upsherin

Pronunciations

upsherin (UP-sher-in) listen
upsherin (UP-sher-in) listen
upsherin (UP-sure-in) listen
upsherin (OOP-sher-in) listen

Definitions

  • n. The ceremonial first haircut of a 3 year old (lit. 'cutting off').

Example Sentences

  • "We are going up the hill to celebrate Itzik's upsherin."

  • "Can someone please give me the words to the poems that people use on the classic upshernish invitations" (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish

Etymology

  • אָפּשערן ópshern 'cut, shear; give a haircut', אָפּשערעניש ópsherenish 'a haircut (esp. in the context found in the definition above)'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education

      Regions

      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand

      Dictionaries

      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).

      Alternative Spellings

      opsherin, upsherinish, upshernish, upsherenish, opshern

Notes

  • Originally a Hasidic custom (based on Middle Eastern traditions) that has become popular with non-Hasidic, religious Jews. It incorporates the halachic principle that a child begins religious education at 3 years old and the prohibition against eating fruit from the first three years of a tree's life, applied to humans in Hasidic thought.

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