Does Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita prohibit men from shaving their beards?

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee Controversial Topics Does Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita prohibit men from shaving their beards?

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 86 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1725809

    Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita writes in Orchos Yosher (chapter 5): “Throughout our history, it has been a disgrace for anyone not to have a beard. It is only in recent generations that some have started to treat this irreverently, having learned this from the non-Jews.”

    Does he write this as a posek stating a halacha or as a personal view?

    Does he explicitly prohibit shaving or merely disapproves?

    #1725889

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Why dont you fly to EY and ask him yourself?

    #1725913

    Joseph
    Participant

    The Chofetz Chaim said the same thing.

    #1725910

    If he is the posek ha’dor, are we bound to listen to him even when it is inconvenient (or only when we agree with the psak)?

    #1725989

    Joseph
    Participant
    #1726001

    musser zoger
    Participant

    Rabbi Moshe Sherer asked Rav Moshe Feinstein about shaving. Rav Moshe poskened he should shave because he would meet with politicians and dignitaries.

    #1726009

    Joseph
    Participant

    So he got a heter.

    #1726080

    yungerman123
    Participant

    the Torah forbids shaving

    #1726079

    adar29
    Participant

    Some politicians nowadays have beards. Donald Trump junior was spring a bear weeks ago. The toeba polititian of Philly that was harassing teenagers for praying in front of a planned parent hood clinic has a beard. There should be no reason nowadays not to have one as it has become a custom among goyim to have it. Yes it’s a fad for them but why wouldn’t a yid have one unless he can’t grow it.

    #1726114

    klugeryid
    Participant

    Yungerman
    Where exactly does the ”Torah ” forbid shaving?

    #1726112

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Joseph:
    That wasn’t a halachic analysis article; it was sponsored content. I think it was sponsored by you-know-who.

    The book is clearly self-published. With a little extra research… Stuff is starting to make sense around here.

    #1726093

    laskern
    Participant

    yungerman123, How can you say that with a bearded face? It says in the mishna ואלו מגלחין במועד.

    #1726092

    shuali
    Participant

    Rav Chaim shlit”a cannot prohibit ANYTHING! He CAN pasken that something is a Torah prohibition or a Rabbinical one.

    The Torah clearly prohibits shaving ones beard. The question is only if any particular device used to remove ones facial hair meets the criteria of that prohibition or not.

    #1726195

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    RGP:
    I don’t know how much I can say because of certain rules (which I understand and agree with).
    But, if you did what it seems like you did, then bravo. Probably the most elaborate YWN trolling in all of history.

    #1726188

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “Where exactly does the ”Torah ” forbid shaving?”
    Wait, do you really not know? Because, if you’re shaving with a straight razor then you’re for sure over an issur d’oraysa. The implication here is that we’re talking about trimming and electric shaving.

    #1726016

    rational
    Participant

    Rav Kaniefsky maintains that his views are halachah, that is obvious. However, he doesn’t pasken for the world, he paskens to the person or institutions (i.e., Degel Hatorah Knesset Members) who ask the question. When asked, he paskens.

    If one decides to obey the Rav’s views without asking him for a personal psak, this is a very short list of some of the things he will do.
    1. Stop using the internet
    2. Stop using a smartphone
    3. Stop shaving
    4. Stop using electricity on shabbos in Israel, unless there is an independent generator providing power
    5. Stop wearing short sleeved shirts
    6. Stop reading any type of secular newspaper
    7. Refrain from attaining any type of secular education

    The conclusion is that there are many Torah observant Jews in America who would do well not to view the Rav as the world’s only acceptable Posek.

    #1726134

    klugeryid
    Participant

    Shauli, speak clearly
    The Torah clearly prohibits shaving WITH A RAZOR!!!!!!
    anyone who is shaving with a razor is not involved in this conversation nor is the book for them.
    So let’s not fudge things to prove a point.
    There is no clear issur to have a hair free face
    The question is is there a rabbinical issur
    Or perhaps even a drasha that would make it min haTorah
    Or is it only an Inyan , perhaps Al pi KaabaLA,
    Or is it , gasp! Actually permitted.
    But to say the Torah clearly dosages it is at best ignorant and at worst a new religion

    #1726172

    Miriamson
    Participant

    In the very next paragraph in Orchos Yosher chapter 5, Rav Chaim Kanievsky writes: “Targum Yonasan states that one who does this transgresses the prohibition of “A man shall not wear a woman’s dress,” which includes even cutting the beard using scissors. Sefer HaChinuch states the same, adding that one also transgresses the prohibition of “You shall not follow their [non-Jewish] rules.” This is quoted by the Chofetz Chaim in his Sefer HaMitzvos HaKotzer (Prohibition 177).” He continues to quote the Chofetz Chaim, Chazon Ish, his father the Steipler Gaon and Rav Shach who all ruled that all shaving machines are the halachic equivalent of a razor and therefore a shaver should not be given to a Jew who shaves with a razor to use instead of the razor. Regarding trimming, Rav Chaim Kanievsky quotes the Chofetz Chaim in Tiferes Odom chapter 1 who wrote: “It is a it is a great mitzvah for the entire Jewish people to reinforce this observance and refrain from trimming the beard even with scissors.”
    By the way, the “self published” book advertised here includes the Hebrew essay it was based on with a facsimle of Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s hand-written endorsement in which he wrote “Yafa Kasavta” – “You have written well.”

    #1726256

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Rav Chaim forbids wearing wristwatches because its Beggid Isha

    #1726259

    midwesterner
    Participant

    Methinks that some on this site have reached the madreiga of lomed al menas lekanter.

    #1726304

    laskern
    Participant

    What about the times have changed? In Rav Chaim’s time men were wearing pocket watches, but now men wear men’s wrist watches.

    #1726279

    avreichamshlomo
    Participant

    Yes midwesterner that is obvious.

    #1726270

    ZVIKA
    Participant

    laskern – mgalchin in the Mishnah as in the chumash does not refer to shaving beard it could refer to any haIr; as cutting hair of the head.

    #1726342

    laskern
    Participant

    lift and cut is a problem, otherwise try not pressing it to the face for a discussion see
    https://www.star-k.org/articles/kashrus-kurrents/563/electric-shavers/

    #1726331

    laskern
    Participant

    That is מספרין not מגלחין.

    #1726344

    shuali
    Participant

    As with any discussion, and especially one pertaining to halachah, clear definition of terms is required. This discussion adds the need for accurate and consistent translation of terms as well.
    There is NO issur giluach on ones head. Peyos (edges/corners of ones head) may not be rounded even with a machine/trimmer which cuts in the manner of a scissors.

    There IS an issur giluach on ones face (this week’s sedra, I believe). The Gemora learns out that this prohibition is only when done derech hashchasah (not a scissors).

    The issue of shavers has always been (the Chofetz Chaim discusses this in his Likutei HALACHOS on Maseches Makos) are these machines acting as scissors or as razors.

    How and when the definition of “beged ishah” changes requires a posek.

    Inyonei kabbolah and midos chasidus cannot be ignored or dismissed as we learned last week Kedoshim Tihiyu is a mitzvah min haTorah.

    Rav Chaim, as I posted earlier, does NOT prohibit shaving. He does paskin, I believe, that at least some of our “shavers” are razors al pi halachah and therefore prohibited min haTorah. He may also be saying we should be makpid on how we “dress (i.e. like traditional Jews who always had beards). He is certainly entitled to that opinion, and I would value it as it is certainly coming from having learned a few more blatt Gemora and from chazering Shulchan Aruch a few more times than we have.

    No, he is NOT paskenning for the entire world, but we CAN’T either. Even for ourselves, it is advisable to ask for oneself.

    #1726339

    klugeryid
    Participant

    Can someone just answer the following
    The gemora krisus either 6b or 7b, according to the second pshat in rashi says that Aaron haCohen trimmed his beard
    .
    What do we do with that?

    #1726373

    5ish
    Participant

    “The issue of shavers has always been (the Chofetz Chaim discusses this in his Likutei HALACHOS on Maseches Makos) are these machines acting as scissors or as razors.”

    INCORRECT! The Chofetz Chayim writes explicitly in Tiferes Adam, perek alef that even using scissors is forbidden according to halacha because the Jewish people accepted upon themselves not to cut their beards in any way and this kabbala has the strength of a halachic prohibition.

    As far as HaRav Chaim Kanievsky SHLITA”s opinions on shaving, here are exceprts of his:

    The Gemora (Shabbos 152a) states: “Hadras Ponim — the splendor of the countenance — means a beard.” [With this our Sages ridiculed the Sadducee whose beard could not grow, saying to him “Blessed is the Omnipresent who has prevented you from having this [a beard]” (refer to the Gemora)]. Throughout our history, it has been a disgrace for anyone not to have a beard. It is only in recent generations that some have started to treat this irreverently, having learned this from the non-Jews.

    Targum Yonoson states that one who does this transgresses the prohibition of “A man shall not wear
    woman’s dress,” which means even if he cuts his beard using scissors. Sefer Hachinuch states the same,
    adding that one transgresses also the prohibition of “You shall not follow their [non-Jewish] rules.” This is
    quoted by the Chofetz Chayim in his Sefer Hamitzvos Hakotzer (Prohibitions 177).

    Our teacher the Chazon Ish was highly displeased with this practice. His displeasure was not only with
    the shaving machines used today, about which the Chofetz Chayim has already written — in Likkutei
    Halochos, Makkos 21b, in Ein Mishpot 7 — that one transgresses the prohibition of “They shall not shave
    the corner of their beard.” The Chazon Ish was very strict about shaving machines of all kinds, and did not
    permit selling one even to a Jew who shaves with a razor in order to save him from the prohibition of using a razor, but instructed [the inquirer] to sell it to a non-Jew.

    My father and teacher [Rabbi Yaakov Yisroel Kanievsky, the Steipler Gaon], of blessed memory, was also
    very strict about this, saying it is very likely that [a shaving machine] is considered literally a razor, so that
    one transgresses five prohibitions for using it.

    Our teacher, the Gaon Rabbi Elozor Menachem M. Shach, writes the same: “Regarding shaving the beard with an electric shaver, refer to Likkutei Halochos on tractate Makkos by the Chofetz Chayim, p.14b in Ein Mishpot there, where he writes that it is forbidden and that one should not be lenient in this. It is also known that the Chazon Ish, of blessed memory, prohibited using any such machine.” [In addition, the Chazon Ish] was highly displeased even with those who shave using a depilatory cream — called in Hebrew “sam” [chemical].

    The Chofetz Chayim wrote an entire work on this subject called Tiferes Odom, where he writes: “It is proper to take care not to cut the beard even with scissors, for the Kabbalists write that thereby one uproots the channels of [the flow of] Kedusha from Above. Our fathers and ancestors in our land were accustomed to observing this strictly. Especially today when many of the lawless elements of our nation have the practice of shaving with a razor, it is a great Mitzva for the whole Jewish people to reinforce this observance and not to trim the beard even with scissors, thereby showing everyone that the commandments the Torah has given us to distinguish the Jewish man [from the non-Jew] are precious to us and that we are not ashamed of them, G-d forbid.”

    In Kovetz Igros (volume I, #197) of our teacher, the Chazon Ish, he writes about the “sam” [depilatory cream]: “If it is not a “sam hamovess” [poison], it is not a “sam hachayim” [lifegiving potion] either, and I find this matter very painful, for it is against the [Jewish] quality of modesty and is not the Jewish style of dress but [Jews] have learned it from the nonJews during their exile, thereby negating Kedusha.” In another letter (#198) he writes: “I have never accepted the behavior of those who remove their beards [with scissors] similar to [the effect of] a razor [close cutting], for I am accustomed to this being prohibited since the previous generations, and [the prohibition] was very severe — like walking in the street with one’s head uncovered — and was considered like changing one’s clothing from the Jewish style of dress. Although this sickness has spread even among Torah scholars, may they be well, the issue has not changed as a result of this, and therefore my soul burns with rage because of this practice.”

    He [the Chazon Ish] once said that when someone who removes his beard..comes in to see him, he feels so sick that he almost vomits..

    May Hashem Yisborach give us the privilege of observing the Jewish appearance according to the Torah’s requirements.

    #1726358

    The chasid
    Participant

    Does the Torah let for men to shave the the beard THAT’S THE WAY YOUR SUPPOSED TO ASK

    #1726375

    Neville ChaimBerlin – ” if you did what it seems like you did, then bravo. Probably the most elaborate YWN trolling in all of history.” Thank you for your complimentary words of encouragement. If you are envious, may it result in kinas sofrim tarbeh chochma.

    The pritza (breach) of Torah values caused by shaving which was introduced to mainstream Jews less than 200 years ago, is a conduct which is enforced in many Litvish yeshivos on their bochurim (till they reach a “madreiga” of a “ben Torah” worthy of a beard), notwithstanding that the “hetter” for shaving is not universally accepted, adaraba, it is nearly universally prohibbited.

    The matzav on shaving is a greater breach than the commonly accepted heicha kedusha (which the Bais Yosef writes is prohibitted) or eating before Teki’os on Rosh Hashana (which is a greater transgression than eating before Tefilah – a d’rabbonon).

    While we uphold p’sokim of Rav Chaim shlita, it is only when we are comfortable with them. The second a psak rubs us the wrong way and doesn’t fit nicely into our accepted conduct, we choose to ignore such poskim and search out others that conform the halacha to our lifestyle.

    Discussion is the point of the coffee room. I have thick skin, so I can deal with the name calling and banter. I don’t need to be mochel because it was never pogeah b’k’vodi.

    There are Yidden that find heterim for everything, we label them MO because we consider ourselves on a higher madreiga, as Torah?Halacha true yidden. But in some areas, we mirror them. One such area is shaving..

    #1726394

    1. Suddenly we pasken according to a second pshat in a Rashi? Is that your sefer halacha?

    2. The beard of Aharon haKohen is referred to in Tehillim and other places. If there was any “trimming” it certainly wasn’t k’ein ta’ar (clean shaven like a razor shave).

    3. The seforim address this, I am not your Cheder Morah.

    #1726409

    laskern
    Participant

    RG, Respect people’s customs since they all have their gedolim like the Chasam Sofer to rely on and don’t be holier than thou.

    #1726422

    laskern, do you follow ALL the psokim of the CHasam Sofer? If you do, then I respect you. If you shop around to collect kulos, then you are the definition of a “kal she’ b’kalim” as Reb Ahron Kotler ztzl defined it: One that collects kulas from each posek that offers a kulah. Yidden should have a shitah and follow it. Not hop around (like sukkah hopping) from posek to another.

    #1726445

    W3DCB
    Participant

    Cha’zaq u’Ba’ruch…Surely, one’s time could be better spent learning Torah rather than exalting oneself above others. Furthermore, this is not where someone should be asking she’ei’loth in ha’la’chah as each te’shu’vah must be “answered” to fit the circumstance of the sho’el. Pronouncements of such broad-spectrum given the complicated sugia involved are silly and unproductive and serve only to paint another pious Jew as being “goyish” or not Jewish enough by those who believe themselves to be more pious than others…as the sif’rei mu’sar describe how those who cut down others are looking to raise themselves above their fellow. I, for one work in medicine where a beard becomes a potential source of bacterial spread to my patients just as the wearing of ties or long sleeve shirts. Hopkins studies have demonstrated the presence of coliform bacteria in men’s beards resulting in se’qa’nah to my immunocompromised patients. No, to answer your questing. washing doesn’t help…The chutz’pah of one who would make such a pronouncement is unbelievable. However, we live in a time of great chutz’pah…Cha’zal warn that the times leading up to the coming of ma’shi’ach would be ma’lei with such behavior even among the mam’le’cheth ko’ha’nim, goy qa’dosh. We can do better.

    #1726472

    laskern
    Participant

    When it comes to shaving, didn’t I bring a proof from the mishna paskened in SA 531?

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  laskern.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  laskern.
    #1726473

    laskern
    Participant

    BTW a priest is called galach because he shaves the middle of his head.

    #1726471

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    While R’ Chaim may be recognized as the Gadol Hador I am not sure if he has the title of Poseik Hador as R’ Moshe Feinstein was recognized as such or R’ Shlomo Zalman or R’ Eliyashiv.

    #1726467

    laskern
    Participant

    RG, do you follow the Beer Sheva by not wearing a wig outside and cover all your hair?

    #1726466

    ZVIKA
    Participant

    LASKERN – מספרין is not a word in Mishnah; there is no such a word in mishnayos or in tanach. מגלחין or גילוח is mentioned about forty times in mishnayos.

    #1726465

    Pronouncements are made in Shulchan Oruch, as specifically choosing a chazzon WITH A BEARD (also see the tefilah of Hineni said by Chazon before mussaf on Yomim Noroim)

    You might find such pronouncements in Shulchan Oruch (or the machzor) “silly and unproductive and serve only to paint another pious Jew as being “goyish” or not Jewish enough by those who believe themselves to be more pious than others”.

    The Shulchan Oruch and Machzor was written well before “we live in a time of great chutz’pah”. I hope your chagrin with “The chutz’pah of one who would make such a pronouncement is unbelievable” is not directed at the Sh.A. or the holy Machzor. That would be real chutzpoah!

    #1726505

    laskern
    Participant

    RG, even if a person not having a beard can also daven since it doesn’t say in SA O’CH 581 that he must have a beard. In HINENI the word ‘like’ is used to be seen as an older person who is personally having his own problems and concerned about his livelihood and family.

    #1726511

    5ish
    Participant

    “While R’ Chaim may be recognized as the Gadol Hador I am not sure if he has the title of Poseik Hador as R’ Moshe Feinstein was recognized as such or R’ Shlomo Zalman or R’ Eliyashiv.”

    Both Rabbi Shlomo Zalman and R’ Eliyashiv also prohibit shaving.

    #1726546

    5ish
    Participant

    Before anyone gets accusatory, I did not intentionally use different titles to distinguish HaRav HaGaon R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and HaRav HaGaon R’ Elyashiv

    #1726532

    W3DCB
    Participant

    The idea is the goad me into confrontation? Sorry, no bite…my comments and the spirit in which they were expressed were clear. Go learn as shall I…Defend be’nei Torah from the onslaught of a secular Israel/tzi’yo’nim and other frei-Jews/e’rev rav who would be o’qeir To’rah completely, if hey could…Worry not if your fellow Be’neiTorah have beards or not…Much of me’so’rah to which we hold fast was upheld, preserved, and transmitted to this generation, i.e., Slabutka, etc., in which there were those who were without beards. Go learn and help other Be’nei Torah and try to be me’la’med ze’cho’yoth not pe’gam. We are attacked from all sides…we don’t need this from within…You could be passionate about so much more. Perhaps raising tze’da’qah for Be’nei Torah who are hungry tonite…

    #1726565

    laskern – “even if a person not having a beard can also daven since it doesn’t say in SA O’CH 581 that he must have a beard” …Really? What can I say?!

    Do you not consider the Mishna Brura “shulchan oruch”?
    משנה ברורה סימן נג ס”ק כד
    באקראי – כ”ז בשאר ימות השנה אבל בתעניות ובר”ה ויוה”כ אפילו באקראי אין מורידין למי שלא נתמלא זקנו וגם בזה אין
    להקל אפילו ע”י מחילת הצבור

    ביאור הלכה סימן נג סעיף ו ד”ה * יוכל לירד
    כתב בפמ”ג סימן קל”ב דאפילו אם הוא אבל לא ירד לפני התיבה בקבע אם לא נתמלא זקנו וכו’ עיין שם ונ”ל דלענין תפלת
    ערבית יש להקל אפילו בקבע דהא אין מחזירין התפלה רק שאומר קדיש וברכו וידוע דעת הרמב”ם שמחלק בין פריסת שמע
    לירידה לפני התיבה כמו שכתב הלח”מ דלדעת הרמב”ם אין לחלק בין קבע לארעי רק כמו שכתבנו וכן כתב הפר”ח והפמ”ג וישועת
    יעקב לדעת הרמב”ם ואח”כ מצאתי שכן ג”כ דעת בה”ג וגם מסתמא מוחלין הצבור להאבל ויש לצרף בזה ג”כ דעת הב”י והש”ג
    שמקילין בזה כנ”ל.

    Background of this halacha:

    חולין כד, ב: תנו רבנן: נתמלא זקנו ראוי ליעשות שליח ציבור ולירד לפני התיבה
    Rashi explains a shaliach tzibur is not merely to be chazon:
    שליח ציבור לכל צרכיהם לתקוע שופר ולנדות ולמנות פרנס

    The dispute in Rishonim is if one without a beard can occasionally be Shaliach Tzibur.
    Tosfos and Rashba says on occasion, someone without a beard can be chazon, but not b’kviyus or on a Taanis.

    The Ramban and Ran say that one without a beard cannot even temporarily be the chazon.

    An avel without a beard – can he daven for the omud? See Biur Halacha above that we make a dispensation for him.

    #1726574

    laskern
    Participant

    RG, sorry you don’t what you talking about as a woman. This is a clean way of saying that he is of age and ir does not mean a beard.

    #1726575

    haskafah
    Participant

    Only one mehalach makes sense
    Whatever the reason is for bnei torah starting to shave and wear short do non of understand that if there was an issur min hatorah or drabbanim that gedolim of prewar Europe knew all shulchan auruch shas poskim puskim etc and im sure if there was an issur eithe dorisa or rabbanim they would have done something asap

    #1726580

    laskern
    Participant

    All this does not mean that he must have a beard, but be able to have a beard.

    #1726581

    laskern
    Participant

    It does not say אם יש לו זקן indicating that he needs a beard to daven.

    #1726582

    laskern
    Participant

    He can have a physical problem if he can’t have a beard so we don’t want him to be a shatz.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 86 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


Trending