[Avodah] Pushing Off the Upsherin

Prof. Levine larry62341 at optonline.net
Tue Nov 17 00:41:41 PST 2020

At 05:35 PM 11/16/2020, R Micha Berger wrote:

>On Sun, Nov 15, 2020 at 04:05:29PM +0000, Prof. L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> > I have to presume that this woman is not aware of the problems with
> > the practice of not cutting a boy's hair until age 3. From
> > https://web.stevens.edu/golem/llevine/rsrh/shorshei_hair_cutting.pdf
>Or, she knows her own posqim looked into the issue is an do not believe
>the problems are real, or do not rise to a level to prohibit upsherin.
>There a numerous posqim other than those of Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz,
>and this mother has no obligation to accept another's community's posqim
>and minhagim, just because you prefer them.

I think it is most likely that she simply followed what she saw 
others doing and did not even consider asking any posek..

Mimetic Judaism is still very much alive when it comes to being 
influenced by the practices of those around us.  Someone I know told 
me that he stopped putting on tefillin during Chol Moed because 
"Almost no one in shul puts them on."  (For the record, the shul in 
which he davens has two minyanim on Chol Moed, one in which the men 
wear tefillin and one in which they don't.  The tefillin minyan finds 
it increasingly difficult to get 10 to daven with it.)

There are many other examples of this.  People who never went to a 
bonfire on Lag B'Omer now go. People who davened Nusach Ashkenaz have 
switched to Sefard,  because this is what the nearest shul davens.

Look at yeshivishe chasunas.  They are virtually all the same.  Rav 
S. Schwab once wrote that one could snap out the Chosson and Kallah 
at one of them and snap in another Chosson and Kallah and there would 
be no noticeable difference.

Following the crowd is a powerful human draw.


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