Halacha for Monday 21 Tammuz 5780 July 13 2020

The Laws of Taking Haircuts During the “Three Weeks"

The Customary Prohibition of Haircuts
As a result of the mourning observed during the “Three Weeks,” the Ashkenazi custom is to abstain from shaving and taking haircuts beginning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz until the Tenth of Av.

The Sephardic Custom
Nevertheless, the Sephardic custom is not as stringent and follows the letter of the law established by a Tannaic enactment (following the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash) which is to prohibit taking haircuts and laundering clothing during the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out. The Rambam and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch rule likewise. The week during which Tisha Be’av falls out refers to the very week the fast of Tisha Be’av is observed, beginning from Sunday of that week. For instance, if Tisha Be’av occurs on Wednesday, all of the mourning customs associated with the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out begin from the previous Sunday.

The Week During Which Tisha Be’av Falls Out this Year, 5780
This year, 5780, Tisha Be’av falls out on Thursday (beginning from Wednesday night). Thus, the laws of the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out will apply this year to their fullest extent, for Thursday is the latest day of the week that Tisha Be’av can fall out.

Haircuts for Women
Regarding a woman taking a haircut during the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out or during the “Three Weeks” according to the Ashkenazi custom, this depends on a related disagreement among the Poskim, as follows:

The Poskim disagree regarding whether a woman who is in mourning for one of seven relatives (father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or husband) is forbidden to take a haircut just as it is forbidden for a male mourner or does this prohibition not apply to women.

Halachically speaking, Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, whose rulings are followed by Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jews, writes that the prohibition to take a haircut does not apply to women. Thus, immediately following the initial seven days of mourning (Shiva), a woman may take a haircut. Nevertheless, the Rama, whose rulings are followed by Ashkenazi Jews, writes that the prohibition to take a haircut applies to women as well.

It therefore seems that according to Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch and the Sephardic custom, the prohibition to take haircuts observed in mourning the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash does not apply to women either. However, according to the Rama and the Ashkenazi custom, women are also included in this prohibition. Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l and other great Poskim rule likewise.

On the other hand, there are Ashkenazi Poskim who write that although women are prohibited to take haircuts while in actual mourning for a relative, nevertheless, woman may, in fact, act leniently and take haircuts during the “Three Weeks,” for this (not taking haircuts throughout the entire “Three Weeks”) is not as much a halachic prohibition according to the letter of the law as it is a custom which has been accepted. However, during the week during which Tisha Be’av falls out, when it is an actual prohibition to take a haircut based on the edict of the Sages of the Mishnah and not merely customary, there is no distinction between men and women.

Nevertheless, halachically speaking, the prohibition of taking haircuts does not apply this year at all according to the Sephardic custom besides for the day of Tisha Be’av itself. According to the Ashkenazi custom, however, several great Poskim rule stringently and write that even women should not take haircuts.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Taking Haircuts During the “Three Weeks"

The Customary Prohibition of Haircuts As a result of the mourning observed during the “Three Weeks,” the Ashkenazi custom is to abstain from shaving and taking haircuts beginning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz until the Tenth of Av. The Sephardic Custom Nevertheless, the Sephardic c......

Read Halacha

Mourning Customs Observed During the “Three Weeks”

---------------------------------- By Popular Request: There is room for leniency regarding listening to music during the "Three Weeks" for those who are in isolation or quarantine in cases of need. This is especially true regarding young children and one must do one's utmost to lif......

Read Halacha

Eating Meat with Fish

Since we have discussed several laws related to eating meat and dairy in the previous days, let us now discuss some laws related to eating fish with either chicken or meat and other related laws. Fish Baked With Meat The Gemara in Masechet Pesachim (76b) states: “Regarding fish that was ba......

Read Halacha

The Prohibition to Eat Meat and Dairy on the Same Table

The Reasons and Parameters of This Law If one is eating dairy foods, our Sages have enacted that one may not allow meat foods to be placed on the same table. For instance, one who is eating bread with cheese may not place meat on the same table. The reason for this is because we are concerned that ......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Eating Meat and Dairy on the Same Table-Continued

In the previous Halacha we have explained that it is forbidden to eat dairy foods on a table on which meat foods are placed, for there is concern that the individual eating will taste some of the other foods on the table, thus having transgressed the grave prohibition of eating milk and meat togethe......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Glassware and Pyrex Regarding the Prohibition of Milk and Meat Mixtures-Continued

In the previous Halacha we have written that according to Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, glassware does not absorb any flavor from foods placed in it and thus, there is no prohibition to use a glass vessel for meat and then after it is washed well, to use it for dairy (although the Rama does rule st......

Read Halacha

Question: Must one designate two different sets of glassware for dairy and meat as one would with other utensils?

Question: Must one designate two different sets of glassware for dairy and meat as one would with other utensils? Answer: We have already established in the previous Halacha that one is obligated to designate two separate sets of dishes and flatware for dairy and meat, for dishes used with either......

Read Halacha

The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing on a New Garment

Question: When is the appropriate time to recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing on a new garment, at the time of purchase or the first time one wears it? Similarly, must one recite this blessing for every new piece of clothing one purchases? Answer: The Mishnah (Berachot 54a) teaches us ......

Read Halacha