Apr 25, 2010

Perplexed!


So, I'm baffled at this whole omer beard thing. Who grows them, who doesn't? Can you trim them? Can you keep them cleaned up at all? I've noticed a lot of the Orthodox Jews I know don't grow beards, and those who do keep them very trimmed and neat. My Tuvia, on the other hand, doesn't. Our understanding has always been to let it grow, and let it grow as it will. So what gives?

And women -- do you shave? Do you just let everything go?

(For those who might not know, between Passover and Shavuot, men -- in honor of a variety of things, namely the death of Akiva's students -- do not cut their hair while counting the days, called the omer! It's like a period of mourning, even though at one point, prior to the death of Akiva's students, the period of the omer was a joyous time!)

10 comments:

Mottel said...

We don't cut our hair during this time due to mourning. One who trims his beard would fall into the same category - let it grow.
I don't know of anyone who permits trimming during whichever time of mourning (there are various opinions as to when it is) they observe . . . While I'm sure someone here will tell me a big Rav says otherwise - from the pashtus of shu"a one wouldn't trim.

Ansky said...

My Rabbi reminds us each year, that shaving is permitted during the omer if you need to maintain a presentable appearance at work. Also, if someone always has a habit of shaving on Friday L'Chvod Shabbat then shaving is permissible then as well. I have the type of job where I need to maintain a neat appearance. I meet regularly with senior people in my organization so I do shave during the Omer.

Elianah-Sharon said...

That is some SERIOUS knit beard you got going on there :)

HSaboMilner said...

I was led to believe that as a woman, I am permitted to shave all that I usually shave, just must forgo the haircuts...

Daniel Saunders said...

I don't shave or trim my beard at all during the omer. Some people shave on Yom Ha'atzmaut and/or Rosh Chodesh (or Rosh Chodesh, but only when it falls on a Friday, which I have never really understood), but I don't, although being very Zionist, I do wonder if I should shave on Yom Ha'atzmaut.

Anonymous said...

I don't shave at all - as a woman. (Seems rather vain to me.)

Suburban Sweetheart said...

Real questions aside... those knit beards are incredible.

Chaviva said...

Isn't the knit beard awesome? I'm loving it. Maybe I should make Evan one for winter ...

So lots of opinions here, and a few that were emailed in, as well. Tuvia swears he's heard something about shaving/haircuts on the Shabbat before the end of the omer ... this seems shifty to me. Anyone know anything about this?

@Anonymous I don't think it's vain at all, especially if you're in an environment in which your legs might be visible to business individuals or others who might change their opinions/business dealings if they assume you're not clean or don't groom regularly.

Elianah-Sharon said...

The MO synagogue issued an email yesterday that said everyone could get their hair cut on Friday for Shabbat this week since Sunday everything would be closed.

The Lubavitch Yeshiva issued an email taking reservations for a limited number of slots for haircuts Sunday.

YMMV

Anonymous said...

From Rabbi Blumenkrantz book - I believe it states "a woman is allowed to shave" (but not do haircuts). YOU MAY cut your hair for Tznua reasons... (if you go covered, it's stickin' out - or if you keep your hair short for the Mikvah)>

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