The Pele Yoetz on gimmel, GILOOCH-grooming,writes that one should not take a hair cut from a non-Jew acoording to Kabbalah. Is this brought down in halacha? How stringent should one be in this regard because its differcult to find a Jewish barber? Also, in general when do we follow Kabbalah or “main stream” Halacha?The majority of us are not Kabbalist or have a tradition in Kabbalah.Should one first try to follow Halacha to the best of ones ability and then consider Kabbalah?

Answer:

Like many kabbalistic ideas, the source of the halachah that one should not take a haircut from a non-Jewish barber is actually from the Gemara (Avodah Zarah 27a), and there halachah is ruled in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah 156:1). The reason is because we are concerned the non-Jew might assault him.

However, if there is a mirror so one can watch the non-Jew, or there are other people present,  it is permitted (see Rema), and according to some opinions there is no prohibition where the non-Jew is being paid. In addition, the Shach writes that the prohibition applies only when a razor is used.

Thus today, where there are always mirrors, and there are usually others present, and a razor is usually not used, and there is also an effective law enforcement agency, there would not be a halachic concern for taking a haircut from a non-Jew.

This is where the Kabbalah sets in, and writes that in all cases one should not take a haircut from a non-Jew (see Kaf Ha-Chaim, Orach Chaim 26-:13, who writes that it is good to avoid a haircut from a non-Jew).

Unless one has a specific tradition, or the custom is universal and has become a minhag yisrael, there is no need (in general) to be stringent for kabbalistic traditions — there are enough halachos for us to be concerned with, without turning to the additional material of kabbalistic sources.



 

                            

Tags: goy Haircut halachah kabbalah non-Jew

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