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Bathing during the Nine Days

The Mechaber cites a machlokes as to whether it is forbidden to bathe during the entire Nine days or only during the week of Tisha B’av. The Ashkenazic custom is to forbid bathing, even with cold water, during the entire Nine Days. The face, hands and feet may be washed with cold water. There is a machlokes regarding the exact borders of the hands (e.g. fingers, wrists, elbows) and feet, and also as to whether the beard is part of the face.

(סעיף טז וס"ק צד; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 110)

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Hilchos Tefillin 32 (page 93)

מאצע סעיף יח וריש שעשאה עד אמצע הסעיף אם נגעו

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Repairing Osios That Touch

Repairing Touching Osios That Appear Deformed

Repairing the Letters of Hashem’s Name

a87eedad-09a3-46bb-bc14-cd8c0103730d.jpgRepairing osios that touch

We have previously learned that letters that touched at the time of writing are pasul because of mukaf gevil and they are pasul m’safek if they joined at a later time (see s"k 34). If the individual forms are distinct, it is permissible to fix them by removing the offending ink. This is not considered chok tochos since each is clearly an os; the correction is just to solve the problem of mukaf gevil. According to some poskim, if they touched before being completely formed they can be separated only bedieved. An example would be a case where ink connected two such letters in tefillin or mezuzos. It is permissible to separate the letters in that case because deleting them and then rewriting them would cause a problem with the rule of k’sidron (the requirement to write the letters of tefillin and mezuzos in order).

(סעיף יח, ס"ק עח, פ ו־פא, וביה"ל ד"ה ואם; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 114)

b9b68813-7b19-4e8c-9390-f89e588a24cb.jpgRepairing touching osios that appear deformed

Letters that touch in a way that they are no longer recognizable to a child (see s"k 49-50) are pasul because they lack proper form (in addition to the problem of mukaf gevil), and will remain pasul after separation because of chok tochos (since scraping contributed to their form). These pesulim apply whether the osios were joined during or after the writing. The poskim discuss whether letters that are joined along their entire width or height are considered recognizable, and it is proper to be stringent.

(סעיף יח וס"ק פ-פא; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 117-119)

3b3ca8e1-2735-40c8-abd7-3836d1eb942b.jpgRepairing the letters of Hashem’s name

It is forbidden to erase a letter or even a small part of it from Hashem’s name as well as from the name’s auxiliary letters (e.g. Iong chaf after E-lokecha). An erasure for the purpose of repair, though, is not forbidden. Therefore, if two letters touched during the writing or at the completion of the writing (before the sofer withdrew his hand) they may be separated, since without the repair the letters are disqualified. If the osios were formed properly and only joined afterwards (in which case they are pasul m’safek) they may not be repaired, since they may be kosher as is and the ‘repair’ would be unnecessary.

(סעיף יח, ס"ק עט, שעה"צ ס"ק כא, וביה"ל ד"ה ורי"ש; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 116 ו־121)

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  • What if a sofer began a letter correctly, made a mistake along the way, and then removed some ink and fixed it? What if a sofer removed ink that dripped on part of a letter and then rewrote it properly? According to some poskim, the final product in these cases would be invalid due to chok tochos. Both the Mechaber and Rama hold that it is kosher.
  • If ink dripped on the parchment and the sofer used the wet ink to shape a letter, it is kosher. The sofer did a proper ‘writing’ and it is unimportant that the os started off as dripped ink.
  • If an os was disqualified because of overextension in a stroke of the kolmus, the Mechaber holds that everything that was written with the problematic stroke must be removed.
  • Attaching the left leg of the heh or kuf to the top
  • The components of the aleph
  • The yud is a part of which letters?
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