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A Cut Above

Yisrael Rutman

Every year on Lag B’omer, thousands of Jews travel to Mount Meron in northern Israel near Tzfas to celebrate at the burial place of Rabi Shimon bar Yochai. For it was on Lag B’omer that Rabi Shimon revealed the secrets of the Zohar, before leaving This World. Not everybody can get to Meron, but fortunately you don’t have to be there to celebrate Lag B’omer. Here are some Lag B’omer minhagim you can do wherever you are.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Many Jews have the minhag to cut a boy’s hair for the first time after his third birthday. This is called an upsheren, Yiddish for “cut off,” or chalakah, from the Hebrew word for “smooth.” Why the age of three? The age of three is a natural “cutoff” point in a boy’s life. At three he’s ready to begin his Torah education. Even though he can already talk and learn things orally, now we can start teaching him to read. 

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