- Question: [Tuesday, 20th Marcheshvan 5782]
I have just entered my third month in mourning for the loss of my father, and after Davening an individual came over to me and told me I should get a haircut as my hair looks really long and unkempt. May I get a haircut, or must I wait for three months to pass?
You may get a haircut.
Explanation: After the passing of a parent, one must wait a minimum of one month, and in addition wait until he is reprimanded, until he may get a haircut. The definition of being reprimanded is literal, that someone tells him that he looks unkempt with his long hair. The concept of waiting three months for the measurement of reprimanding, which is recorded in the Poskim, is not in addition to the literal reprimanding, but instead of it, in the event that no one has reprimanded him. So is understood by the vast majority of Poskim, and so is the final ruling, despite us finding authorities who are stringent to require three months regardless of the reprimanding. In general, we rule leniently in matters of morning, especially in this case in which he is a lone authority.
Sources: See Michaber Y.D. 380:1 and 390:1; 390:4; Rama 390:4; Moed Katan 22b; Agudah; Maharil; Ran; Beis Yosef 390; Rav Akiva Eiger 390 in name of Elya Raba; Kitzur SHU”A 211:12; Maharshag 2:214; Peri Hasadeh 2:24; Mishmeres Shalom Gimmel 50; Daas Kedoshim 390; Nitei Gavriel 3:14; See Divrei Nechemia Yoreh Deah 26 for a general discussion of this law, and for the opinion that you need to always wait three months