Question: Is it OK to groom facial hair in the time of counting the Omer?
Answer: The period known as Sefirat Ha’omer, the counting of the Omer, is considered in part a time of semi-mourning because a large number of Rabbi Akiva students died, either due to a plague or because of the revolt again Rome led by Bar Kokhba in 130 CE, . One sign of mourning is not cutting one’s hair, shaving, or trimming one’s beard. The period of semi-mourning is observed from after Pesah until Lag Ba'omer, the 33rd day of the omer (this year, May 10). However, there is another opinion that the restrictions should be lifted after Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israel Independence day (this year, April 26).
Question: Which days of the year are forbidden to get married?
Answer: The practice which has been approved by the Conservative movements's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards is not to perform weddings on the following days:
- Shabbat and Festival days, including the intermediary days (Hol Ha-mo'ed).
- Part of the period of the counting of the Omer, Sefirat Ha-omer, from after Pesah until Lag Ba'omer, except for Rosh Hodesh Iyyar and the 5th of Iyyar, Israel Independence Day.
- The 17th of Tammuz, and the first nine days of Av.