Monday, January 08, 2007

My Research Question Of The Week

(Picture courtesy of HLH Silver & Ebony Judaica)

Lil' Tzaddik will be turning three years-old on the 13th of Sivan (May 30). My wife and I have recently started talking about his upcoming upsherin and are now trying to determine whether we should hold it on the date of his actual birthday or on Lag B'Omer (May 6).

36 Comments:

At January 8, 2007 at 10:05:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think Lag Ba'omer.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 10:14:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as Chabad Minhag, the Rebbe was very strongly in favor of doing it ON the day to the best of your ability.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 10:21:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Anonymous: Why?

 
At January 8, 2007 at 10:38:00 AM EST, Blogger Michoel said...

There is a sefer called Peyos K'hilchasa that has a chapter with the different shitos. He mentions there that according to those that have a minhag to cut at two (Skvere etc) one can do it after the birthday but shouldn't do it before. If the done by the third birthday, one should do it on the birthday unless he is waiting to do it later on lag baomer. Doesn't seem that he recommends being makdim to lag baomer. I think that is the way it comes out. It is just one very recent sefer so I don't think that is authoritative. If you see it inside, you can trace back some of his m'koros. A freind of mine asked the Bostoner who said that it is good to wait, but that was specifically for someone going to Meron. It seems hard to justify making it early in chutz laaretz.

The ikkar is that you should have gevaldigah nachas from him and all your children

 
At January 8, 2007 at 11:10:00 AM EST, Blogger Shoshana said...

I just attended my first upsherin yesterday - it was so cute and I even got to cut a bit of hair! Whatever you decide, I'm sure it will be a very nice occasion.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 11:15:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Chaim and Michoel: Thank you for the information.

Shoshana: The first upsherin that I ever attended was in Meron. I wrote about it here

 
At January 8, 2007 at 11:34:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a son whose birthday is Chof Gimmel Iyyar. (He's currently 15 years old, ke"h.)

When my son was two, I consulted my Rebbe, and he said it would be appropriate to make the upsherin on Lag B'Omer - five days before my son's actual birthday.

When my Rov found out, he said that I did not do the right thing, but at least b'dieved I was mekayem the Skverer minhag.

My Rebbe also says that it's impossible to be yoitzay l'chol hadayois. <shrug>

So, however you proceed, you should have a lot of Yiddishe nachas.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 11:41:00 AM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

ASJ,
Techincally, there is no right or wrong answer since the matter is entirely a matter of custom. Therefore, You gotta check into Sudilkover customs amigo.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 12:06:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just seems to me that if we are waiting until 3 to cut the hair, why would we do it before the 3rd birthday? It is difficult enough to explain the custom to many people and for them to understand. It seems to be too confusing to cut it before he would turn 3. My personal preference would be the actual 3rd birthday....what are other's thoughts....

-Wife of A Simple Jew

 
At January 8, 2007 at 12:32:00 PM EST, Anonymous Eli Dishon said...

The minhag of 2 years is not omly Skever also in trisk must have been in all Chernobel.

But those who do not have a knowen minhag are very makpid on not before 3 years.

There is a minhag to weigh the cut hair and give the value of its weight in gold to chairty

 
At January 8, 2007 at 12:42:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

Reb Gedalya was advising to do it always on Lag baOymer (in between 2 and 3 as I understand).

Correct. Chernobyler minhog is to do it at two years old. I have a different question though. Did you ever hear, that some are against teaching children alef-beys before the opshernish?

 
At January 8, 2007 at 12:43:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

ASJ: Are you planning to go to Meron?

 
At January 8, 2007 at 12:46:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you all for your comments.

I guess this is going to turn into a question of Minhag vs. Shalom Bayis if Sudilkover minhag is different than the date my wife prefers and finds more meaningful.....

A Yid: I have never heard of this minhag that you mentioned.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 12:46:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

A Yid: I wish I were...

 
At January 8, 2007 at 12:50:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

From what I remember, The Arizal went to the kever of R' Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron on Lag B'Omer and participated in the "known minhag" of upsherin. That is the source of the minhag, and it was clearly connected with the Rashbi who's yohrzeit is Lag Baomer.
Since this is just a matter of custom, it seems logical to me that each person should follow their custom and not try to make their own rationale for it. There are a number of customs:

1. The Lag Baomer closest (the boy could be 2 1/2 - 3 1/2)
2. The Lag Baomer following the birthday (the boy could be almost 4!)
3. Forget Lag Baomer, do it on the birthday to bring out the significance of the milestone of turning three when a child begins to learn Torah.
4. Chernobyl (ex: Skver) does it when the child enters the third year of life (2 years old)

http://www.njop.org/html/lagbaomermain.html

http://www.answers.com/topic/upsherin

This is also sometimes paralleled with the concept of a girl lighting shabbos candles from the age of 3 - but I remember that the Lubavitcher Rebbe writes that if the girl is "ready" even earlier than three she can begin lighting earlier...

Also, we often try to connect personal events with important date and communal events - similarly, since countless children are brought to Meron for Lag Baomer to get their upsherin it would seem that being a part of that one connects himself with so many Jews that this istelf would be significant...
(The best thing would be to take your son and go to Meron for Lag Baomer! What an expirience that would be for him and you!)

 
At January 8, 2007 at 12:51:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

A Yid,

Yes I have heard that minhag. The Upsherin is connected with the commencement of learning Torah (beginning with Aleph-Beis) - I was told that this is why Chernobyl does it earlier...

 
At January 8, 2007 at 1:04:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

> Yes I have heard that minhag.

Who uses it?

 
At January 8, 2007 at 2:16:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

> 1. The Lag Baomer closest (the boy could be 2 1/2 - 3 1/2
I think this is more precisely the minhog of Reb Gedalya, and not between 2 and 3 as I said above.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 2:24:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

A Yid, I'm pretty sure that is Minhag Yeshushalaim (closest Lag BaOmer to birthday), and therefore it is logical that R' Gedalye would follow it. It is also Minhag Boston.

I don't recall specifically who practices the minhag about not learning Aleph Beis prior to Upsherin, but like I said, I heard this as a(t least one reason) for Chernobyler's backing up the Upsherin to two.

Also, a certain Ungarishe Tzaddik would mock people who put a Yarmulke on a child before Upsherin, even using strong language opposing it. I would suspect that they also shared the minhag not to learn A"B before upsherin. I need to ask around more.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 2:39:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

That should, of course, have read: Yerushalayim

 
At January 8, 2007 at 2:39:00 PM EST, Anonymous Eli Dishon said...

al pi zohar that till 3 the child is arlah so you dont teach alph bais from inside (to chant the alph bais is ok) a Yarmulke should be put on as soon as the child walks

minhag volin

 
At January 8, 2007 at 2:39:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

> Also, a certain Ungarishe Tzaddik would mock people who put a Yarmulke
> on a child before Upsherin, even using strong language opposing it.

Sounds hungarish enough :) Gemoro brings the opposite view. Also I think I saw, that Rebbe's mother started to put a yarmolke on him almost right after birth. (I have to recheck it).

 
At January 8, 2007 at 2:42:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

> al pi zohar that till 3 the child is arlah
> so you dont teach alph bais from inside

Do you know where exactly in Zohar this is? I don't understand the connection with orlo (and oysies).
What do you mean from inside? Showing oysies?

 
At January 8, 2007 at 2:43:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a very comprehensive volume of Nitei Gavriel dedicated to Upsherin. He probably goes through every minhag that exists. He mentions a Lelover Minhog to only cut the hair on Lag Baomer. If the child’s birthday is from Chanukah on they cut at the next Lag Baomer and if the birthday is before Chanukah they cut at the previous Lag Baomer. (I’m not sure if this only applies if the Upsherin will be done in Meron). Anyways, the sefer is full of different minhogim relating to Upsherin and going to Cheder for the first time.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 2:45:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

Thanks, this is a good reference. I'll look it up.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 4:05:00 PM EST, Blogger yitz said...

The upsherin & Orlah are clearly connected - for 3 years don't use the fruit, for 3 years don't cut the hair. The Orlah of the bris is clearly a kind of "timtum" and therefore it could make sense about not learning till it's removed... Just some thoughts for now, too tired for more... G'nite all... :))

 
At January 8, 2007 at 7:25:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I found out that the minhag of Sudilkov is to hold an upsherin on Lag B'Omer even if the child is a little before 3 years old.

My wife feels, however, feels very strongly about having the upsherin on the day of his birthday and believes this is much more meaningful for her - since she brought him into this world on that day. I have tried to explain about the significance of having it on Lag B'Omer but she is still against it.

I e-mailed Rabbi Lazer Brody regarding my dilemma and he replied:

"You go with your wife on this one - the Melitzer and Rav Arush would agree."

I guess I have my marching orders now....

 
At January 8, 2007 at 8:23:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

A good solution could be - if you go together with children to Meron. Opshernish on Lag baOymer there is more special.

 
At January 8, 2007 at 8:29:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

Also, a good idea would be, if you'll find the one whom you'll ask such important things, and you will follow what he says, and not just asking 10 different people all around (while may be it is useful in general to gather information, to make a key decision is a different matter and here you better don't wonder around and choose really one person). Even though it is hard to find, and it is a hard step, but if you will - good for you.

Hatzlocho!

 
At January 9, 2007 at 3:55:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Unless & until you AND your wife have a Rebbe that you both adhere too with complete bittul, Shalom Bayis here is the way to go! I'm with Reb Lazer all the way on this one! But A Yid has a good point too - it would be good for the BOTH of you [you & your wife] to find a Rebbe to ask ALL your questions to, and stick with that, no matter what!

 
At January 9, 2007 at 7:47:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

A Yid and Yitz: You both made some excellent points. ....spoken like true Chassidim!

 
At January 9, 2007 at 8:20:00 AM EST, Blogger Michoel said...

It is nisht a Zohar. It is a medrash Tanchuma. See there by the p'sukim on Arla.

 
At January 9, 2007 at 8:23:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my son's birth bay is 18 sivan and I did it on lag beomer in meron.
I have a sugetion to make both you and your wife happy that is to cut some of his hair on lag beomer and the rest on his birthday. also the mihag in yerushalayim is on the the 3rd birthhday the boy is taken in a talis to cheder and licks honey off the alef bais as he reads it

 
At January 9, 2007 at 3:25:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

> also the mihag in yerushalayim is on the the 3rd birthhday the boy is taken in a
> talis to cheder and licks honey off the alef bais as he reads it

This is a more or less generic Ahskenazic minhog, and not just of Yerusholaim. In Russia it was customary to give honey cookies to a child, after his reading of alef beys! (It shows that children were taught alef beys before 3 by the way).

 
At January 9, 2007 at 3:27:00 PM EST, Anonymous Breslover said...

> my son's birth bay is 18 sivan and I did it on lag beomer in meron.

Very nice. My son's birthday is also 18 sivan :) I hope I'll go to Meron be"H this year for his opshernish (if I have money).

 
At January 9, 2007 at 6:52:00 PM EST, Anonymous Neshama said...

My thoughts on this would be to take your son to Meron and do the upsherin on Lag B'Omer. It will be an experience of a lifetime, for you and him. You can connect to your wife via cell phone and cellcamera images back to her. (Maybe first a visit to the Degel Machaneh Ephraim for some tehillim.)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home