Some Orthodox Jews have the custom to not trim their boy’s hair until he is three years old. It’s done in a beautiful celebration called an Upsherin (Yiddish for, wait for it: haircut). It’s like a big ol’ party where family and friends take turns snipping bits of hair off, yarmulke and tzitzis are donned (sometimes) for (usually) the first time, and Torah learning is illustrated as sweet, with honey or candies associated with Hebrew letters. I’m sure there are many variations, but that’s some of what I’ve seen. Why three? That’s what’s considered to be the “age of education,” when the child has developed enough intellectually to learn Torah.
We don’t have this custom. Well, we really didn’t have any custom at all. My husband wasn’t crazy about letting our Little Man’s hair grow very long, and when it was started to get a wee bit shaggy (emphasis on “a wee bit,” it really wasn’t all that long, but he was definitely starting to sport a mullet), he decided that we should make a decision about whether or not we were going to do this whole Upsherin business. So we called our Rabbi.
It turns out that the origin of this tradition is Chassidish/Sephardic (totally did not know that), and only recently has it taken hold in other sections of the Orthodox spectrum. See here and here for more information about this custom. So, our Rabbi basically said that since it’s not halacha, we don’t need to do it.
This past Sunday there was a small window of opportunity, so I trimmed Little Man’s (slightly) unruly locks. While he doesn’t look dramatically different, I am enjoying his shorter style. Maybe someday I’ll take him to a real kiddie barber, but for now, it’s the mommy salon.
Here are some pictures. I am completely amazed that he let me photograph him. Lately, whenever the camera has come into view his entire focus turns to trying to get me to give it to him. This was a pleasant surprise. He even smiled! For an image of his somewhat shaggy hair, you can look here.