Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:

 

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Dear Mordechai,

Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah?

Harry Lipman

 

Dear Harry,

Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere with your ability to type.

The truth is I have no idea. I just started shaving them myself. I was always a late bloomer, even as a teenager. My parents got me a shaver when I was 16, and I was like, “What am I going to do with this?” and they said like, “Keep it; someday you’ll need it.”

But there’s no attachment on this shaver for noses, and my wife has started commenting. And yes, it might be embarrassing to use a nose hair trimmer – it looks like an electric toothbrush for your nose – but it’s not as embarrassing as it would be if you don’t use one. You look like you’re carrying around a small pet spider that sometimes likes to see whom you’re talking to.

So using a trimmer is far less embarrassing, as long as you use it in private. So I bought one – online, so I wouldn’t have to face a cashier.

ME: “Um… It’s for a friend.”

CASHIER: “Okay. See if he’ll let you borrow it.”

And the first time I used it, my son came home from school and said, “Wow! You look different!” But he couldn’t put his finger on why. I had no idea it was that noticeable. Even I can’t tell the difference, except that I feel maybe a little colder now.

Actually, that was not my first nose hair trimmer. My first one was stolen. FedEx says they left it on my porch, but I can say for a fact that they didn’t knock, because my desk – where I spend all day typing – is about five feet from my front door. In fact, my front entranceway used to be an enclosed porch, and sometimes if we don’t lock the door, strangers walk in without knocking and are shocked to see me sitting right there. Especially if I’m trimming my nose hairs.

So someone stole it, and it was probably someone who lives in the area. I doubt someone got out of his car for this. So now I have to walk around the streets once in a while and see if anyone “looks different.”

As far as doing this during Sefirah, though, you should probably ask a rabbi. I mean it. A lot of people are hesitant to ask a rabbi about shaving, because rabbis generally don’t shave, so you figure of course he’s going to say, “No.” But if a rabbi has a beard, people show him respect. If you have a beard, best case scenario, people call you “rabbi.”

But you figure everyone has to take care of his nose hairs – even rabbis. I don’t know that there’s a halacha against rabbis trimming their nose hairs. Actually, no one knows, because this is a very hard thing to ask your rabbi without him wondering if maybe there’s a reason you asked. (“Rabbi, is there anything against rabbis trimming their nose hairs?”) Personally, I can’t believe I just got through half an article talking about nose hairs.

 

 

Dear Mordechai,

People are saying I should do something environmentally friendly for Earth Day, but all these things are expensive. Why should I bother? The earth doesn’t even know it’s Earth Day!

Yosef Green

 

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