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Unread 06-13-2002, 12:11 AM   #1
Asher
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Cutting baby boy's hair at 3

Greetings everyone. My son is 2.5 years old and his hair is a problem in the sense that it is way too long. I posted this question on the Israeli site and the answer was that we can cut his hair at forhead if it is too troubling for the boy. However, my Rov says that it is not recommended. Please advise what we should do. Also, any info on where this tradition had originated and why will be gratly appreciated. Thank you.
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Unread 06-13-2002, 12:15 PM   #2
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BH

Would it be possible to pull his hair out of his eyes (face) and tie it into a bun or something?

<<However, my Rov says that it is not recommended.>>

I think most Rabbonim would tell you this (personal opinion)

One of the reasons for waiting is because by a tree we also have to wait three years, and as we know "ki ha'adam aitz hasodeh" (That a person is a tree of the ground - compared to a tree)...
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Unread 06-13-2002, 02:32 PM   #3
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I am sorry but "neta revei" means the fourth year when you bring it to Jeruselam, look it up in Chumash!

Last edited by masbir; 06-13-2002 at 04:26 PM.
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Unread 06-13-2002, 04:04 PM   #4
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If he wants to follow Min'hag Chabad etc. It's one thing. But Halchically there is no obligation whatsoever to keep the hair growing till age 3.

In general, Jude, these "associations" are not meant to be taken literally with all the details. It's just a REMEZ in Pasuk.
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Unread 06-13-2002, 04:29 PM   #5
masbir
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<<<But Halchically there is no obligation whatsoever to keep the hair growing till age 3>>>

Well, The whole thing is only a minhag, in Asknaz they never heard of the 3 years thing.
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Unread 06-13-2002, 04:31 PM   #6
masbir
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<<<So why isn't the child's hair cut at age 4?>>>

age 3 is actaully the fourth year!
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Unread 06-13-2002, 09:38 PM   #7
Asher
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Thank you for explanation. I do <<wants to follow Min'hag Chabad etc>>. I have another question on the subject. My understanding is that 13 aspects of Hesed are connected to us through hair. We do not cut our beard for this reason (technically, the mitzva is for "the razor not to touch our hair" therefore many non chasidic Jews still shave, but with electric shavers). I understand that Chabad has Kabbalistic explanation for this. Does it have anything to do with my original question regarding baby's hair?
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Unread 06-13-2002, 10:21 PM   #8
masbir
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>>well that doesn't exactly work with the fruits, does it? you have to wait till four complete years.>>>

Once it started growing in the fourth year it is not Orleh! also the yaers are not full years as explained in hilchos orloh.
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Unread 06-13-2002, 10:29 PM   #9
Jude
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so say you cut the boy's hair in his fourth year, for heaven's sake, so that the whole thing makes sense!
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Unread 06-14-2002, 09:38 AM   #10
masbir
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So, you advise we shall really change the whole year-counting- system, and start calling a 3 year a 4 year old? The semantics dont change the fact that the child is in the fourth year, no matter how you say it.
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Unread 06-14-2002, 10:38 AM   #11
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The reason you are looking for consistency is beacuse you are trying to apply modern/western standards of textual expressions to Talmudic/Jewish texts. Talmudic texts do not follow the same consistancy, as it is obvious to anyone who read the Talmud. And this appliies to all Torah writings, such as Chasidus, etc.

True that in the Rebbe's sichos we find a tendency to apply this clear cut westren style to SOME texts. But this is an exception, not a rule.
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Unread 06-14-2002, 10:48 AM   #12
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I am lost, why such a simple thing seems so complicated.
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Unread 06-14-2002, 10:50 AM   #13
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Rebyazl, you also lost me, what, this is jude problem?
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Unread 06-14-2002, 12:19 PM   #14
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In halachic terminology when a child celebrates his third birthday he is three years and one day old. that one day means that the child is in his fourth year. In the analogy to the tree the fruit that grows after three years have passed ie. on the third year plus a day are not orlah and may be eaten (in yerusholayim). therefore the childs hair is cut on his third birthday which is the begining of his fourth year. BTW from the Rebbe's letter it is mashma that the reason for doing this is minhag yisroel. the rebbe does not mention specific reasons. see sha'arei halacha u'minhag vol 2 p298
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Unread 06-18-2002, 10:06 PM   #15
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In regard to the Upsherenish of your son who will reach his third birthday on the 14 of Shvat and your question as to whether to postpone the Upsherenish until Lag B'Omer [four months later]. It appears from your letter to be the custom of Chassidim in Eretz Yisroel to wait until Lag B'Omer.

The importance our Sages attached to all customs is well known. Nevertheless, the custom of some to hold an Upsherenish before the child's third birthday in order to have it on Lag B'Omer [in Meron], does not appear proper at all in my eyes.
Even if one would conclude that holding the Upsherenish in Meron is more important than holding it on the child's third birthday, one can postpone the Upsherenish, but should not have it before the third birthday.

In regard to the question of delaying the Upsherenish until Lag B'Omer. If the delay were to be a matter of days, it would be proper to do so. However, in the case of it being a delay of months, it is very questionable.

The Upsherenish is considered an aspect of the child’s education in holy matters as my teacher and father-in-law, the Previous Rebbe, explicitly writes, connected with leaving Payos, etc.

Surely this custom, which has been sanctified for generations as the initial step of [the child's] education, draws down influence from G-d to the child.

Hence, when the Upshernish is postponed, this assistance is also put off and its effects will not be felt in the intervening weeks.

(Likuttei Sichos, Vol. VII, Page 350)
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Unread 06-20-2002, 10:33 PM   #16
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Thank you for the Letter. Just a personal note. We were married for then years before we had the first child. Once my wife had an important question and picked up a book with the letters from the Rebe in English. The letter on the opened page said

"...I am happy to hear the good news. May you have an easy and pleasant pegnancy.." etc. It also said:"May I suggest that if you have a boy, to name him in memory of my saintly Father-in-Law....and if you have a girl, to name her in memory of his wife..."

We did not know at the time that my wife was preagnant! And of course, we called the boy Yosef Yitzhock.

I am amazed at the connection Rebe has with us and with my son and how Rebe finds the way to guide him and communicate important instructions for him here, in this world, today.
Moshiach Now!
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Unread 06-21-2002, 04:50 AM   #17
BLewbavitch
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Asher, great, beautiful story, Mazel Tov. You should have many more Simchos.

You should post your story in the thread:

ChabadTalk.com > Lubavitch, The Rebbe > Farbrengen > Igros Kodesh: Have a Story to Share?

Or: http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/show...s&pagenumber=2
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Last edited by BLewbavitch; 06-21-2002 at 04:52 AM.
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Unread 07-02-2002, 08:35 PM   #18
Aharon Zvi
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Re: Cutting baby boy's hair at 3

Quote:
Originally posted by Asher
Greetings everyone. My son is 2.5 years old and his hair is a problem in the sense that it is way too long. I posted this question on the Israeli site and the answer was that we can cut his hair at forhead if it is too troubling for the boy. However, my Rov says that it is not recommended. Please advise what we should do. Also, any info on where this tradition had originated and why will be gratly appreciated. Thank you.
I would reccomend putting tying it back or putting a clip to prevent it from going in his eyes. That's what was done in my family.
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Unread 03-26-2003, 04:41 PM   #19
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Uphserin

WHat is done today as the ceremony in CHABAD? Can a woman finish the haircut?
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Unread 03-26-2003, 06:22 PM   #20
Yankel Nosson
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Better than that: http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/upsherinish/


On one occasion, [40] the Rebbe advised that the first person to cut the hair should be a kohen, then a levi, and then, a yisrael. Afterwards, each of the people in attendance may be given a turn.

[There is no difficulty with giving women a chance to participate in this practice (see Kores Itim, pp. 69-70; Ziv Minhagim, p. 105). (Needless to say, the men and the women should not mix, but the child may be brought to the place where the women are congregating so that they can also cut off a portion of his hair.) Indeed, certain authorities advise the mother to cut off some hair. Since she has a responsibility in educating the child, she should take part in the ceremony initiating his education.]

It is not necessary to finish cutting the child's hair at the upsherinish. A portion can be cut off there and the remainder cut off at home or by a barber. One should not, however, employ a gentile barber for this purpose.
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Unread 05-22-2003, 11:26 AM   #21
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Question

from aishdas avodah list...

comments?

Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 11:37:58 -0400
From: "Seth Mandel" <sm* *aishdas.org>
Subject: Re: bonfires on Lag Ba'Omer

From: Phyllostac* ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** *
<The fact that fires on lag ba'Omer have been more of a communal event
as opposed to more individual fires on erev Pesach, have limited the
problem then - however that may be in danger of changing...
P.S. On a language note, according to Merriam Webster, the word bonfire
comes from bone fire (not bon-fire = good fire). R. SM ? Can you elaborate
on what kind of bones were burned, etc. ?>

Obviously, the bones of people who believe that there is a s'gullo
in making fires <grin>. As I have had fun telling people, the _only_
bonfire that was an ancient Jewish tradition was the Simchas Torah
bonfire in Ashk'naz, which is attested from the 14th century up until
the 19th century, but has gone out of style. The Lag Ba'omer bonfire is
a very recent phenomenon among most Jews.....

.....The Arabs of EY, Syria, and Lebanon, as is well-known, honored the
******ian and Jewish "saints" (everyone knows that the qever of Sh'muel
haNavi has been a "holy" site to the Arabs for hundreds of years, and
they built a mosque there; the site is called "anNabi Samwil"). They
made pilgrimages to them, like the ******ians did, and they made large
celebrations to honor the festival of the saint. The Arab pilgrims
who came did various things to honor the saint. They gave alms (a big
mitzva in Islam), usually done by the practice of cutting the hair of
their children (which they had let grow from before the pilgrimage),
then weighing it and giving the same weight in gold or silver for
alms. They also made large bonfires to honor the saint. The custom
of making pilgrimages, giving alms, and making bonfires may have been
borrowed from the ******ians, since a) they originally appeared among
the Arabs of EY, Lebanon and Syria, AFAIK; b) they are first recorded
after the time of the Crusades (although the giving of gold or silver
in the weight of the hair seems to have been from the Middle East).
However there is no clear proof that they did not arise from another
source. But they are attested in Arabic sources going back to the 15th
century, and probably before.

Can the custom of bonfires on Lag Ba'omer have arisen among the Jews
separately and independently from the non-Jewish sources? Theoretically
it's possible. Books like Minhag Yisruel Toyre he brings all sorts
of reasons from various chasidic rebbes and from the book Ta'amei
haMinhogim for the origin of the bonfires on Lag Ba'omer. The problem
with all the explanations is that a) they are all of recent origin, and
b) they somehow ignore the fact that the custom was completely unknown
to any Jews up until the time when it is recorded in EY in the 16th
century. Furthermore, it was the custom there of only one group of Jews,
the Musta'ribim, about whom other Jews complained that they had adopted
a lot of Arab customs (the very name mean "Arabicized).

From contemporary documents we learn the Muslims (and a few Jews) cut the
hair of children as well as lit a bonfires on the yohrtzeit (28 of Iyyar)
of non other than the aforementioned Shmu'el haNavi. However, in the
1560s the Arab authorities forbad Jews to go there. Shortly afterwards,
we have the testimony of R. Chaim Vital that he was told by R. Yonatan
Sagiz that a year before he started learning by the Ari, in the Ari's
first year after he immigrated from his homeland of Egypt (also 1570),
that "Mori v'Rabbi Z'L took his small son and all of his family there
[to the celebration on RaShBY 's yohtzeit in Meron] and there he cut
his hair in accordance with the custom." R. Chaim Vital is careful to
note, however, that "I do not know whether at that time he was expert
and knowledgable in this wondrous wisdom [Qabbolo] as he became after
that." IOW, R. Chaim Vital himself is cautioning the reader that he has
doubts about whether the Ari did this in accordance with his views in
Qabbolo, or just because it was a popular celebration, and he might not
have participated had he already been an expert in Qabbolo.

Some historians believe that once the Musta'ribim were forbidden to go
to the qever of Sh'muel haNavi, they transferred their celebration to
Meron and the date to Lag Ba'Omer. Others claim that the custom at Meron
predated 1570. But both groups agree that both of these customs, cutting
the hair of the children and making bonfires, were practiced by the Arabs
and the Musta 'ribim, but not by any of the Ashk'nazi and S'faradi Jews
in Israel. Of great interest is that the local rabbis in Tz'fat, who had
the practice of going to the all the known q'vorim of the Tano'im from
the middle of Iyyar until Shavu'os and having a seder in learning there,
opposed the celebrations of the Musta'ribim on Lag ba'Omer and tried
to forbid it. They made little headway, and once it became known that
the Ari participated one year, any opposition was swept away. We know
from travelers to EY in the 18th and 19th centuries that the "hilula"
at Meron on Lag Ba'Omer with bonfires and the cutting of children's
hair had become an affair of the masses. A well known talmid chochom
from Europe, R. Avrohom Rozanes, writes that in his visit to EY in 1867
he saw an Ashk'nazi Jew who had taken his son to the "hilula" and was
giving him a haircut. R. Rozanes says that he could not restrain himself,
and went to that Jew and tried to dissuade him but was unsuccessful, and
that most of the Ashk'nazi and S'faradi Jews of EY participate in this
"craziness," with "drinking and dancing and fires." The custom of giving
the son his first haircut at that celebration, originally called "halaqa"
by the Jews of EY (apparently because there was an established Arabic term
but no Jewish term for the custom) was later mixed with the custom of
making a celebration when a son reached 3 and began learning Torah. The
two customs were combined by many, and resulted in the boy's haircut
being delayed until he was 3, and not specifically on Lag ba' Omer. A
chasidish rebbe, R. Yehudah Leibush Horenstein, who emigrated to EY in
the middle of the 19th century writes that "this haircut, called halaqe,
is done by the S'faradim in Yerushalayim at the qever of RaShB'Y during
the summer, but during the winter they take the boy to the synagogue or
Bet Medrash and perform the haircut with great celebration and parties,
something _that is unknown to the Jews in Europe_. and at that point they
start him growing his pe'ot. it is incomprehensible why this is not done
outside of EY [as well]" [emphasis mine]. Indeed, the custom was adopted
by shortly thereafter by chasidim in Europe to imitate the custom of the
S' faradim in EY, and the custom of lighting bonfires on Lag Ba'Omer also
was adopted at that time by chasidic communities in Europe. The Jews in
Europe, knowing no Arabic and having no Yiddish name for the custom of
the haircut, called it by a normal Yiddish word for cutting off the hair:
opsheren. Both customs are less than 150 years old among Ashk'naz Jews,
including chasidim. Now we scarcely can expect to find a historical
document that says "we, the undersigned Jews, have decided that there is
nothing wrong with copying the Muslim celebrations in honor of saints,
and we will participate in them." So you're never going to find better
historical evidence for Jewish borrowing of non-Jewish customs than this:
that a custom that was previously unknown to any group of Jews arose among
a group of Jews known to copy various Arab customs in a time and place
that the custom is attested among the Arabs from independent evidence.

Is there anything osur about a bonfire on Lag Ba'Omer, or waiting to
give a son a haircut until he is 3 or until you go to Meron? Certainly
not. As I believe R. SBA has noted, the opsheren provides an excuse for
a party that is connected with the boy's beginning to learn; it could
be done without the haircut, but if people feel that it is important
to give a haircut as well, there is no issur. Certainly no one who
lights bonfires or celebrates opsheren has any idea that the source
of these customs is extremely questionable. And after 130 years most
Jews forget the origin of customs anyway and just assume they are old
Jewish customs.. However, those who studiously avoid eating turkey on
Thanksgiving should know that the origin of the customs of the bonfire
on Lag ba'Omer and halaqa/opsheren are much more suspect.

Seth Mandel
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Unread 05-22-2003, 11:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gevurah

....Aish Das history....

comments?
neo-Wissenschaft des Judentums. Pure chitzonius.
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Unread 05-22-2003, 02:00 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gevurah
Shortly afterwards,
we have the testimony of R. Chaim Vital that he was told by R. Yonatan
Sagiz that a year before he started learning by the Ari, in the Ari's
first year after he immigrated from his homeland of Egypt (also 1570),
that "Mori v'Rabbi Z'L took his small son and all of his family there
[to the celebration on RaShBY 's yohtzeit in Meron] and there he cut
his hair in accordance with the custom." R. Chaim Vital is careful to
note, however, that "I do not know whether at that time he was expert
and knowledgable in this wondrous wisdom [Qabbolo] as he became after
that." IOW, R. Chaim Vital himself is cautioning the reader that he has
doubts about whether the Ari did this in accordance with his views in
Qabbolo, or just because it was a popular celebration, and he might not
have participated had he already been an expert in Qabbolo.
But he *was* an expert in Kabbalah then. He came to Eretz Yisroel only because Eliyahu HaNavi told him to!
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Unread 05-22-2003, 02:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
IOW
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Unread 05-22-2003, 03:36 PM   #25
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In other words?
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