From the Rav’s Desk: 1) Haircuts and cutting nails this Erev Shabbos. 2) Aneinu for one who is not fasting

  1. Question: [Thursday, 13th Adar, 5781]

This year that Purim falls on Friday, is it permitted for me to cut my nails and get a haircut on Friday, in honor of Shabbos, or is it forbidden to do so due to the prohibition of doing Melacha on Purim.


Nails: When Purim falls on Erev Shabbos, it is permitted for one to cut his nails on Friday in honor of Shabbos even though it is generally forbidden to do so on Purim.

Haircut: It is debated in the Poskim as to whether it is permitted to get a haircut on Purim even if it falls in Erev Shabbos. Practically, you should get a haircut the day before, on Thursday, and if you could not do so, then you may get a haircut through a gentile barber on Erev Shabbos but may not have the Jewish barber cut your hair and you also should not cut your own hair. This applies even for Jerusalem residents this year who are celebrating Purim Meshulash, nevertheless they are to refrain from getting a haircut unless it is done through a gentile barber, although many Sephardic rabbis who follow the ruling of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef are lenient in this even initially this year to allow Jerusalem residents to get a haircut even by a Jew on Erev Shabbos

Explanation: The tradition is to prohibit doing Melacha on Purim which includes a prohibition against cutting nails, and according to some Poskim also against getting a haircut and so is the practical ruling. However, on Erev Shabbos when there is a mitzvah to cut the nails [as it is a mitzvah to cut the nails every erev Shabbos] this restriction is waived, as the clear ruling is that it is permitted to do Melacha on Purim for the sake of a mitzvah. However, getting a haircut is not an obligation every Erev Shabbos, and therefore is more stringent than cutting nails in its mitzvah status, and therefore the Poskim conclude that even on erev Shabbos it should not be done through a Jew.

Sources: Regarding the prohibition against doing work on Purim, see: Michaber and Rama 696:1; Regarding nails see: Piskeiy Teshuvos 696:1 in name of Piskeiy Teshuvah 150 and Divrei Malkiel 5:237; See Admur 468:6 regarding Erev Pesach that a dispute is brought in this matter, however its Melacha prohibition is more stringent than Purim, and even there we rule leniently Bedieved if one did not do so after midday. Regarding a haircut see: Beis David 496; Mahariy Algazi 9; Dvar Moshe 44; Ben Ish Chaiy Tetzaveh 21; Pnei Adam 1:44; Kaf Hachaim 696:11; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 696 footnote 1; Some rule one may also give himself a haircut and the entire prohibition according to the stringent opinion is to have another Jew cut his hair. [See Beis David ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 696 footnote 1]; Regarding Purim Meshulash in Jerusalem see: P”M 696 M”Z 1; Mahariy Algazi 9; Sheim Chadash; Mahrasha Alfandri brought in Kaf Hachaim 688:49; Beis David 496; Erech Hashulchan 696:3; Yifei Lalev 5:1; Dvar Moshe 44; Ben Ish Chaiy Tetzaveh 21; Pnei Adam 1:44; Piskeiy Teshuvos 696 footnote 11]; The Yabia Omer 6:47 rules that there is no prohibition to do work on Erev Shabbos.

  1. Question: [Thursday, 13th Adar, 5781]

Rabbi, I am unable to fast on Taanis Esther due to medical reasons, should I nevertheless say the prayer of Aneinu in my Mincha Shemoneh Esrei, or must I omit it because I’m not fasting?


One who is not fasting is not to recite Aneinu in Shemoneh Esrei. Practically, this applies even if one is praying with a Minyan nonetheless the initial directive is that one who is not fasting is not to recite Aneinu in Shemoneh Esrei, even though there are Poskim who rule that is to be said if one is praying with a Minyan.

Explanation: One who is not fasting is not oppressed and therefore the prayer of Aneinu is not relevant to him. However, some Poskim rule that one who is praying with a minyan may recite it due to the congregation’s day of oppression, and in such a case the prayer would be going on the congregation’s oppression as opposed to him personally. Furthermore, some imply that even when one is praying alone, he may say it due to this reason. Practically, the Poskim conclude that it is not to be said in any case even praying with a minyan.

Sources: See Mamar Mordechai 565:1; Biur Halacha 565:1; Kaf Hachaim 565:6; Shevet Halevi 5:60; Rivivos Efraim 2:280; Yalkut Yosef Moadim p. 535 in name of Zera Emes 3:62; Piskeiy Teshuvos 565:1; Poskim who rule that it may be said with a minyan: Bach 565; Ateres Zekeinim 565 in name of Bach; Chayeh Adam 132:22; Opinion of Mishneh Berurah: See Biur Halacha 565:1 in name of Chayeh Adam, Elya Raba, and Bach that it may be said, and in the name of Mamar Mordechai that it may not be said, and in his conclusion he writes that it may not be said. However, in 563:3 he writes the name of Nehar Shalom that it may be said [even without a Minyan!]. Practically, we rule that it should not be said.

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