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Electric Shaver


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Shevat 25, 5771
Is there a Halachic difference of which electric razor I can use?
The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah 181, 10) states that one is not liable for shaving the edge of the beard only if it is with a razor, but with scissors it is permitted even though the result is as with a razor. Regarding the approach to electric shavers there is a broad discussion among the great Halachic authorities. Some say it is forbidden as they opine that it is like a real razor. Others fear that if one will press the shaver too hard on his face the inner razor of the shaver will cut the hair by itself just like a regular razor. On the other hand some authorities are lenient in the matter claiming that the status of a shaver is like scissors. And others differentiate between the various types of shavers. There are several models in the market which were tested and approved by various rabbis and institutes. There is an excellent book published on the subject with detailed opinions of both the authorities who permit or prohibit shavers and a detailed list of various models with their Halachic status: "מכונת גילוח בהלכה" להרב יהודה אריה פפויפר והרב משולם יוסף שומן, ירושלים ה'תש"ע.
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