Star-K Article about Electric Shavers

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  • #1750528

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    What’s your point @Miramson? That all us electric shaver people are doing aveiros? Are you trying to give everyone mussar because you hold of a different posek?

    #1751768

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    when I heard the story from R’ Shurkin, he implied quite strongly that it was Hadras Panim Zaken.

    So very likely, this lowlife is putting down R Moshe because of a personal vendetta.

    #1752011

    rational
    Participant

    One can tell when a prepared list easily found on the (more assur than shaving) internet is used in an argument. Some of the names are misspelled, and most have identical hashkafos, making it easy to compile long and impressive lists that carry little if any weight and convince no one.

    One may just as well find the list of Neturei Karta Rabbonim or other group, all pious and God-fearing individuals to forbid voting in elections. Or to forbid human hair sheitels, or the use of shabbos clocks, or opening the refrigerator on Shabbos or davening without a gartel, or putting laces in shoes, and the list goes on.

    This method of persuasion is ineffective and irrational. It is appropriate for early adolescence. Except that even early adolescents should know never to dare utter any word that taints the great and holy Reb Moshe zt”l. Afra L’pumei.

    #1752514

    mentsch1
    Participant

    @miriamson
    See Meged Givos Olam (vol. 1, p. 96) where Rav Shurkin writes that he heard that the reason why Rav Moshe zt’l did not want to write this teshuvah permitting shaving machines in Igros Moshe is because while (according to the Igros Moshe) it is technically permitted to shave, the tzurah of a Yid is with a beard. Rav Belsky zt’l stated the same.

    You still haven’t answered why all pre war bochrim seemed to be clean shaven
    As attested to by countless pictures

    #1752550

    Joseph
    Participant

    Until Joseph Rosenberger opened Shatnes Labs and spread the message in the 50s, wearing Shatnes was widespread in the frum community and people didn’t know if the issur.

    Does that mean wearing Shatnes was okay? Same with shaving.

    #1752561

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Does that mean wearing Shatnes was okay? Same with shaving.

    That’s an affront to the talmidei chachomim who shaved.

    Maybe you’re correct about the hamon am, but I can guarantee you that the roshei yeshivos in Europe and even their talmidim (who didn’t have beards) were aware of the lav.

    #1752595

    Miriamson
    Participant

    In response to those concerned with the fact that talmidim in the Litvishe Yeshivos in Europe shaved:

    1) Electric shavers were first introduced in the 1930s and did not reach Europe immediately (and many Yeshivos did not have adequate access to electricity). Most of those who shaved used depilitory cream (“Sam”), not electric shavers. Consequently, the issue of the shaving practices in the Litvishe Yeshivos in pre-war Europe is totally irrelevant to this discussion (and how most people shave today), which is focused on the halachic status of electric shavers.

    2) In his Kovetz Igros (#198), the Chazon Ish already responded to this very argument and wrote: “And although this sickness has spread even among those who are part of the Torah world, may they live and be well, that does not change the matter in any way, and therefore my soul burns with rage regarding this.”

    3) The following response by Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt’l to the “argument” that the students of the Litvishe Yeshivos of yesteryear used to shave their beards, was recently publicized (in a kuntres with a haskama from Rav Chaim Kanievsky):
    ואומר רבינו: “כי מה שנהגו פעם בישיבות לגלח, כי לא היה ידוע האיסור” (פרי חיים ממרן הרב שטיינמן שליט”א, שופר ארגון להפצת יהדות, צוות שופר גנזי המלך, כו תמוז תשע”ב).
    “The reason it was once common for yeshiva bochurim to shave is because the issur involved was not widely known.”

    4) How did the Chofetz Chaim react when the talmidim started shaving?
    When bachurim in Radin shaved their beards in later years, it was absolutely without the consent and contrary to the position of the Chofetz Chaim, as his son wrote in his biography of the Chofetz Chaim (published in Kol Kisvei Chofetz Chaim):
    “Year after year my father admonished [people] regarding shaving the beard, both orally, in writing and in his publications, but hardly anyone listened to him.”
    In fact, the Chofetz Chaim wrote an entire sefer called “Kuntres Tiferes Odom” in which he vigorously refuted all the justifications used for shaving (e.g., to help find a shidduch, to help find a job, to improve one’s appearance, and so on), and he sharply declared (as well as providing a thorough explanation) that these justifications were against the Torah.

    5) When the bochurim in Slabodka started shaving, the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein zt’l (author of the Levush Mordechai), wanted them to keep their beards, but the bochurim did not listen to him (as recorded in Shaalos U’Teshuvos Pe’as Sodcha, sec. 101). Furthermore, the Slabodka Rosh Yeshiva wrote very sharply in his introduction to Levush Mordechai (on Bava Kamma):
    “Every Jew should reflect on this [that a raven forsakes its children since they do not appear like it] and have mercy on his children only when they walk in the paths of Hashem, through which they are similar in their appearance to their parents, keeping Shabbos and growing a beard. However, [he should] not [display mercy] to those who are not at all similar in their appearance to the Jewish people, for they have become distant and have garbed themselves in a different style, desecrating Shabbos and disdaining the sacred…. Their appearance is not similar to the Jewish people, for they have removed the tzelem Elokim [Divine image, a reference to the beard] from themselves.”
    Regarding the Telz (Telshe) Yeshiva, it is recorded that
    “…when the disease of cutting the beard spread among students of the [Litvishe] Yeshivos, the well-known Gaon, Rabbi Eliezer Gordon [Rov and Rosh Yeshiva of Telz], of blessed memory, adopted the most stringent measures [to stop it]. When he saw that they persisted in their defiance, he mobilized the Geonim of that time — the venerable Rabbi Y. Dovid Friedman [Rov of Pinsk-Karlin], the venerable Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Meisel [Rov of Lodz, Poland], and the mighty Geonim Rabbi Chaim HaLevi [Soloveitchik, Rov of Brisk], and Rabbi Chaim Ozer [Grodzenski, Rov of Vilna], of blessed memory. He demanded that they place a prohibition on Rabbonim against granting [students who cut their beards] Rabbinic ordination [semichah], on Shochtim against teaching them the skill of ritual slaughtering [shechitah], and on Jewish communities against employing them in any religious position” (Kovetz Yagdil Torah 7:5).

    6) WHY did the talmidim in the Litvishe Yeshivos of pre-war Europe start shaving their beards — for reasons of Yiras Shomayim we should learn from, or just the opposite? See “Visions of the Rov: Highlights from the Life and Times of Moreinu Hagaon Harav Rav Avrohom Kalmanowitz zt’l” (published by the Mirrer Yeshiva), where we find (ch. 1, p. 28) Rav Kalmanowitz’s testimony in this matter. Rav Kalmanowitz is quoted there as saying that the reason the bochurim in Slabodka removed their beards was (not for reasons of yiras Shomayim that should be emulated, but just the opposite:) because “Western influences had infiltrated the Yeshivos of that time, making…beardless faces the norm.” Rav Kalmanowitz therefore refused to shave, and the Roshei Yeshiva and his friends respected him for it.
    Similarly, Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita attests in his sefer Orchos Yosher (ch. 5), recently published in English by Artscroll:
    “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…”
    Similarly, the Chazon Ish zt’l wrote in Kovetz Igros (vol. 1, #197) [regarding sam, depilatory cream]: “If it is not a sam hamoves [poison], it is certainly not a sam hachayim [lifegiving potion]. This matter is very difficult for me to bear, for it runs contrary to the [Jewish] quality of modesty and it is not the Jewish style of dress. Instead, [the Jews] have learned it from the non-Jews during their exile, thereby negating holiness.”
    Rav Chaim Kanievsky wrote further in his sefer Orchos Yosher (ibid.): “[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.”

    7) Was the “mesorah” of the Litvishe communities is to be beardless? In contrast to this assertion, the Chofetz Chaim zt’l attests (in his Kuntres Tiferes Odom, ch. 1) that (in his home country of Lita) only “one in a thousand” did not have a beard.
    Similarly, Rav Aharon Kotler zt’l stated (as quoted in the second volume of the sefer Aish HaTorah [p. 265], an authoritative biography of Rav Aharon Kotler [authored by Rav Aharon Sorosky shlita, acclaimed biographer of many Gedolim]):
    “Growing a beard is a malbush yehudi, the traditional appearance of a Jew and the way our fathers and forefathers all conducted themselves. Hence, the beard falls under the halachic mandate to uphold the traditional practices of our people (“Do not abandon the Torah of your mother” [see Pesachim 50b]).”

    8) This reality regarding the Chofetz Chaim’s vehement objection to shaving is documented further in the testimony of the Chofetz Chaim’s grandson, Rav Gershon Zaks zt’l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Suffern, New York. This testimony is cited by HaGaon Rav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita, in Teshuvos V’Hanhagos, Vol. 5, Section 264, and is quoted verbatim in Hadras Ponim Zokon, p. 18:
    “I heard the following story in this regard from my revered father, the gaon, R. Menachem Yosef Zaks, son-in-law of the Chofetz Chaim and the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim, Radin, which shows the extent the matter caused anguish to the Chofetz Chaim, zt’l.
    “In the latter years of the Chofetz Chaim’s life, his hearing was severely compromised. Therefore, his practice was to stand next to the reader’s platform in order to fulfill his obligation to hear the Torah reading. Nevertheless, on several occasions, he suddenly moved away from the platform in the midst of the Torah reading.
    “When my revered father asked him the reason for his conduct, the Chofetz Chaim answered that he cannot bear the fact that an aliyah is being given to a person who does not have a beard. Therefore he refrains from hearing the Torah reading, because of his anguish.
    “From that time on, my father, zt”l, and my uncle, zt”l, ordained that on the days when the Chofetz Chaim would come to hear the reading of the Torah, an aliyah would not be given to a person who cut his beard.”

    9) Rav Naftoli Trop zt’l served as the Rosh Yeshiva of the Chofetz Chaim’s Yeshiva in Radin from 1903 until his passing in 1928. In the introduction to Chidushei HaGranat published in more recent editions, we find the following account (p. 8, note 21): “The Yeshiva in Radin was founded by the Chofetz Chaim… Most of the students in Radin (and similarly those of Navardok) did not shave their beards due to the objection of the Chofetz Chaim to this practice.” If bachurim in Radin shaved their beards in later years, it was absolutely without the consent and contrary to the position of the Chofetz Chaim, as attested to earlier by the Chofetz Chaim’s son and son-in-law.

    #1752656

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Joseph
    Usually you are so makpid on kavod chachomim
    Are you truly comparing wearing Shatnes to the use of electric shavers and the psak of the gadol hador?
    Everyone here seems to be under the misguided assumption that Rav Moshe was giving a “kula “
    He held that b’ikur this was the understanding of the sugia and many agreed with him

    #1752668

    mentsch1
    Participant

    It seems to me that there is a lack of understanding in how psak is binding and Halacha becomes accepted
    If someone wants to “cherry pick” a kula it would be understandable to hold him accountable for the chumros as well
    If someone goes to his LOR and asks for a psak on a specific Halacha does that somehow bind him to everlasting servitude to all the psakim of his LOR?
    Clearly not
    Does anyone here believe that the children of gedolim pasken every Halacha according to their father?
    Do they not have minds of their own? Are they not allowed to arrive at psak through independent research and understanding of the sugya?
    In addition lists are meaningless
    Litvaks have always prioritized psak (not everyone was regarded equal) Rav Moshe was the posek Hador
    Many LOR asked this question to him. Many adopted his psak and passed it to their kehilos

    #1752674

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Star K article long on theory but short on practicality.

    #1752682

    Joseph
    Participant

    3) The following response by Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt’l to the “argument” that the students of the Litvishe Yeshivos of yesteryear used to shave their beards, was recently publicized (in a kuntres with a haskama from Rav Chaim Kanievsky):

    ואומר רבינו: “כי מה שנהגו פעם בישיבות לגלח, כי לא היה ידוע האיסור” (פרי חיים ממרן הרב שטיינמן שליט”א, שופר ארגון להפצת יהדות, צוות שופר גנזי המלך, כו תמוז תשע”ב).

    “The reason it was once common for yeshiva bochurim to shave is because the issur involved was not widely known.”

    Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman zt’l is giving the same reason, as I explained, why many frum Yidden used to not keep Shatnes, that many from Yidden aren’t keeping the Halacha regarding shaving.

    I’m in good company with Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman zt’l.

    #1752698

    mentsch1
    Participant

    Miriamson
    I don’t deny the depth of your knowledge but I have an issue with your presentation
    Being clean shaven is “modern” but that doesn’t mean it was done b’averah
    Just the opposite, numerous esteemed rabbis of the previous generations decided that because clean-shaven was becoming the look of secular scholarship it should be adopted by Yeshivah students (And even rabbunim. I believe the RAMCHAL and other Italian rabbunim were clean shaven)
    I know someone who was told (as a bachur) to shave by Rav Wolbe
    I know someone who was on the fence and asked Rav Moshe and his response was “when you have a tenth of the yiras shemayim of the (pre war) bochrum we will talk chumros”
    This was a philosophy designed by gedolim
    Bottom line
    The Gemara and SA permit shaving . As long as it’s not done with a razor. To tell me that you hold it’s not permitted Is highly hashkafically questionable.

    #1752785

    Joseph
    Participant

    “To tell me that you hold it’s not permitted Is highly hashkafically questionable.”

    He’s not telling you that’s what he holds. He’s telling you that’s what numerous Poskei HaDor hold.

    #1752822

    Non Political
    Participant

    @ Rational

    “This method of persuasion is ineffective and irrational.”

    How I wish it was so. Unfortunately, one does not have to be rational to be effective. Appeals to authority and social proofs are quite effective at influencing behavior.

    @ Mentsch1
    “Litvaks have always prioritized psak (not everyone was regarded equal) Rav Moshe was the posek Hador.”

    Everyone prioritizes, it’s not a Litvak thing. There are princples from Shas and Poskim how to prioritize. Not sure what you mean by “Posek HaDor” though. Is that sort of like Nasi Hador only not?

    #1752875

    Just Another Yid
    Participant

    Phil:
    You ignored what he said… you also ignored the numerous Poskei Hador that said Shaving is Assur. No matter what side you are on, there are Gedolim. This is Torah, with different sides and Machlokes. to say that Joseph is saying fake Halacha is not true. it’s like calling Ashkenazim fake because of Sephardi rabbis. there is Mesorah and what your Rav says. do not call him fake (and don’t call him Josephine)

    #1752770

    Boca Raton
    Participant

    The point made by [Me using one of my other screennames] that this entire discussion regarding the practice of the Litvishe bochurim in pre-war Europe has no relevance nor is it comparable to the way most frum people shave today, namely, using an electric shaver, would benefit from some amplification.

    Namely, we cannot bring any proof from the use of ANY shavers from decades ago.

    Numerous of our most major poskim assert this concept. Some examples include:

    * Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky zt’l wrote (in a teshuvah to his grandson, published in Emes l’Yaakov, Yoreh Deah section 181): “As for [any leniency] that has become accepted in past generations, it is a fact that over time there have been many improvements in the machines, and it is possible that, as a result of these improvements, shaving with them has become prohibited [even according to the reasoning offered for that leniency]. Accordingly, in this case, it is difficult to rely on [any] tradition [to be lenient].”

    * Rav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv zt’l, wrote in a teshuvah published in his sefer Kovetz Teshuvos (vol. 1, sec. 32) that the electric shavers of today are unquestionably infinitely worse than those that existed in the time of the Chofetz Chaim (which were non-electric clippers) and were prohibited by him, because modern machines shave much more closely to the skin, and shaving with them is an “issur Torah mamosh” — a definite and absolute Torah prohibition, according to Rav Elyashiv.

    • Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita wrote in the name of his father, the Steipler Gaon zt’l: “It has already been publicized that the Chofetz Chaim zt’l in Likkutei Halachos on Makkos prohibited even manual (non-electric) shaving machines; how much more so are today’s electric shavers forbidden since they are more advanced.”

    • See also Shaalos u’Teshuvos Minchas Yitzchok (vol. 4, sec. 113, and again in vol. 7, sec. 63): “Electric shaving machines are much more severe [than the machines forbidden by the Chofetz Chaim], as is well known.”

    • Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt’l, likewise considered today’s shavers incomparably more halachically severe than the machines forbidden by the Chofetz Chaim zt’l, as recorded in the sefer Halichos Shlomo (tefillah, 2:7, note 24).

    • Similarly, the Debretziner Rov writes in Shaalos u’Teshuvos Be’er Moshe (vol. 7, Kuntres Electric 2:18) that today’s shaving machines are “one hundred percent more halachically severe than the machines referred to by the Chofetz Chaim.”

    • See also the widely publicized Psak Din (dated Nissan 5768) signed by Rav Elyashiv zt’l, Rav Aharon L. Steinman zt’l, Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner zt’l, Rav Michel Y. Lefkowitz zt’l, Rav Nissim Karelitz shlita, Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita, Rav Shmuel Auerbach zt’l, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt’l and 26 other litvishe Roshei Yeshiva) and quoted above by Wolfson at the beginning of this discussion:
    “The severe breach of halachah involved in the use of shaving machines is well known to all. Their use was prohibited by our Rabbis, the Gedolim of the [previous] generation, including the Chofetz Chaim and the Chazon Ish. Moreover, this [prohibition applied] even to the shavers of many years ago [when the shavers were far more primitive and did not cut hair as close to the skin as modern shavers]. Today, shavers have been enhanced [and cut much closer to the skin] and thus the halachic issues involved are far more severe.”

    fixed that for you

    #1752925

    Shaya from Lakewood
    Participant

    As someone born and raised in Lakewood BMG environment, I fail to comprehend the accusation that writers in this forum are being disrespectful to the Igros Moshe zt’l. No one asserted their own opinion to disagree with the Igros Moshe regarding electric shavers. What they did do is quote the gedolim and poskim venerated by all of Klal Yisroel who disagreed with Igros Moshe regarding electric shavers. If so, the only “ta’aneh” is to those Gedolim, not the writers in this forum.

    Coming from Lakewood, I know that there were many issues in halacha in which Rav Aharon Kotler zt’l disagreed with Rav Moshe zt’l.

    Rav Aharon’s zt’l grandson, Rav Malkiel along with all his fellow Roshei Yeshiva in Lakewood posted a public letter on the BMG official bulletin board a few years ago during Elul, in which they stated that Rav Aharon zt’l held that one may not shave with electric shavers and urged all the talmidim not to use them. Rav Moshe zt’l was not even mentioned in the letter. No one accused them of being disrespectful to Rav Moshe zt’l!

    Rav Heinemann, whose article is the subject of this discussion, himself learned in Lakewood and was a talmid of Rav Aharon zt’l and certainly knew Rav Aharon’s shita about shaving machines. It is recorded in Teshuvos Minchas Yitzchok, in the Teshuvos V’Hanhagos of Rav Moshe Sternbuch and many other sefarim that Rav Aharon held shaving machines are osur.

    In fact, just a few years ago, a letter from Rav Heinemann on his official stationary was posted all over Lakewood in which Rav Heinemann himself wrote that all regular shavers should not be used because there are poskim who hold that they are osur min haTorah (and instead people who don’t want to grow a beard should use a trimmer which leaves over beard stubble). All the Roshei Yeshiva of BMG in Lakewood added their signatures and wrote that regular shaving machines are a “sefeika d’oraysa.” Obviously Rav Heinemann himself does NOT hold that because the Igros Moshe was Posek Hador, therefore the opinion of all other Poskim should be discounted and ignored regarding shaving machines. [It is a wonder that this was not mentioned in the Kashrus Kurrents article which prompted this discussion — it is a glaring omission!]. Does that make Rav Heinemann disrespectful to the Igros Moshe?

    The son of Rav Yaakov Weisberg z’l recently related:
    “My father, Rav Yaakov Weisberg, was the founder of American P’eylim and administrative dean of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood. He built the Yeshiva together with his Rebbe, Rav Aharon Kotler. In the late 40s/early 50s, my father negotiated with the Zionist immigration officials who were forcing the Sephardic immigrants to shave off their beards with razors (claiming it was for sanitary reasons) to supply them with shavers instead. They agreed if he would supply the shavers. My father needed to raise money to buy 1000 shavers and went around to the gedolim for a letter of support. R’ Isser Zalman Meltzer zt’l (who my father was very close with), the Chazon Ish and the Brisker Rov (I think there were others but I forgot) all refused because they said they were not convinced that a shaver was better than a razor. Even his Rebbe R’ Aharon Kotler zt’l refused to help him for this reason.”

    Another high-profile example of a leniency of the Igros Moshe which was vehemently rejected by Rav Aharon Kotler, and regarding which the yeshivish communities follow Rav Aharon Kotler (and not the Igros Moshe), is the height of the mechitzah in shuls (see, for example, Igros Moshe O.C. 1:39; O.C. 2:43; Y.D. 2:109). How ardently Rav Aharon Kotler opposed the leniency of the Igros Moshe is evident from the following incident: “In the late fifties, while driving, the Rosh Yeshiva [R’ Aharon Kotler zt’l] inadvertently pushed open the car door and fell out, resulting in a fracture of his arm. ‘Chipesh Umotzo’ – he searched and found and said afterwards that he believes he should have gone further to oppose the prevailing lenient practice (albeit authorized by a great Poseik) regarding the height of a Shul’s Mechitza, and hence the punishment” (A Living Mishnas Rav Aharon, p. 440).

    Another example is Cholov Yisroel. Here also, Rav Aharon Kotler was stringent and dismissed the well-known heter of the Igros Moshe (as is documented in the authoritative biography of Rav Aharon Kotler Aish HaTorah by Rav Aharon Sorosky, acclaimed biographer of many Gedolim, vol. 2, p. 287). It is often ignored that the Igros Moshe himself wrote that his leniency to consume milk under government (but not Jewish) supervision was intended only in situations which constitute sha’as hadchak, and not for convenience or to prevent minimal monetary loss (see Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:5). Nowadays, Litvishe yeshivos fervently discourage their students from consuming dairy products which are not genuine Cholov Yisroel (although technically permitted according to the Igros Moshe). The late Menahel of the Mechina in Yeshivas Ner Israel (Baltimore), Rav Yosef Tendler zt’l, related that when he moved to Baltimore with his young family, there was no Cholov Yisroel available in the area. Despite the hardships involved, Rav Aharon Kotler instructed him to use only full-fledged Cholov Yisroel (despite the fact that Rav Tendler originated from the Igros Moshe’s community in the lower East Side of Manhattan). Thus, for many years he imported Cholov Yisroel to Baltimore. Eventually Rav Tendler was the one who established full-fledged Cholov Yisroel in the Baltimore area.

    Let us conclude with the words of Rav Moshe Sternbuch (author of Moadim u’Zemanim and Teshuvos v’Hanhagos and Rosh Av Beis Din in Yerushalayim) wrote in a letter (dated Motzoei Yom Kippur 5738) and published in the sefer Hadras Ponim Zokon (p. 35):
    “Anyone aware of the severity of this transgression and its punishment will keep far away from these machines. I am sure that if we will explain the problems involved, and present the opinions of the outstanding authorities of our time who ruled that shaving machines are prohibited (including the saintly Chofetz Chaim, Chazon Ish and the Gaon Rabbi Aharon Kotler, of blessed memory), then anyone with the slightest degree of yiras Shamayim will keep far away from these machines and totally avoid their use.”

    This is now your 4th screenname, Rabbi Wiener. Wolfson, Miriamson, Boca and Shaya. Aside from breaking the rules of the coffeeroom, this (as well as one of your mislabled links) breaks the rules of honesty and integrity laid out in Halacha. If the only way for you to present your “torah view” is through deceit and sock puppeting, you must realize yourself that it is flawed. – 29 and friends

    #1753052

    Phil
    Participant

    Just Another Yid,

    I’m quite aware that there are numerous opinions which forbid shaving. However, when someone has the nerve to dismiss Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l as a da’as yachid and treat the accepted practice in Litvish yeshivos worldwide like shatznez observance before Joseph Rosenberger’s efforts, that’s fake halacha.

    I’m convinced that our resident troll is a woman since no man is capable of such visceral hatred towards females.

    #1753078

    Non Political
    Participant

    @ Just Another Yid

    “to say that Joseph is saying fake Halacha is not true. it’s like calling Ashkenazim fake because of Sephardi rabbis”

    Sure it’s true, your comparison is flawed. If Ashkenazim told all the Sephardim that they cannot follow the Psak of their Rebbeim and are compelled to follow ours that would be fake Halacha.

    #1753100

    Joseph
    Participant

    NP: Kindly quote any comment of mine anywhere on the thread stating what you falsely attributed to be.

    #1753103

    Joseph
    Participant

    Phil: See my above citation of Maran HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman. What he said about shaving is effectively the exact equivalent to my current comparison of shaving to the old state of Shatnes in Orthodox Jewry.

    your calling it a comparison does not make it so…just sayin’

    #1753143

    Joseph
    Participant

    Mr. Mod: HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman said people shave because they’re ignorant of the halachos against it.

    ואומר רבינו: “כי מה שנהגו פעם בישיבות לגלח, כי לא היה ידוע האיסור” (פרי חיים ממרן הרב שטיינמן שליט”א, שופר ארגון להפצת יהדות, צוות שופר גנזי המלך, כו תמוז תשע”ב).

    I said people used to wear Shatnes because they were ignorant of the halachos against it.

    Follow the parallel?

    #1753145

    Phil
    Participant

    ” See my above citation of Maran HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman. What he said about shaving is effectively the exact equivalent to my current comparison of shaving to the old state of Shatnes in Orthodox Jewry.”

    edit

    For the past eighteen months we have been a generation bereft of our leader, Harav Shteinman, zt”l. B”H, you have stepped into the breach to rebuke the entire Litvish yeshiva world in his name. Such a comfort!

    #1753496

    rational
    Participant

    I would appreciate an answer to this question:

    I have been told by a born and bred and bona fide Lakewood talmid chochom, that the local minhag is that a bochur stays clean-shaven with an (approved) electric shaver, but after he marries, he grows a beard. Is this true?

    #1753599

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Rational,

    Does it make a difference what the local “Minhag” of Lakewood is? Is Lakewood the Sanhedrin of Klal Yisroel?

    #1753674

    Non Political
    Participant

    @ Talmid

    “Does it make a difference what the local “Minhag” of Lakewood is? Is Lakewood the Sanhedrin of Klal Yisroel?”

    On the one hand

    1) Lakewood is the largest Yeshiva in the US, It was Rav Aaron”s Yeshiva and is run by his RM”K (his grandson) and the Roshei Yeshiva are his talmidim
    2) RM”H (the Rav of the Star K is himself a Talmid of Rav Aaron and an internationally respected Posek

    On the other hand an internet rabbi with with multiple personalities wishes to establish that there is a consensus of Litvesh Gedolai Yisroel INCLUDING RAV AARON not like Rav Moshe.

    And you somehow fail to see how the yeshiva policy (not just local custom) of Lakewood Yeshiva is relevant to the conversation??

    Sorry RATIONAL, I hijacked your question.

    #1753651

    justme22
    Participant

    Some kollelim even outside Lakewood tell there married Talmidim to stop shaving at age 25. Many yeshiva high schools would not allow their bochurim to grow a beard.
    It seems rare to find non chasidic yeshivos in America where any Rabbeim even suggest that talmidim who are single grow a beard definitely no high school seems to. There is got a be a reason for that silence when preaching is so common about about everything else.

    #1753652

    justme22
    Participant

    Back when I was single I was at a service station and a chasidishu stranger approached me and said that the reason that I’m single is because I have no beard and it’s brought down that with no beard for kids to play with one can’t have kids… he proceeded by suggesting a shiduch idea
    Funny and strange encounter

    #1753662

    hogwash and dishonest as most of these polemics invariably are even if well-intentioned

    my grandfather studied in he Telz (Telshe) Yeshiva,
    growing a beard was essentially verboten there [he had a mustache it was recommended to grow aby a member of the hanhala)

    ” Rabbi Chaim Ozer [Grodzenski, Rov of Vilna], of blessed memory. He demanded that they place a prohibition on Rabbonim against granting [students who cut their beards] Rabbinic ordination [semichah], on Shochtim against teaching them the skill of ritual slaughtering [shechitah], and on Jewish communities against employing them in any religious position” (Kovetz Yagdil Torah 7:5). ”

    Unlikely. If proof is needed read the episode with the shochet In the Autobiography Of
    Lieutenant Birnbaum

    “Rav Kalmanowitz therefore refused to shave, and the Roshei Yeshiva and his friends respected him for it.”
    This is accurate indeed only because of who he was and his personality

    he himself didn’t approve Or at least never expressed disapproval of the shita against beards of the
    Mirrer Yeshiva Except for those on a much higher level

    rav Rabbi Elya Sve his son-in-law reportedly expounded that a bochur with a beard is like a monkey in pajamas

    #1753733

    Phil
    Participant

    “he himself didn’t approve Or at least never expressed disapproval of the shita against beards of the
    Mirrer Yeshiva Except for those on a much higher level”

    Truth,

    You’re 100% correct. There’s a famous picture taken in the early ’50’s of the entire Mir yeshiva in Brooklyn, nearly all of whom were clean-shaven, including a young Harav Shmuel Birnbaum, zt”l, at the time already married to the eldest daughter of Harav Kalmanowitz, zt”l. I guess he didn’t know as much halacha as our resident nasty troll.

    #1753774

    Benephraim
    Participant

    A quick question. Those Rabbonim that speak of the איסור of צורה. Is that a kabbalistic concept or a Halachic concept. Any source material on that?

    #1753916

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    How many times do I have to mention the Chasam Sofer O’CH 159 where he concludes that even through kabbalah there is nothing wrong in having no beard.

    #1753952

    I have heard Rabbi Paysach Krohn tell this story on a number of occasions. When his children were young he had a choice of sending them to one of two yeshivos, one where the mechanchim were clean shaven and the other where the rule was the mechanchim had to have a beard. He went to ask advice from Rav Pam who told him to send them to the yeshiva where the mechanchim were clean shaven since he himself shaved his children might look at him like he is a goy if he sent them to the other yeshva. And today all of Rabbi Krohn’s sons have beards! Notice that Rav Pam didn’t say because shaving is wrong.

    #1753955

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Someone wanting to understand the pros and cons for shaving or using a machine should see Yabia Omer Chelek 9, YD 10 in great length.

    #1753977

    rational
    Participant

    If there were a halachic concept of צורה של איסור, it would be found in shas and rishonim. It is most likely a hashkafic concept created by one side in the Great Hashkafah War we are now engaged in.

    It is obvious that the whole beard issue is only pseudo-halachic. It is actually a hashkafah issue. It is chassidim vs. misnagdim, mesorah vs. haskalah, American vs. European, zionist vs. anti-zionist and all of them together. The coffee room is just one of the battlegrounds, albeit not a level one.

    #1753978

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Laskern…tovoi olecha bracha…you provide a tremendous zchus to what would otherwise be a conglomeration of am haartzus together with loshon hora. Your knowledge of the sources in halacha that you so willingly give over makes this YWN truly a learning experience. May I be zoche to read many future posts of yours.

    #1753980

    laughing
    Participant

    So if shaving machines are not ok since they are like razors and you do shave with a machine it is then equivalent to shaving with a razor, so why not just use a razor?

    #1754016

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    laughing, good question. Look at the source Yabia Omer above, by a machine, you can do it through a permited way by not pressing it to the face.

    #1754383

    Miriamson
    Participant

    The position of HaGaon Rav Ovadia Yosef zt’l, author of the Yabia Omer, concerning shaving machines, evolved over the years.

    In a shiur delivered on Motzoei Shabbos Nasso 5768 (later published in Yom l’Yom issue 1002, dated 25 Cheshvan and in sefer Lo Sakifu, Holon, 5772, p. 217 and also in sefer HaNoy V’Hanetzach, Yerushalayim 5778, p. 156), Rav Ovadia Yosef stated categorically that all electric shavers are forbidden and involve a Torah prohibition:
    “הנוהגים לגלח את זקנם, יש להעיר להם שהתורה אמרה ולא תשחית פאת זקנך”. לא כתוב בתורה ‘בתער’, אלא כתוב ולא תשחית’, כל גילוח שיש בו השחתה הוא אסור. מכונות הגילוח החשמליות המצויות כיום הם משחיתים ממש, עוקרים את השיער משרשו, יש בהם ספק גדול מהתורה שכל אדם שהוא עושה כן, הוא עובר על הלאו של ‘לא תשחית פאת זקנך’, לכן אני מייעץ להם שאל ישיחתו לגמרי את הזקן, לא ישתמשו במכונה חשמלית של גילוח אלא ישתמשו בכל דבר שישאיר מעט שיער, למשל מספרים שלא כעין תער, ואם יעשו כן תבוא עליהם ברכה, זוהי מצוה גדולה. אני רוצה להציג את זה מפני שיש אנשים הרבה לא יודעים, ‘כי לכל העם בשגגה’, משתמשים במכונות גילוח שהיא חשמלית והיא עוקרת ממש את השיער, זה כמו תער, וכבר עמדו על זה גאוני דורנו, ולא מצאו מנוח לדבר הזה, כל אחד ואחד המתגלח, יעשה כל מה שיכול לעשות שישאיר מעט עיקרי השיער, שלא יחתוך כל השיער כי זה אסור, לאו מן התורה, חמשה לאוין, על כל פאה ופאה חייב לאו אחד, לכן כל אחד ואחד עליו להיזהר מזה, ולשומעים ונעם ועליהם תבוא ברכת טוב”.

    Rav Ovadia Yosef’s son, the current Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Rav Yitzchok Yosef (author of the popular halachah sefarim Yalkut Yosef), published a widely disseminated kriah kedoshah (reproduced in the sefer Lo Sakifu, Holon, 5772, p. 217) quoting his father as maintaining that no Jew should use shaving machines and promising good shidduchim to those who grow their beards.
    “ראוי ונכון מאד לכל איש מישראל, ובפרט בני הישיבות היקרים שלא לגלח הזקן במכונות גילוח המצויות כיום… ההיתר הנז’ הוא קלוש מאד, וקשה לסמוך עליו בשופי, ולכן יש להשתדל במאד לא לסמוך על התרים… ולכן חובה קדושה על כל אחד להיזהר בדבר ולחוש לאיסור תורה, ולנהוג כנזכר ומה’ ישאו ברכה… .וזכורני בימי צעירותינו, עד כמה מרן אאמו”ר הי’ מזהיר . . להשאיר את הזקן ולסדרו, והבטיח ברכה לבני הישיבות שלא יגלחו את זקנם שיזכו לזיווג הגון לשם שמים לעבודתו יתברך”.

    In the 6/21/04 issue of the Hebrew periodicals Yahadus and HaTenuah, it was reported that Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef had revised his position regarding shaving machines and prohibited all of them. In response, an official from the Shas party who did not yet have a beard declared that he would now grow one to comply with Maran Rav Yosef’s ruling.

    In addition, Maran Rav Yosef’s grandson, Rav Ovadia Yosef Tolidano (author of the responsa Meishiv Mishpat), wrote a teshuvah explaining that according to his grandfather, heterim to use shaving machines should no longer be relied upon.

    #1754419

    Redleg
    Participant

    Firstly, it should be noted that the clean shaven European bachurim in the photos were using samm (depilatory powder), not electric shavers, which raises another issue:
    Are those poskim who asser the use of electric shavers doing so because they are under the impression that the shaver blade touches the skin of the face and is, in effect, a sort of mini-tarr, or is the issue that the shaver shaves so close that it LOOKS like the individual shaved with a tarr. If the former, than the clean shaven look of the bachurim in the photos was, you should pardon the expression, completely kosher. On the other hand, if the issue is the latter…
    Another thought: Stubble is sort of fashionable these days and men are using shavers and trimmers to achieve and maintain that “two day shadow” look. Would that be muttar according the poskim cited?
    Personally, the custom of my familythat the tsurah of a married Jew is bearded and I started growing one when I became engaged and have been bearded ever since (except for two brief periods when clean shaven-ness was required for safety reasons).

    #1754449

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Someone has yet to explain the correlation between being married/engaged and growing a beard.. Does the prohibition come into play only when one becomes engaged or married? If so, which of the other “lavin” in the Torah can be delayed until one marries?

    #1754507

    Joseph
    Participant

    Perhaps something similar to the rule that only a married person can be shliach tzibbur on the yomim noraim?

    #1754511

    Phil
    Participant

    Talmidchochom,

    It has nothing to do with prohibition. Most Litvish Roshei Yeshiva consider it to be “yuhara” for a bachur to grow a beard. Many kollel men do let their beards grow. Some do so right away and some wait before doing so, often until they move on to a community kollel, teaching position or Rabbinic pulpit.

    #1754529

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Joseph, what does this have to do with each other? Having to be married could be to have the burden of supporting a family on his shoulders and thereby understanding the others predicament and therefore praying for himself and for them.

    #1754526

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    Phil…you did not address the issue. If shaving with certain implements or shaving in general is problematic, why does being married change the status of the prohibition. There is no issue of gaavah involved here. Respectfully, You did not answer the question

    #1754892

    Phil
    Participant

    Talmidchochom,

    Most of the Litvish yeshiva world holds that it’s permitted to shave, despite our resident nasty troll’s contention that they don’t know as much halacha as he does.

    #1755324

    Talmidchochom
    Participant

    what is the yuhara in a bochur growing a beard if his kabbalah from his rebbi or father is not to shave.?

    #1755074

    laughing
    Participant

    Redleg raises an interesting point re: being to have two day shadow. It is also fashionable to have a beard. So is having a beard now k’derekh hagoyim?

    #1755662

    Non Political
    Participant

    @ talmid

    “if his kabbalah from his rebbi or father is not to shave”

    That’s the point. It seems that in pre-war Europe the common practice was for bachurim to shave so, generally speaking, there was no such kabbalah. I think exceptions where made for Chassidic bochurim though. Someone more familiar with the history can weigh in on that.

    #1755598

    Phil
    Participant

    Talmidchochom,

    Seriously, how many Litvish bachurim do you know with such a kabbalah?

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