September 12, 2011 1:33 am at 1:33 am #599322
I am under the impression that frum Israel’s do not follow Rav Moshe’s psak that permits electric shavers. The Israeli Poskim of the last generation (notably the Chazon Ish and Steipler) prohibited using shavers and permitted only the use of trimmers.
How do Israelis shave? Do they use trimmers only? Or some kind of cream? Do any follow Rav Moshe?September 12, 2011 2:17 am at 2:17 am #809784
I think many of the poskim in EY (Chazon Ish, Rav Kanievsky, Rav Elyashev, etc.) are opposed to shaving b’chlal.September 12, 2011 2:56 am at 2:56 am #809785
What about the guys that do? What do they use?September 12, 2011 3:15 am at 3:15 am #809786
Tums: Are they actually opposed to shaving or do people just use their names to back up when they say you can’t shave? People like to quote names (R’ Elyashiv’s especially) when citing things that were never said.September 12, 2011 8:11 am at 8:11 am #809787old manParticipant
They use electric shavers. Braun, Philips, etc…September 12, 2011 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #809789yungerman1Participant
There is a hair removal cream that some use in place of an electric shaver.September 12, 2011 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #809790optimusprimeMember
They use Nair. It is a chemical depilatory that burns the hair off. The Chazon Ish and other poskim discuss it at length.September 12, 2011 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #809791
Many Israeli Chareidim use shavers also. R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ZT”L actually permitted certain shavers that even R’ Moshe ZT”L did not.
Someone I know very well showed me a particular shaver he bought. I told him that according to what I understand from my Rov (who is a renowned posek), it may be problematic. When this person showed it to the same Rov, he said that indeed according to R’ Moshe it would be problematic, but according to R’ Shlomo Zalman it would be fine!September 12, 2011 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #809792
Three different answers.
1.They use electric shavers.
2.They use a chemical depilatory to burn the hairs off.
3.Some use a hair removal cream.
Answer one and two are mutually exclusive unless they are referring to two different groups of people.
Is 2 and 3 the same?
I wonder how many use this Nair/chemical thing and how many use standard shavers?
But how can those who use electric shavers get away with ignoring the psak of the Israeli poskim?September 12, 2011 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #809793optimusprimeMember
One example I personally know of is a Yeshiva in Jerusalem that is descended from the Slabodka Yeshiva in Europe. The doctrine is that students are cleanshaven until the Rosh Yeshiva feels they are ready to ascend the next level.September 12, 2011 8:38 pm at 8:38 pm #809794givingitagoMember
Does anyone here know what R’ Chaim Kanievsky’s Psak is on trimming one’s moustache? I know many people who wouldn’t touch their beards do trim their moustache – why is that?September 12, 2011 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #809795
givingtago- M’dioraysa there are 5 spots that are problematic, and all others would be fine. Even in those 5 spots, the issue is only shaving (as opposed to uprooting) in a manner that destroys (as opposed to a scissors) i.e. a razor (????? ??? ?? ?????). Because we are unsure of the exact location, we refrain from shaving (with a razor) our entire beard (including moustache and neck). There is absolutely no Halachic problem with trimming (i.e. shortening the hair, not at skin level) any part of the beard, and certainly not the moustache. The only halachic problem arises when trimming close to the skin, with a razor. The dispute among the poskim is simply in regard to which modern devices are considered a Halachic razor.
When you talk about people “who wouldn’t touch their beards” i.e. not even to shorten with a scissors, that is not a Halachic issue, but one based on Minhag and Kabballah. There is thus a lot more leeway for allowing trimming of the moustache for various practical reasons.September 12, 2011 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #809796givingitagoMember
Thank you ravshalom – I did, however, also want to know what Rabbi Kanievski’s opinion on this matter is. I personally know of one or two young men who refuse to trim their moustaches and this may if fact be interfering with their shidduch prospects. One, in particular, tells me that it is his belief that Rabbi Kanievski would not allow him to take scissors to his moustache and I would like to know if this is in fact true……September 12, 2011 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #809797
Sam: Rav Elyashiv has a Teshuva printed in Kovetz Teshuvos where he forbids shaving with an electric shaver. Unfortunately, one of the sources he quotes is the Chofetz Chaim in Likutei Halachos, which was written before the invention of the electric shaver.September 12, 2011 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #809798
hello: Perhaps the fundamental point Rav Elyashev used to prohibit it is the same as the fundamental point the Chofetz Chaim used to prohibit it. Otherwise, why not clarify the point with Rav Elyashev?September 13, 2011 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #809799September 14, 2011 3:54 am at 3:54 am #809800
I was told by a prominent Rabbi that R’ Elyashiv said that if the shaver you use leaves enough hair to feel (against the grain) then it is not Assur.September 14, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am #809801
“When you talk about people “who wouldn’t touch their beards” i.e. not even to shorten with a scissors, that is not a Halachic issue, but one based on Minhag and Kabballah.”
this is far from the truth. (and this is coming from someone who trims his beard and used to shave clean). i do not have the wherewithal to have a scholarly discourse about this, i am simply lacking in knowledge. however, there are QUITE a few major poskim who take issue with jews who do not grow beards.
of special interest in the minchas eluzar, the munkatch rebbe in pre-world war 1 europe, who wrote a lengthy teshuva on the subject, quoting and rebuffing many other poskim who in his time had come out with the “revolutionary” psak that maybe it was ok to not have a beard. he writes in an addendum that he later recieved letters from several of those poskim who surrendered to his superior reasoning, and one who explicitly stated that he (the writer of the letter) wished he had never published his original learning, as he now realized the topic was of far greater importance than that which he orginally ascribed it. i dont know which teshuva it is, i read it (quoted in its entirety) in a sefer about the subject of whether it was ok to cut off one’s beard.
there are also writings from the chofetz chaim on this subject, in which he discusses the matter in far stronger terms than “minhag” or “kabbala”, indeed he writes about the “detestable habit” of those who do not keep their beard.
it is interesting to note that in the opening lines of the minchas elazars teshuva, he remarks how upsetting it is that there are those in society who try to talk about the growing of beards as though it is just a matter of minhag or kabbalah……..
well i do in fact shave my beard. but you should be careful how you talk about it, it DEFINITELY IS a matter of halacha.September 14, 2011 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #809802
lolface – You admit you don’t have the scholarship, but insist that because you saw a teshuva it “DEFINITELY IS” halacha? How exactly do you define halacha? AFAIC, halacha is defined by the Gemara and coded in Shulchan Aruch and other classic halacha seforim. It may be a “detestable habit” but that doesn’t make it a halachic issue.September 14, 2011 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #809803
Sam: I’m afraid that contradicts the implication of his TeshuvaSeptember 14, 2011 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #809804
nope. i didnt say it definitely is halacha. i said it definitely is a halachic issue, as opposed to an issue of minhagim or divrei kabbala.September 14, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm #809805
let me explain, in case i wasn’t clear. the fact that i am not scholarly enough to hand down a psak on the issue does not mean i am an ignoramous. there is ample evidence that many consider the practice of “not touching the beard” to be an issue rooted in halacha, not merely an issue of conflicting minhagim. the reason i quoted the minchas eluzar is because he is one of the most recent mekoros of a halachic discourse of the issue, and indeed some factions of klal yisroel quote him as a source that trimming ones beard at all is an absolute issur, and not a minhag at all.
the reason i quoted the chafetz chaims letter is because he also in his letter treats it as a halachic issue. however, he does not paskin on the issue, he merely stresses that those who choose to follow the psak that permits beard trimming are doing so to indulge in a detestable habit. again, he treats it as a halachic issue, NOT an issue of minhag or divrei kabala.
therefore, even though you or someone else might come from a community where the accepted psak, and thus your mesorah, is to trim the beard, and therefore FOR YOU it would only be a chumra or minhag to take upon yourself to not do so, that may not be true for someone else.
so to write on a public forum the words “When you talk about people “who wouldn’t touch their beards” i.e. not even to shorten with a scissors, that is not a Halachic issue, but one based on Minhag and Kabballah.” is in fact FALSE. this is because you do not know who might be reading your post, and even if it is true for some members of klal yisroel, for others this is indeed a HALACHIC ISSUE of serious import, for which they might need to consult a qualified rav.
incidentally, the shailos utshevos of the minchas eluzar, and the shailos utshevos of those he quotes and rebuffs, absolutely definitely positively completely fall within the realm of halacha seforim. the minchas eluzar was not writing for his or our amusement, and he felt that trimming ones beard at all is a serious issur, and that brings it into the arena of modern-day halacha.
just for reference, an issue of minhag for example might be using olive oil to light ner shabbos instead of wax. the reason it is an issue of minhag as opposed to halacha is because it the poskim have clearly been machria that one may suffice to use wax. thus, the issue of olive oil instead of wax can be called an issue of minhagim. the ramifications of this are many, among them might be that if you grew up in a household using olive oil, or you did so yourself, but then you want to change, it may be possible to do so merely by being matir neder (THIS IS NOT A PSAK, I AM NOT A POSEK) however, if you are part of a community that believes that trimming the beard is an issur, it may be much more complicated to change your derech, as you are now changing your halachic mesorah. this doesn’t mean it cant be done. i am just trying to demonstrate what it means when an issue is halachic in nature as opposed to one rooted in minhag.
i cannot discuss halacha midivrei kaballah, as that is another issue entirely, and btw is not given enough respect i think by many, as it in fact is a very serious issue.
^_^ hope i made myself clear!September 15, 2011 1:24 am at 1:24 am #809807ObaminatorMember
(Chofetz Chaim in chapter 6).September 15, 2011 1:25 am at 1:25 am #809808
i would like to stress that i explicitly mentioned that the chafetz chaim DID NOT PASKIN against trimming in his VERY STRONGLY WORDED letter against it.
however he DOES treat it as a halachic issue. i trim my beard. i have NO agenda. i just want people to realize that this is a SERIOUS ISSUE and not to be taken lightly.
that is all
^_^September 15, 2011 1:50 am at 1:50 am #809809
I don’t understand your point. What is the difference between it being a Halachic issue Muttar (which many prominent Poskim hold) or a Kaballah/Minhag issue and Muttar? If you hold it’s Muttar that’s fine. The real difference comes if you hold it’s Assur because then there could be Nafka Minos depending on the source.September 15, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am #809810September 15, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm #809811shmoelMember
Which authorities (if any) permit a man to completely shave off his beard? Any of comparable stature to the many that prohibit? And where are the sources where they write it is permissible?September 15, 2011 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #809812Derech HaMelechMember
The reason why even people who don’t touch their beards will trim their mustache is because swallowing hair is a sakana and sometimes mustache hair can get into the food if its too long (the mustache not the food).September 15, 2011 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #809813
In truth : “puk mo amo diber”. Regardless of some of the quotes from previous Poskim (out of context, by the way) it is clear that shaving one’s beard by permissible means is allowed. This has been the custom of millions of jews in the past centuries and this would not have been allowed if it was indeed an “issur d’oraisa”. In addition, as some posters have written, only the removal of the beard by means of “hashchossoh” (destroying the roots)with a knife is an issur de’oraisa, but any other way clearly is not ossur. Even the ones who question the use of electric shavers fully accept that you can use depilatory creams and remove the WHOLE beard. So, there cannot be a question of “lo yilbash”. ravshalom is right in saying that the shaving of a beard (in a permissible way) is a matter of Kabbalah and minhagim. The shulchan aruch also allows trimming mustaches (see hilchos aveilus).September 15, 2011 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #809814
How is the citation of the Sefer Chofetz Chaim Ch. 6 on lo yilbash out of context? And if the S”A permits trimming by a mustache, the implication would be it is different (i.e. not permitted) by a beard.September 15, 2011 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #809815
Tums: He permits trimming by a mustache even during those times of year when haircuts are prohibited.September 15, 2011 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #809816
tums=I have the sefer in front of me (Kol sifrei chofetz chaim) and the sefer “chofetz chaim” deals with loshon horah. I quickly perused chapter 6 and there is no mention about “lo jilbash” or shaving one’s beard. Can you substantiate your quote? (about lo jilbash)September 15, 2011 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #809817
Kuntres Tiferes Odom Ch. 6 (in Kol Kisvey Chofetz Chaim).September 15, 2011 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #809818
tums- well, we must have different editions of the “kol sifrei chofetz chaim”- edited by Rav Mendel Zaks in 1960. I do not have “tiferes odom” at all. I’ll try to get my hands on your edition.September 15, 2011 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #809819
omitted: I have the edition mentionedSeptember 15, 2011 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #809820
shmoel: Rama MiPano, Chasam Sofer, Ramchal, Reb Moshe, Reb Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rav Heineman
just a sample off handSeptember 15, 2011 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #809821shmoelMember
hello99: sources?September 15, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm #809822
shmoel: is this good enough?
Shut Chasam Sofer, Orach Chaim 159, he also quotes Rama mi’Pano
personally heard from Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky
Igros Moshe EH 2:12 and YD 2:61
Tur OC 581
Shulchan Aruch YD 181:11
Tiferes Yisroel Makkos 3:5
Har Tzvi YD 143
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