Sefira and the view of the Arizal

1. According to the Arizal, haircuts are not allowed from Pesach until Erev Shavuos. It is even prohibited to do so on Lag B’Omer. (Kaf Hachaim 493:13)

2. The Minchas Elazar of Munkatch writes that weddings are permitted according to the Arizal on Lag B’Omer itself. He explains that the Arizal forbade haircuts even on Lag B’Omer not because of the mourning period, but rather for mystical reasons that would not extend to prohibit weddings. Moreover, this stringency of the Arizal regarding haircuts was not meant for the laymen, but rather only for great people. He cites testimony that the great Divrei Chaim of Sanz allows for weddings to take place on Lag B’Omer. Some even cite that the Divrei Chaim himself made his son’s wedding on Lag B’Omer.

שו”ת מנחת אלעזר ח”ד סימן ס’ שכתב: “רק לענין התספורת אין לעשות עפ”י האריז”ל גם בל”ג בעומר בסוד השערות שלא נמתק בזה עד חג שבועות וכו’ אבל לענין שאר דברים אין נוהגי’ אבילות עפ”י האריז”ל בימי ספה”ע אמנם בודאי אדרבה יום ל”ג בעומר הוא יום משתה ושמחה גדולה, וגם לענין תספורת הוא רק לגדולים ובעלי קבלה דהא האריז”ל בעצמו הלך שם עם בנו למירון לעשות תגלחתו בל”ג בעומר ועשה אותו יום משתה ושמחה כמ”ש בשעה”כ והרי גילח בעצמו את בנו א”ו דהוא רק לגדולים ועכ”פ לשארי דברים הוא יום שמחות עפ”י האריז”ל כנודע שם”.

However, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l advised against making weddings on Lag B’Omer, and writes that if possible one should wait to get married after Shavuos, seemingly to adhere to the stringency of the Arizal. (Shaarei Halacha Uminhag vol. 2 page 165) A similar strict ruling is expressed by the great Rabbe Ahron of Belz zt”l. The custom of Square Chassidim is to refrain from getting married even on Lag B’Omer. (See Netai Gavriel Pesach vol. 3 page 275)

3. One who follows the custom of the Arizal and wants to change his custom should first be matir neder (annul his vow). (Kaf Hachaim 493:14)


One thought on “Sefira and the view of the Arizal

  1. Yosef Hazdan says:

    The letter of the Rebbe quoted there was written in 5714 In the newer print of Shaarei Halacha Uminhag called Shulchan Menachem they quote a sicha from 5737, there the Rebbe said that there is an indication that the Alter Rebbe paskens like the opinion that 33omer starts at night. Accordingly one can get married that night.

    I think Chabad practice is to get married on lag baomer.

    Thank you for your always interesting articles. Whenever I get a chance to read it I enjoy it.!


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