May 27, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Eruvin 13b addresses why Beit Hillel merited to have the halacha accord with their position. One reason is that Beit Hillel would teach both their own statements and those of Beit Shammai, even putting Beit Shammai’s words first. In his articles about why he believes all shavers, including lift-and-cut shavers, are permitted (“Responses to Critiques of Our Permitting All Electric Shavers, I” June 15, 2023; “Responses to Critiques of Our Permitting All Electric Shavers, II” June 22, 2023), Rabbi Jachter cites a range of rabbinic authorities with differing positions, explaining their reasoning, as well as why he differs. I therefore personally lend greater credence to him when he cites and agrees with various permitting authorities, such as Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik and Rav Moshe Feinstein—and in our generation, Rav Hershel Shachter and Rav Mordechai Willig.

For some reason, in the realm of both sheitels and shaving, there’s an approach by which those who would forbid present a picture lacking in nuance—one which seems to deny or obscure the existence of rabbanim who permit. Even had I not engaged myself in the relevant sugyot to see the nuance, and plausible responses to several forbidding arguments; even if I didn’t follow my own teachers and the gedolim of my community who have well earned my trust in their grasp of the halachics; even had I not seen it asserted (introduction to Igrot Moshe, volume 8, https://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=922&st=&pgnum=34) that Rav Moshe Feinstein uniquely refused a haskama on a certain anti-shaving sefer; I would be distrustful of advertisements or pashkevilim adopting such a Beit Shammai approach, hiding the existence of a Beit Hillel position I know exists. I’d be afraid that even in a lengthy treatise on the subject matter, I might be getting a one-sided view of the issue.

Josh Waxman
Teaneck

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