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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Right Way to Shave during Sefirah

Sign seen in Shul:

This Shul adheres to the tenets of Shulchon Aruch. Anyone who davens for the amud in this Shul must also adhere to Shulchon Aruch. Therefore we do not permit those who shave during Sefirah to lead the congregation in Tefillah.

Poskim (those commonly relied upon to elucidate Shulchon Aruch) permit the following to shave:

  • One who will face repercussions at work

  • A Chosson during Sheva berachos

  • Any time one would be allowed to shave during the 12 month mourning period for a parent (Rav Soloveitchik)

  • On Friday, Lekovod Shabbos, for one who regularly shaves more than once a week (Rav Henoch Leibowitz based on the Chasam Sofer).

  • A father or a Sandak on the day of the bris and the preceding afternoon

  • According to the Minhag Ashkenazi until Rosh Chodesh Iyar, on Lag B’omer, the afternoon preceding Lag B’omer and the three days before Shavous.

  • According to the minhag Sefardi after Lag B’Omer

  • On Friday when Rosh Chodesh Iyar is Shabbos according to both Minhagim such as this year

  • Women cannot get a haircut but may remove all other hair

  • For a first date (Yeshiva Staten Island)

  • A Chosson for his Aufruf (Noda BeYehudah, quoted by Shaarei Teshuvah)

  • Whenever one would be allowed on Chol Hamoed :

  • One who gets out of jail

  • One who was released from cherem

  • One who was released from a vow not to shave

  • One who arrived from certain types of trips

  • A child under bar/bas mitzvah

  • A moustache that interferes with eating

Although I am not necessarily promoting all the above sanctions, I don’t believe that this would be considered ‘going against the Shulchon Aruch.

Any more? Please comment!

UPDATE 4/28/09: Some permit shaving on Yom Hatzmaut (Israel Independence Day). see here for full discussion.

Posted on 04/23 at 08:21 AM • Permalink
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Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch HaberRabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber is sought after by all who know him for his Halachic and practical advice. His keen ability to put complicated matters into a digestible perspective coupled with his ability to get the facts, make him the perfect blogger to help us all “Do It Right”.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber spent his childhood globetrotting with his family. His pioneering spirit first surfaced in Melbourne, Australia, where he was excited to be a member of the opening class of Mesivta Bnei Torah. From Australia the Haber family settled down in Monsey, NY. Ever the maverick, Tzvi promptly left home to study in Yeshiva Ohr Hameir in Peekskill, where he became a mainstay of the Yeshiva, and inspired his younger brothers as well as several friends from the Mesivta in Melbourne to follow him. He then joined his chaburah in Jerusalem, first at the Mir Yeshiva and then at the Bais Medrash of Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, a senior scion of the famed Brisk dynasty. As his globetrotting family returned to Jerusalem, Tzvi returned to the US, to freeze in the famed, yet comparatively chilled Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood.

 In 2004 he met his wife, Suzanne Schor, a native of the warmer Los Angeles climate, and the couple settled in Lakewood, where he focused his pioneering and independent strengths on the study of Halacha, or Jewish law. His innovative spirit and innate ability to help others seeking to clarify the finer points of Judaism and integrate them into their daily lives inspired his decision to commute daily from Lakewood to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in order to bask in the day to day exposure to the world renowned Posek, HaRav David Feinstein. The daily commute was more than compensated for when he received Semicha from Rav Feinstien and the Kollel L’Torah U’lhorah (a division of Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem) in Tamuz 5768, June 2008.

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