Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Daily Email – 29 Tamuz

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How to prepare clothes to be worn during the Nine Days

Freshly laundered clothing may not be worn during the week of Tisha B’av according to the Mechaber, and for the entire Nine Days according to Ashkenazic custom. The poskim advise preparing the newly laundered clothing by wearing them for a short while before Rosh Chodesh. For how long must the clothing be worn? The poskim suggest different lengths of time, from half an hour to several hours. There is a discussion among the contemporary poskim as to whether clothing may be ‘tried-on’ during Shabbos Chazon. (According to contemporary custom, freshly laundered clothing may be worn then.) There is an opinion that permits only one extra ‘try-on’ in the morning when getting dressed.

(ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 40)

Hilchos Tefillin 32 (page 91)

מסעיף יז עד אמצע הסעיף משום דבעינן

Chok Tochos

Chok Tochos on a Previously Written Letter


adb5acf1-5486-43d1-a2ef-29e281974d6c.jpgChok tochos

Chok tochos is when ink [or another material] is carved away so that the form of a letter emerges in relief. In other words, the action is done to the surrounding material and not directly to the os. Such lettering is invalid for stam as well as many other areas of halacha. For example, if there was a drip of ink inside a beis which made it look like a fey, or if a drop completely filled the beis so that it does not look like any letter, it is forbidden to form the letter again by scratching away the offending drop of ink. Retracing the good parts of the letter after removing the ink is of no benefit, as will be explained below.

(סעיף יז וס"ק סג, סד, ו־סו; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 97)

aefbcba4-1a06-41a2-87fd-b873f4e2b41e.jpgChok tochos on a previously written letter

According to some poskim, if the beis was originally formed correctly but was later distorted by a drop of ink (as above), restoring it by scratching is only chok tochos mid’rabonon because the main body of the os had been drawn correctly. There are other poskim who still regard this as chok tochos d’oraisa. A third opinion takes the opposite extreme and permits removing the offending drop of ink through scratching since the original letter had been formed correctly. The halacha does not follow the last opinion.

(ביה"ל ד"ה אם וד"ה ופסול; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 98)


If something has already been written on the klaf, writing over it does not constitute new writing. The top writing is nullified to — and does not take the place of — the original writing, even if it is of a higher quality. When the original writing was not lishma, for example, overwriting it with new lishma lettering cannot make it lishma. There is an opinion that views overwriting in this case as kosher, and this opinion is taken into consideration as a chumra in cases like a get. A third approach always considers the top writing valid even when the top lettering is inferior to the lower lettering – e.g. the lower writing was lishma and the upper writing was not. Only when both levels are of equal halachic status does this opinion disregard the top writing.

(ביה"ל ד"ה ואינה; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 97, 101 ו־102)

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  • There are two approaches to applying the rule of mukaf gevil. According to the first approach, the concern is that two letters should not touch – even if both were formed properly and became connected later. According to the second approach, a letter abutting a hole or the edge of the klaf is also a problem, but only if it was written that way originally.
  • Two letters that touched each other at the time of writing are posul, as is a letter that abuts a hole or the edge of the klaf at the time of writing.
  • According to some poskim, if the letters touched after the sofer completed them, they are treated as pasul in case the halacha follows the first approach above. A second opinion holds that they are undoubtedly pasul. The poskim also discuss whether a hole formed after the writing that touches two letters is treated as an ink connection between them.
  • Does chok tochos apply to parts of a letter or only to an entire letter?
  • Can a letter be formed from ink that dripped onto the klaf?
  • The difference between a letter drawn with one swipe of the kolmus and one drawn with two swipes
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