Beit Midrash

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Chapter 3: Customs of Mourning during the Omer Period

12. A Brief Summary of the Joyous Days within the Omer Period

There are different Halachos on the Joyous Days within the Omer Period.


Rabbi Eliezer Melamed

Tishrei 30 5782

None of the customs of mourning are practiced on Ĥol Ha-mo’ed Pesaĥ, because it is a mitzva to rejoice then, as we explained above, in section 8, regarding music.

According to some poskim, one may get a haircut on Rosh Ĥodesh Iyar, because it is like a Yom Tov and none of the customs of mourning apply on it. In practice, though, it is customary to refrain from getting a haircut on that day, as Shulĥan Arukh (493:3) rules.

According to Ashkenazic custom, if Rosh Ĥodesh Iyar falls out on Shabbat, giving it extra joy, one may get a haircut on Friday. Likewise, one may also get married on that Friday, shortly before Shabbat, such that the celebration and the festive meal take place on Shabbat and Rosh Ĥodesh. The prevalent custom among Sephardim is to be lenient in this regard only under pressing circumstances.[15]

Yom Ha-atzma’ut is a holiday of thanksgiving and rejoicing. Therefore, it is proper to shave in anticipation of Yom Ha-atzma’ut, and one may even cut one’s hair for this occasion. Getting married, however, is prohibited (see below 4:11).

According to Ashkenazic practice, one may get a haircut and get married on the day of Lag Ba-omer, and in a time of need, one may even be lenient on the night of Lag Ba-omer. According to Sephardic custom, however, one may not get a haircut or get married on Lag Ba-omer, as explained above in sections 3 and 4.

When Lag Ba-omer falls out on Friday, even Sephardim may cut their hair then (sa 493:2).

According to Ashkenazic practice, one may cut one’s hair on the Friday preceding Lag Ba-omer when it falls out on Sunday. According to Sephardim, however, this is prohibited (see above n. 8. Regarding weddings, some Ashkenazic poskim rule leniently under pressing circumstances, but Sephardim prohibit this; see n. 6.).

Even according to the custom of many Ashkenazim, who refrain from getting married until Rosh Ĥodesh Sivan, one may get married on the 28th of Iyar (Yom Yerushalayim). Likewise, one may conduct large celebrations on that day (see below 4:11).

[15] According to Radbaz, Maharikash, and Maharam Lunzano, one may get a haircut on Rosh Ĥodesh (even when it does not fall out on Shabbat). In contrast, Beit Yosef maintains that this is forbidden, and this is the general practice. Regarding weddings on Rosh Ĥodesh that coincides with Shabbat, see above n. 6; see section 6 regarding haircuts. 

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