Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Rav Moshe Shternbuch: When to Cut Your Three Year Old Sonís Hair
Rav Shternbuch in his Tshuvos (2:246) says that there is no real source for cutting a child’s at three years old, but it is the minhag.  As far as the exact timing of the first haircut, he says that outside of Eretz Yisroel you should not cut it even a day before his third birthday since the minhag is based on the issur of Orlah, where the fruit of a tree is not eaten during the first three years.  He says that he heard in the name of the Chazon Ish that cutting the child’s hair before three will adversely affect his memory but he does not know the source or its authenticity.  Therefore it is preferable to cut the child’s hair exactly on his third birthday not before and not after.

This applies in Chut La’Aretz.  In Eretz Yisroel where there is a minhag to go to Meiron to the Kever of Rav Shimon bar Yochai, Rav Shternbuch says there is more leeway.  Since cutting a child’s hair and making him Peyos in public is a kind of Kiddush Hashem B’Rabim and furthermore the Arizal traveled to Meiron on Lag BaOmer to cut his son’s hair, therefore you need not worry if Lag BaOmer falls out a little bit before or a little bit after the child’s birthday.

He ends by saying that you should ask for a bracha from Talmidei Chachomim and Tzadikim that you will merit to raise your child to be a Gadol BaTorah.

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