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Publisher's Foreword

Inaugurating Education

What Is Done?

Days On Which An Upsherinish Should Be Postponed

The Prohibition Against Shaving The Edges of One's Head

Areinfirinish - A Child's Entry Into Cheder

Practices Associated With A Child's Education Connected With An Upsherinish

In The Footsteps Of Our Rebbeim

The Letter The Rebbe Would Send To Parents In Connection With The Upsherinish of Their Children

Upsherinish
A Milestone In A Child's Education

Days On Which An Upsherinish Should Be Postponed

by Eliyahu Touger

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  What Is Done?The Prohibition Against Shaving The Edges of One's Head  

As mentioned above, the Rebbe placed a great emphasis on holding the upsherinish on the date of the child's third birthday, not before and not afterwards. Nevertheless, there are occasions when - because it is prohibited or customary not to cut hair - the upsherinish should be postponed. They include:

  1. Shabbos and festivals. The Rebbe writes[48] the upsherinish should be held directly after the holy day, but not before.

  2. Sefiras HaOmer, the Counting of the Omer. If the child's birthday is before Lag BaOmer, the Rebbe writes that one could find rationales to allow the upsherinish to be held during the Counting of the Omer, although generally haircuts are not taken at this time. Nevertheless, since it is customary for children's hair to be cut on Lag BaOmer, the upsherinish should be held at that time.[49]

    If the child's birthday is after Lag BaOmer, the upsherinish should be held on the day preceding Shavuos.[50]

  3. Bein HaMetzarim, the Three Weeks between Tammuz 17 and Tishah BeAv - It is also customary not to take haircuts during this time. The Rebbe writes[51] that if a child's birthday is between Rosh Chodesh Av and Tishah BeAv, the upsherinish should be held after the fast day.

    With regard to a child whose birthday is between Tammuz 17 and Rosh Chodesh Av, we find a difference of opinion among the later halachic authorities. Kapos Temarim (sec. 14) states that the upsherinish should be postponed until after Tishah BeAv. Toras Yekusial (Responsum 47), by contrast, rules that the upsherinish should be held on the child's birthday.

  4. Rosh Chodesh - Rav Yehudah HaChossid[52] advised that a person should not take a haircut on Rosh Chodesh. The Rebbe writes[53] that a distinction could be made between a child's first haircut - which fulfills a significant Jewish custom - and an ordinary haircut. Nevertheless, since an upsherinish is not an actual mitzvah, it is proper to postpone it until after Rosh Chodesh.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XIV, p. 378.

  2. (Back to text) Ibid., Vol. VII, p. 349; Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 230.

  3. (Back to text) A letter dated Nissan 27, 5716; see also Igros Shapirin, p. 442, which quotes a letter of the Minchas Elazar who recommends delaying an upsherinish of a child born on Rosh Chodesh Sivan until the day preceding Shavuos.

  4. (Back to text) Letter dated Iyar 6, 5719.

  5. (Back to text) Tzavoas Rabbi Yehudah HaChassid, sec. 47; cited in Shulchan Aruch HaRav 260:1.

  6. (Back to text) Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 191ff.


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