Feb 4, 2019

shave and a haircut, two bits!

The latest racket is coming out of Modiin Ilit and it has the local rabbis forcing all the local barber shops to obtain certification on their barber shops from the new supervisory committee for hair cutting and shaving issues.

The first step was the barber shops all closing for a few hours one day recently to go to a conference in which halachic issues related to the hair-cutting industry were discussed so they could learn the proper halachic way to give a haircut.

The next step is having every barbershop commit to following a list of guidelines with a commitment to only giving kosher haircuts. At that point the local rabbis will give every compliant barbershop certification.

The rabbis explain that just like one would not buy meat from a butcher with no hechsher, regardless of how God-fearing the butcher might be with a beard and peyos and praying every day at sunrise, so too with the barbershops...  sometimes the barber does not know all the relevant halachos of what can be cut and what cannot be cut, and even if he does know the rules, sometimes the clients put too much pressure on the barber...having certification will help as the barber will have committed to learning the relevant halachos and also he has the certification to point to in order to be able to stand up to the clients demands..
source: Behadrei

sounds like buying mafia "protection"... creating a new vaad, creating a new "hechsher" on something that never existed before, and forcing the local businesses to subscribe to it or else they'll basically be put out of business.. it is just a matter of time until it spreads to other neighborhoods and towns...

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  1. Besides the comparison to buying meat, they also said "just like no one would buy vegetables without a hechsher", despite the fact that a few decades ago, absolutely no one bought vegetables ONLY in a store with a hechsher (except during shmitta, perhaps).

  2. It is actually not a bad idea to make sure that the barbers know the relevant halakhos, as it is quite easy to violate de'oraysas here. The issue is if they try to extend the "hechsher" beyond that to issues like haircut style, as opposed to strict halakha.

    1. Still, we managed without this for three thousand year.... And I saw chassidim in Geulah with half of their payos shaved off thrity five years ago, so the problems aren't new either, unfortunately.

    2. a local rav can offer a shiur on the halachos relevant to hair cutting and encourage the local barbers to participate. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that

  3. I assume the barber shops have to pay for this certification? If they do it for free, I think that would be praiseworthy. Otherwise, I agree with your assessment


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