Source for Upsherins

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  • #617823

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    Discuss.

    #1154940

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    You’re a minhag shtus

    #1154941

    theprof1
    Participant

    people who start such a discussion are the real shtus. holy minhag yisroel.

    #1154942

    baruchderrin
    Participant

    perhaps you should research who r’ yitzhak luria the ari hakadosh was and what his contribution was before making such a statement. we dont belittle minhagim, minhag avotenu biyadenu. there are often profound meanings and reasons behind many seemingly futile things.

    #1154943

    the OP wants people to tell him “where does the upsherin minhag come from?” & what are the reasons behind it.

    help him out

    #1154944

    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Yserbius,

    Are you a teacher?

    #1154945

    mw13
    Participant
    #1154946

    american_yerushalmi
    Participant

    It’s very likely that the custom of upsheirin was relatively unknown in Europe before the war. Indeed, they probably didn’t do any celebrating on Lag Ba’Omer, aside from omitting tachanun. Nevertheless, we see that the Chasam Sofer’s objections to this celebration have not been accepted and nowadays nearly all Chassidim today do celebrate it in one form or another. As recently as 2 weeks ago, Rav Chaim Kanievsky told questioners not to denigrate the custom of celebrating at Meron on Lag Ba’Omer. It was for him (like so many other questions), primarily a question of bitul Torah. The Arizal’s custom on this matter might not have been so widespread in Europe, even while his nusach in davening was. So, it’s understandable if some rabbonim might be hesitant to accept it. But calling it a “minhag shtus” is going way too far, just as no one would CV”S dare call Nusach Ari a shtus.

    #1154947

    Torah4Me
    Participant

    Yesterday was in a clothing store, lady spending 100’s dollars on a dress for what occasion? Wait for it- AN OPSHER – that is a shtus!

    #1154948

    american_yerushalmi
    Participant

    Torah4Me: even if she can afford it, it is a supreme shtus. That doesn’t make upsheiren a shtus. Any more than overspending on a wedding would make that celebration a shtus.

    #1154949

    The little I know
    Participant

    The title for this thread is objectionable. the OP has the right to question, not declare it shtus out of ignorance.

    Here’s the reality. There may well be kabalistic aspects to the practice/minhag. I cannot address that (out of ignorance). But the upsherin is a milestone of chinuch on “peyos harosh”. Aside from the lo saaseh of cutting the peyos, there is the initiating of the tzurah of a Yid, having peyos. This hopefully remains with the child for his entire life, and this is worthy of a celebration. The minhag is actually referenced in quite early writings. As with many things, it was primarily a minhag adopted by the chassidishe community, but has spread to the yeshivish communities as well. The typical ceremony is the learning of aleph-beis, a valuable piece of chinuch. It is worthy of a celebration. One commenter was appropriately irritated when witnessing the purchase of an expensive dress for the occasion. True celebration involves so much else that the obsession with fancy clothing is a distraction, at the very least.

    I hope the mods can fix the heading to be more informative and inquisitive, not degrading and disgraceful.

    #1154950

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “The minhag is actually referenced in quite early writings”

    What is your definition of early?

    Unless you mean “Vayigdal hyeled vayigamol” to the best of my knowledge it isn’t mentioned until 17th century

    #1154951

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    As far as I could tell from various sources, the only mekor for the minhag is that the Ari Z”L cut his sons hair on Lag B’Omer in Meron. Hence it’s as much of a minhag as mezinka.

    It’s funny how seriously people take it these days, as if there’s some sort of lav d’Orayso for cutting hair before 3. There’s literally no mekor for the three year old thing.

    #1154952

    reb.yaakov
    Member

    In the sefer Minhagei Lita by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Poliakoff he writes as follows (pg. 69) “A new custom has sprung up among Jews today – to refrain from cutting a young boy’s hair until he is three years old. His parents cut his hair on the Lag B’omer following his third birthday, if possible, at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai in meron. In Yiddish this haircut is called Upsherren.

    Before WWII, few people outside of Eretz Yisrael even knew there was a small group of Sfardi Jews who practiced this haircutting at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai on Lag B’omer. Except for a small group of chassidim, no one else adopted this extraordinary minhag.

    After the state of Israel was established, observance of this haircutting became more widely known, and a new trend came into being. Although it was new to most Ashkenazi Jews, it was by no means a new idea. It was an old idolatrous practice mentioned in the Mishnah (Avodah Zara 8a). The gentiles of old used to cut boys’ hair at puberty as a pagan ritual. It was for this reason the sages forbade Jews from conducting business with these idol worshippers on that day. So what did today’s frum Jews do? They adopted this heathen custom and have become frum idol worshippers. This ceremony is absolutely a violation of halachah, as it is chukas hagoyim (a gentile custom), and should be discontinued. This is another example of the importance of heeding the principle of al titosh toras imecha, and not rushing headlong into adopting every newfangled idea.

    According to my research, the Upsherren was an innovation introduced by the Kabbalists of Safed in Eretz Yisrael in about the 16th century. It was apparently not widespread, because before WWII, it was not well-known or much followed.”

    #1154953

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yserbius123: The Ari Hakadosh’s minhagim are in no way, shape or form equivalent to a Ukrainian folk dance.

    reb.yaakov: While Rabbi Manuel M. Poliakoff was an Orthodox U.S. Army Chaplain, his book Minhagei Lita is in no way authoritative and contains numerous inaccuracies.

    #1154954

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    Joseph: Makes sense. Except the only reference to it being a minhag Ari is a vague comment by a talmid of cutting a kids hair on Lag B’Omer in Meron. The three years of aveilus preceedung it is a modern invention with zero mekor.

    #1154955

    mw13
    Participant

    Yserbius, if it means so much to you to cut your kid’s hair before he turns three, go for it. But I hope you can find something more productive to do with your time than harp on a harmless, if recent, custom.

    And as I pointed out in my previous post, there is also no ancient source for reading the news, playing rummikub, or the Israel day parade.

    #1154957

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    mw13: No one’s claiming that Rummikub is kodesh kedoshim like they do with upsherins. Like I said, with many people if you even hint about trimming hair before a boy is three, they look at you like you’re eating chazer. The same people have no problem spending thousands of dollars to rent out social halls and caterers, or shlep a kid halfway across the world to the largest “kosher” party just so he can have his third birthday in a way that the Ari Z”L definitely did not do (but may have done something similar). Not to mentions various achronim throughout the years that assured going to Meron on Lag B’Omer.

    #1154958

    mw13
    Participant

    Like I said, with many people if you even hint about trimming hair before a boy is three, they look at you like you’re eating chazer.

    Never happened to me. But even if it had, I can’t imagine I’d be as bothered as you seem.

    If your problem is with spending thousands of dollars on ridiculous things, you should be commenting on http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/materialism-in-the-frum-world.

    If your problem is with going to Meron in Lag Bi’Omer, see http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/421597/hagaon-harav-chaim-kanievsky-comments-on-travel-to-meron-for-lag-baomer.html#sthash.GXFD8j39.dpuf.

    #1154959

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, care to mention five of Rabbi Poliakoff’s “numerous” errors? You slandered his work, now prove it or apologize

    #1154960

    Joseph
    Participant

    LC: The entirety of the quoted portion here, including what he attributes to “my research”, is one egregious example.

    #1154961

    american_yerushalmi
    Participant

    Ir’s well known that the Steipeler zt”l told people that if there is some medical reason or if the boy’s hair is infested with lice, his hair can be cut before age 3.

    #1154962

    Sam2
    Participant

    I wouldn’t claim that Upsherrin is Chukas AKU”M. There was a mildly similar pagan ritual Bizman Chazal, but it’s highly unlikely that that’s where the idea came from. The Minhag started among a tiny group in Tzfat in the 1600s. That group did not have contact with any pagans that continued that ritual and it is highly unlikely that they got the idea from what the Gemara says the pagans did. However it started, it very likely isn’t Chukas AKU”M.

    #1154963

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant
    #1154964

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, as usual, your answer indicates you had no by asks for your statement.

    #1154965

    The little I know
    Participant

    I possess the original letter that is published here from the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT”L in response to the question of the source for the minhag.

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=15952&st=&pgnum=345

    As the Rebbe notes, the minhag is not found referenced in niglah. I personally hesitate from accepting the reference from Poliakoff above with any seriousness, as he clearly avoided nistar. No clue whether he is otherwise reliable, but is certainly not authoritative about matters outside his domain.

    For those who have the mesorah of this minhag, they should follow that heritage. I am not among those who would push it on someone who does not have such a mesorah.

    #1154966

    Little Froggie
    Participant

    I, too, side with Joseph (not that he needs my backing).

    For someone to come out of the blue, malign, vilify,cast doubt, skepticism at a minhag, for some sloppy “research”, is beyond arrogance. Chutzpa is a better word.

    If you (that’s BIG YOU), don’t know, keep your distance. And shush up!

    Has that “mechaber” gone though the all seforim that deal with it. Has he been at the time “we adapted it from the pagans”? Again, if it’s not your minhag, keep your respectful distance. And kindly keep your mouth firmly shut.

    #1154967

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Lf and Joseph

    Out of curiosity do you feel that way about the ancient heilige minhag of chanukah presents, practiced by many many frum yidden, is your approach “if it’s not your minhag, keep your respectful distance. And kindly keep your mouth firmly shut.”

    #1154968

    Joseph
    Participant

    Chanuka presents isn’t a minhag. There may be, at best, a small number of legitimate post-WWII halachic sources that justify it as okay to do (and say it isn’t assur whereas other halachic sources assert it is assur), just as playing checkers is okay to do (and many yidden play checkers) even though it isn’t a minhag. No halachic source says “it is our minhag to give Chanuka presents, and make sure you do so every Chanuka”. OTOH, there clearly are centuries of Torah sources saying an upsherin is a yiddishe minhag and state that members of the kehilos that follow these halachic sources should follow and do the minhag.

    #1154969

    oomis
    Participant

    The Torah refer to man as an eitz hasadeh (hope I got that right), and just as a fruit tree halachically is not shorn of it fruit for three years, there arose a minhag therefore, to not cut the hair until age three.

    #1154970

    Sam2
    Participant

    LF: Ah, excellent joke! I get this one. 🙂

    #1154971

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph

    “Chanuka presents isn’t a minhag.”

    How do you know just because it wasn’t written down? (I believe you used this argument regarding schlissel chalah)

    I have many many sources and a mesora handing down the heilige minhag of chanukah presents tracing back all the way to the ribono Shel olam giving us a pacha shemen as a present on the very.

    first chanuka

    Of course I can’t provide these sources but they are there in toras nistar

    Seriously though, (and this is for everybody) how long does it take for a Jewish practice to become a minhag?

    #1154972

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Oomis and anyone else for that matter,

    “The Torah refer to man as an eitz hasadeh (hope I got that right), and just as…”

    I’m curious, what to people think hapened

    do you believe the minhag arose for some other reason and this reason was used to justify it (not that this is bad! Jewish practices should be justified!)

    Or

    Was it always a Jewish practice going back to mantan torah, alluded to in the passuk and practiced over millenia, yet not written down until a few hundred years ago for whatever reason (including by those who set about to record minhagim like the maharil)

    OR

    At some point did someone look at passuk and make this hekish , thereby introducing a new practice and if so who and when?

    Or something else

    #1154973

    Joseph
    Participant

    How do you know that playing checkers isn’t a yiddishe minhag? Yidden have been playing checkers for centuries.

    #1154974

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph, that’s silly everybody plays checkerst. That’s not a JEWISH practice.

    Im sure some will insist playing cards on chanukah is a minhag.

    Some will insist cards and or chess are a minhag on nittel.

    All of us would say (I think) that spinning a four-sided top on chanukah is a minhag.

    Which brings me back to my question, at what point do these become a minhag?

    Is eating cholent on shabbos (specifically, not just hot food) a minhag?

    #1154975

    Joseph
    Participant

    Is it a yiddishe minhag for women to wear a mogen dovid necklace? Many have been doing so for centuries. Is a roite bindele a minhag? Is it a minhag to sing oy chanukah oy chanukah a yontif a sheiner every Chanukah?

    #1154976

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    Joseph: Who are these “centuries of Torah sources”? Name two pre war Acharonim. The fact remains that the practice was rare until this century and has no Yiddishe basis.

    #1154977

    The little I know
    Participant

    oomis wrote: “The Torah refer to man as an eitz hasadeh (hope I got that right), and just as a fruit tree halachically is not shorn of it fruit for three years, there arose a minhag therefore, to not cut the hair until age three.”

    Here is the reference:

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14573&st=&pgnum=377

    The Medrash states that the posuk of allowing the trees to be unshorn for 3 years refers to a child. This is very close proximity to the posuk that prohibits the cutting of peyos. This juxtaposition is interpreted to suggest that the chinuch for peyos be at age three, and that the fourth year will be marked by the fruit being “kodesh hilulim laHashem”, holy to HKB”H.

    #1154978

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    Joseph

    Now your talking… I’m not sure, but I dont think any of those are a minhag.

    Yet as usual you havent answered my questions (though perhaps answering a question with a question is in fact a minhag)

    Here they are again

    how long does it take for a Jewish practice to become a minhag?

    Is eating cholent on shabbos (specifically, not just hot food) a minhag?

    Is spinning a 4 sided top on Chanukah a minhag?

    Feel free to answer the question to oomis as well

    here http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/upsherins-are-a-minhag-shtus#post-612967

    #1154979

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    ??? ???? and ???? ????? both mention the minhag in ??”? ???”?.

    http://beta.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14166&st=&pgnum=7

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