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Hilchos Tefillin 36 (page 122)

מאמצע הסעיף אות א עד אות ה

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Writing an Aleph that Looks Like an X

What the Two Tips of the Beis Allude To

The Components of the Gimel

9e60af0d-28b8-4463-ac72-6c7a1d14a405.jpgWriting an aleph that looks like an X

The aleph is composed of three parts — a yud on the top right, a diagonal line, and another yud on the lower left. The top yud connects to the diagonal line with its leg and the lower yud with the tag that extends from the top of it. Ideally, the upper yud should connect at the center of the diagonal line and the lower yud should meet the higher section of the line. If both yuds connect at the same point so that the letter looks like an X, some poskim consider the letter invalid while others permit it. (Even according to those who permit this shape, it is not the correct way to form the letter and is unworthy of being used for kisvei kodesh.)

(משנת סופרים אות א, ושעה"צ ס"ק ד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 3)

d2b27bdb-5924-4b0f-b7bc-b0b5ac045476.jpgWhat the two tips of the beis allude to

Two tips protrude from each end of the roof of the beis. Chazal note that the beis alludes to the creation of the world (Yerushalmi Chagiga 2:1) and these tips point to the Creator. The left tip points heavenward to the Creator on High, while the right tip points back towards its predecessor, the aleph, signaling that Hashem is echad (one). The letter is kosher if these tips are missing, but it should be fixed. The left tip should not be made too tall or too thick; otherwise, the whole letter could be mistaken for a lamed.

(משנת סופרים אות ב; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 3-4)

2a2bbbfb-880d-4bdf-a499-a99e47762dec.jpgThe components of the gimel

The gimel is composed of a roof and two legs, and combines features of a zayin and a nun. The roof is like a zayin