The Noda BYehuda Rocks the World and Allows Shaving Chol HaMoed
The Chachomim prohibited shaving on Chol HaMo’ed in order to make sure that people shave before Yom Tov and don’t look disheveled Yom Tov. Despite logic to contrary the Shulchan Aruch paskens (531) that even if you shaved on Erev Yom Tov you may not shave Chol HaMo’ed. Some say the reason is because shaving itself is a Melacha.
The She’arim HaMetzuyanim B’Halacha (104:13) brings that the Noda B’Yehuda (13), in a psak that created a great stir, paskened that if you shaved Erev Yom Tov you may be shaved on Chol HaMo’ed by a person who needs the income for food, especially if you need to appear among ministers and you will appear foolish without shaving. Later on, in the second edition (99,100,101) the Noda B’Yehuda writes that he only permitted this because all the Jewish barbers were closed and the people will go to non-Jewish barbers who will shave them with a razor, which is a much greater issur. Others say that the Noda B’Yehuda later retracted his ruling altogether.
With regard to cutting nails on Chol HaMo’ed, the Mishna Brura (532:2) paskens that unlike shaving, if you cut you nails Erev Yom Tov you may cut them again on Chol HaMo’ed.
Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.
This article has not been reviewed by the posek of the AskRevach section, Rav Peretz Moncharsh. Any questions regarding this topic and Halacha L’Maaseh may be asked to him at www.revach.net/ask