Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rabbis from Kiryat Sefer ban electric razors!

Men residing in the charedi town of Kiryat Sefer have been prohibited by local rabbis from using electric razors to remove their facial hair
.net News reports ( that the use of electric razors has been banned because the device pulls the facial hair out by the roots, in violation of halacha. The rabbis have ordered that a refund be given to any customer who purchased a “non-kosher” electric razor from a store which chose to sell the razors despite the ban.
Local barbershops have received a list of prohibited haircuts, and the town court has ordered all barbers to review the Jewish laws relating to shaving. The rabbis indicated that only barbers who are deemed knowledgeable about the Jewish laws of shaving will be certified as “kosher.”


Yerachmiel Lopin said...

I dont know the facts but I smell extortion. The barber will need to pay a fee, the shaver seller will lose income (especially on the refunds for shavers) and the rabbonim have expanded their product line to include fashion magazines.

How can you assur as a rav hair what great contemporary poskim like Rav Moshe and Rav Henkin have permitted. Go ahead and have your own chumras but the racketeering comes in when you impose on others.

Those of us old enough to remember dread the thought of how the town will smell when they revert to old style shaving powder.

Uncle Shimmy said...

But maybe I am missing the point. This may just be a strategy to make MOs, Oberlanders, and Yekkes move out of town.

If they have to trample on halachah to do it, what the heck!

Not only have they turned torah into a spade; they have turned halachah into a hammer to bludgeon their opponents, and frumkeit into a strategy for making money.

Wolfson said...

This is not new news. In Nisan of 5768, the greatest poskim and roshei yeshiva of our generation issued a Psak Din that all shaving machines which leave the face smooth are halachically equivalent to a razor (not because the uproot the hair, but rather) because they do not leave over any hair. The Psak Din cites that this was the opinion of the Chofetz Chaim (in whose time shaving machines were invented), the Chazon Ish, the Steipler Gaon, Rav Schach, etc. The Psak Din was signed by 34 poskim and roshei yeshiva, including Rav Elyashiv zt'l (who wrote that today's electric shavers are much more severe than the hand machines prohibited by the Chofetz Chaim), Rav Noson Tzvi Finkel zt'l, Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz zt'l, Rav Aharon Leib Steinman shlita, Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner shlita (who attested that this was the opinion of the Chazon Ish), Rav Nisan Karelitz shlita, Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita, Rav Shmuel Auerbach shlita (Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt'l wrote that all close cutting shavers are an "issur chomer").

For an English translation of the Psak Din see or see KTAV's "The Beard in Jewish Law".