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Halachot of Hol Ha’mo’ed

There is a Misva to take a haircut and to shave on Ereb Yom Tob, so one does not begin Yom Tob looking disheveled. It is forbidden to take a haircut or shave during Hol Ha’mo’ed, even if one was unable to do so before Yom Tob due to circumstances beyond his control. Even if a Berit is held on Hol Ha’mo’ed, the father, Sandak and Mohel may not take a haircut or shave for the Berit. This prohibition applies even if one customarily shaves every day or every several days. There is an opinion permitting one to shave on Hol Ha’mo’ed if he did so on Ereb Yom Tob and the barber is a poor man who needs this work to earn money for food, but most other authorities dispute this ruling and it is not accepted as Halacha.

A person who comes out of jail during Hol Ha’mo’ed is allowed to shave and take a haircut. Even if he had been in a Jewish prison which allowed him to shave and take a haircut on Ereb Yom Tob, he was likely not in the proper spirits to do so, and thus he is allowed to groom himself when he is released on Hol Ha’mo’ed. A person who had been traveling and arrives home on Hol Ha’mo’ed, or even if he arrives on Ereb Yom Tob but did not have time to take a haircut or shave, is allowed to shave or take a haircut during Hol Ha’mo’ed. Even if he was not traveling overseas, and was just outside the city, he may take a haircut or shave if he did not have time to do so on Ereb Yom Tob.

All those who are allowed to take a haircut and shave during Hol Ha’mo’ed must ensure to do so privately, and not publicly. They may have their hair cut by a Jewish barber.

If a person had been observing mourning, Heaven forbid, for a parent, and the thirty-day mourning period ends during Hol Ha’mo’ed, at which point he is told by his peers that he needs a haircut and shave, he may take haircut and shave during Hol Ha’mo’ed.

One may take a hot shower with soap, as usual, and comb his hair, on Hol Ha’mo’ed. It is permissible to mop floors during Hol Ha’mo’ed. Nail-cutting is permissible during Hol Ha’mo’ed, though the practice among Ashkenazim is to refrain from cutting nails. One is allowed to iron clothes and polish shoes on Hol Ha’mo’ed.

If one’s eyeglasses broke on Hol Ha’mo’ed, he may have them fixed, even if this requires skilled workmanship. If one had given a utensil to somebody to fix, and it is ready on Hol Ha’mo’ed, he may pick it up if he needs it during the holiday. If he does not need it until after the holiday, then he may not go pick it up.

One should not move to a new home during Hol Ha’mo’ed, unless he is moving from a rented residence to his own property, in which case he may move during Hol Ha’mo’ed.

 


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