur ...


4

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 follicle (see here and here). What is forbidden is to shave "the corners of the head and of the beard" (based on Vayikra 19:27: You shall not round off the side-...


4

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 corner of the beard'? And you said the source was: Leviticus 19:27 states, "You shall not round off the side-growth on your head, or destroy the side-growth ...


3

Yes, on the 31st or 33rd or 45th or 47th or 48th of the omer, according to various opinions cited in Nit'e Gavriel, Pesach volume 3, chapter 49, paragraphs 22–29.


3

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 shaving (which is done daily) does not involve the festive nature of a haircut. In addition, it is possible that reasons of losing one’s parnasah will ...


3

Nit'e Gavriel, Pesach volume 3, chapter 49, has quite a bit to say about this with respect to the semimourning period during s'firas haomer. I'll list some of his points: 2. Included in the prohibition on haircutting is cutting the beard, body hair, and hair inside. 3. One can cut a moustache that interferes with eating, or never-married girls' hair ...


3

The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes that he didn't hear any explicit instructions with regards to trimming a mustache (in the footnote it mentions that the discussion is only when the mustache impedes ones eating, though I don't know the source of this footnote). Moreover, there are logical reasons to forbid as well as to permit. Therefore, he suggests asking ...


3

In light of all the edits to the question... In order to forbid trimming the hair of the mustache you would have to assume that it is forbidden due to the prohibition of lo tilbash (loosely: men can't perform "women's" actions and vice versa) and that lo tilbash still applies to shaving despite the fact that the majority of men in the world shave their ...


3

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 תער , the straight-edged razor, is the Torah's forbidden form of השחתה and גילוח . Any other method of השחתה and גילוח would be permitted. Based on this ...


3

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 to decide what he thinks of the mitzvah and how he wants to observe it. However, all Conservative Jews I've ever met haven't had peyot; it's just not a thing focused on in ...


3

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 מִסִּיד עִם אַוִירעם, יֵשׁ לָהֶם לִזָּהֵר, שֶׁלֹּא לִגְרֹר אֶת הַמִּשְׁחָה בְּסַכִּין, שֶׁמָּא יַחְתֹּךְ שֵׂעָר, רַק יִגְרְרוּ בְּקֵיסָם וְכַדּוֹמֶה (נוֹדָע ...


2

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’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (הליכות שלמה דף יא.) felt that people who use them rely on R’ Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, who famously permitted them, too (See תשובות והנהגות ...


2

Rabbi Y. Farkash writes in Chol Homoed Kehilchoso (pg 120) that גילוח is not limited to the beard (contrary to popular usage of the term) and includes the hair of the head. In footnote 5 he cites Tosfos Moed Koton 14a "Umenuda", as well as bringing your proof that S.A. and poskim uses the term גילוח by a minor.


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