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S/o simple upsherin - please help a clueless mom!

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 9:29 pm
My son is 2.5 and his birthday isn't until Purim time. I'd still like to know what I'm getting into.

My family never had the minhag of upsherin. My DH wanted to do it because his father did it, even though his father only did it because he thought it was cute. (Way to start a minhag, but whatever.)

I see these things about "the pasuk" and "the kids" and "activities" and "color scheme." What kind of party are we talking about? Can someone educate me what the pasuk is?

How does an upsherin normally run? Is there anything wrong with the plan to keep it to family?

What kind of pictures do people normally take?

Totally clueless. Please remember the word "simple." I do mean simple.
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trixx




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 9:36 pm
It's a birthday party.

Your son should wear a yarmulka and tzitzis and hold a tzedaka box to encourage every guest to put a coin in. The kids can say the 12 pesukim (that the lubavitch rebbe instituted). Grandparents and family cut his hair (make sure to do lots of emotional prep by reading upshernish books so he doesn't freak out - he will anyways) and he can give out goody bags of little nosh as a party favor.

That's literally it. No theme. No scissor cakes, rice krispie tzitzis cake, centerpieces with photos of him doing mitzbos, fire trucks or Lego blocks necessary. Not even little plastic tzitzis bags for the nosh. Or a coloring tablecloth with crayons, diy pushka craft, decorate aleph bais cookies etc for the kids. Unless you want to.

Pics - check out photographers on website or Instagram to see upshernish shoots for an idea. A classic is your little boy with his long hair all dressed up (this could also go on the invitations). At the actual event, at least one pic of him looking in the mirror, and ofc one of each grandparent etc as they cut his hair, and a before and after.

It's very easy to keep it simple but it's also easy to go overboard.
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amother




Beige
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 9:39 pm
The main point of an Upshernish is for the child to formally begin his Chinuch, his Jewish education.

So just like we don't eat from a tree until 3 years, when it is considered mature, we don't cut a boy's hair until he is 3.

We will ceremoniously cut his hair, leaving his peyos, and he begins wearing a yarmulke (and according to many, tzitzis).

Many people also mix in the minhagim of the "Areinfirenish," when a child begins learning in Cheder.

Here's a good overview of a traditional Upshernish: https://www.chabad.org/library.....n.htm

The pesukim referred to on the honey cake are:
https://he.wikisource.org/wiki/מ%22ג_ישעיהו_נ_ד
and https://he.wikisource.org/wiki/קטגוריה:ישעיהו_נ_ה

And on the egg: https://he.wikisource.org/wiki/קטגוריה:יחזקאל_ג_ג

Some specifically engrave them on the egg and the cake, which is very hard. If doing it on the egg, use a food marker.
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amother




Magenta
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 9:41 pm
We didn't invite friends - just my parents, dh's parents and our local siblings.
Some of our boys were more mature at that age so they understood the whole honey and alef bays thing. Others were less mature so it was just a nice birthday party.
When we could arrange it, dh took ds to our local bais medrash during bein hasedorim. The bochurim were more than happy to sing alef bays and let him show off his tzitzis and yarmulke.
DH showed me how to give a haircut with hair clippers. It's something you can learn pretty quickly.
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amother




Mustard
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 10:23 pm
It’s not my minhag either, although my husband says it’s his, so we waited until age three before taking my son to the barber for a first haircut. The only special thing we did was taking him to Yeshiva to say Alef-Bais and give out pekalach. He also had a regular birthday party in his playgroup. We didn’t do the whole family gathering thing. My son idid not miss all the hoopla. He is now grown up and has b”H turned out fine.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 10:58 pm
Okay, some of the things described are a lot more elaborate than I was planning.

I've been at precisely one upsherin in my life- a family member whose DH does not have the minhag of upsherin, but did it because her FIL wanted it.

All they did was have each person take a snip at his hair before the grandfather cut it. And then they had some food. Nothing else.

I think I'd want to acknowledge the milestone a little more. I like the idea of honey and Aleph Bais, showing off the yarmulke and tzitzis (if he's toilet trained by then- please Hashem...), having my MIL cut his hair because neither my DH nor I can do it straight, and maybe teaching him a special song or something.

Other than that, it would probably be immediate family and some food.

Sounds okay? Anything else that's small and could enhance this?
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amother




Beige
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 11:22 pm
Everything is minhag, nothing is halacha. Don't feel pressured!

I personally split up the Upshernish and the areinfirenish, and didn't do the areinfirenish until a year or more later.

I also put tzitzis on the kids even if they weren't toilet trained.

Many kids won't perform for a crowd, so if you want him to do a song or something it's best to take a video of him doing it and show it at the Upshernish!
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flowerpower




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 11:22 pm
There are no rules. Some invite just grandparents, some serve cake and make a lchaim, some invite family... and some make a
Lavish affair.
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amother




Teal
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 11:23 pm
Your plan sounds perfect. You could add pekelach, a little craft, or some balloons
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amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 11:24 pm
amother [ Beige ] wrote:
Everything is minhag, nothing is halacha. Don't feel pressured!

I personally split up the Upshernish and the areinfirenish, and didn't do the areinfirenish until a year or more later.

I also put tzitzis on the kids even if they weren't toilet trained.

Many kids won't perform for a crowd, so if you want him to do a song or something it's best to take a video of him doing it and show it at the Upshernish!


Thanks. I don't even know what the areinfirenish is. As I said, it's not my family's minhag, nor really DH's. We're not Chassidish.

If there's one kid who'll perform for a crowd, it's my son- especially in front of family. But thanks for the idea, it's probably still best not to take chances.
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shanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 11:28 pm
Music: vhaarev na baruch levine
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amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Oct 28 2019, 11:31 pm
shanarishona wrote:
Music: vhaarev na baruch levine


That's definitely a great one for the occasion, thanks!!
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mommy3b2c




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Oct 29 2019, 8:07 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Okay, some of the things described are a lot more elaborate than I was planning.

I've been at precisely one upsherin in my life- a family member whose DH does not have the minhag of upsherin, but did it because her FIL wanted it.

All they did was have each person take a snip at his hair before the grandfather cut it. And then they had some food. Nothing else.

I think I'd want to acknowledge the milestone a little more. I like the idea of honey and Aleph Bais, showing off the yarmulke and tzitzis (if he's toilet trained by then- please Hashem...), having my MIL cut his hair because neither my DH nor I can do it straight, and maybe teaching him a special song or something.

Other than that, it would probably be immediate family and some food.

Sounds okay? Anything else that's small and could enhance this?


Yes it’s ok. Why would you think it’s not ok? This is not a Halacha. It’s a hyped up birthday party. You do you and I’ll do me.
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Yummymummy3




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Oct 29 2019, 8:22 am
I did very simple upsherens for my boys.
I invited family, a couple of neighbours and a few of his friends.
Was a pop in for a couple of hours.
I had 2 tables with cakes, nosh etc. - mostly homemade stuff.
DS was in shabbos clothes and felt so good.
Some people eg dad, zaida.. took a snip of his hair. I cut his ponytail (and still have it).
I asked one of my sisters to take photos on my phone.
Really wasn't a huge expense or a lot of work.
Enjoy it all.
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keym




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Oct 29 2019, 9:38 am
We do small family parties. (Or did until my teenage daughter got involved.)
Boy dressed in Shabbos clothing.
My husband cuts his hair and everyone watches. I do don't like lots of people cutting because my boys are unpredictable and nothing freaks me out more than a hysterical toddler and scissors. My husband cuts while I hold and everyone is happy.
Then we give yarmulke, tzitzis. My husband helps him make the Brocha on tzitzis and say shema Yisroel, Torah Tziva. If the kid is cooperative we do a few letters of Aleph Beis, lollipop and honey.
For food we have chips, pretzels, soda, and maybe cupcakes.
Then we give out pekalach-simple party bags that we make extra from his playgroup birthday party.
That's it. No egg, no themes, no custom cakes.

I designate one relative to take lots of pictures on my phone or camera.
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post  Tue, Oct 29 2019, 10:22 am
A little birthday party where family come to wish Mazal tov and the little boy wears his kippah is lovely, and if he doesn’t want to wear his kippah that’s fine too! If he allows older family members to snip a little hair that’s a beautiful thing and they should give him a nice Bracha whilst they do it. Many people give the little boy a coin to put in the tzedakah box; it’s just as a nice touch to give him mitzvos to do. Treat it like a regular birthday party just with the nice added extras as above. Mazal tov!
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Oct 29 2019, 10:40 am
Yummymummy3 wrote:
I did very simple upsherens for my boys.
I invited family, a couple of neighbours and a few of his friends.
Was a pop in for a couple of hours.
I had 2 tables with cakes, nosh etc. - mostly homemade stuff.
DS was in shabbos clothes and felt so good.
Some people eg dad, zaida.. took a snip of his hair. I cut his ponytail (and still have it).
I asked one of my sisters to take photos on my phone.
Really wasn't a huge expense or a lot of work.
Enjoy it all.


Ooh, I think I want to cut his ponytail. I'll miss his hair- obviously not maintaining it, but it's such a part of him!
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amother




OP
 

Post  Tue, Oct 29 2019, 10:41 am
mommy3b2c wrote:
Yes it’s ok. Why would you think it’s not ok? This is not a Halacha. It’s a hyped up birthday party. You do you and I’ll do me.


I know, I just want to do it nicely and get any simple ideas that could enhance it. My son will be excited to be the center of attention, so anything that makes it special for him would be nice.
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thunderstorm




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Oct 29 2019, 10:50 am
We have immediate family snip the boys hair . The grandfathers, father and uncles while the Grandmothers, aunts and some cousins (who are interested or live nearby) watch.
We then make a small lechaim and I have some cake and mezonos put out on the table.
We finish the haircut with a machine (my brother took his son to the barber to finish) and we put the yarmulke and tzitzis on.
For us the highlight is right afterward , we wrap the upsherin boy in a Tallis and take him to a cheder rebbe. Usually a kindergarten or Kita Aleph rebbe (we make the appointment with the school in advance). He sits the boy on his lap and smears honey on a laminated sheet of Aleph Bais. He gets the upsherin boy to repeat after him, often showering him with sweets and prizes while the upsherin boy performs. Afterward the upsherin boy hands out pekalach to the entire class .
I also make pekalach for his own playgroup or preschool class as well as for neighbors , friends and cousins who knock at our door for a pekalach.
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