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Shabbos 115


QUESTION: Rebbi Yosi relates an incident involving Aba Chalafta who visited Raban Gamliel Ba'Ribi and found him reading from a book of Iyov written in Aramaic.

RASHI points out that Chalafta was the father of Rebbi Yosi, who related this incident about his father. How could Rebbi Yosi refer to his father by his surname? The Gemara in Kidushin (31b) says that one may not call one's father by his name! (REBBI AKIVA EIGER)

ANSWER: REBBI AKIVA EIGER cites his son, REBBI SHLOMO EIGER, who answers that Rashi in Sanhedrin (100a, DH b'Shmo) says that one may say the name of one's Rebbi only if he prefaces it with a phrase of praise and deference ("Rebbi u'Mori" so-and-so). The same applies to saying the name of one's father -- by prefacing it with a term of deference, one may say his father's name. Here, "Aba" is a term of respect (see, for example, Berachos 16b), and therefore by prefacing the name of his father with the term "Aba," one may refer to his father by name.


QUESTION: The Gemara says that a person is not allowed to write books of Tanach in any language other than Hebrew, and blessings may not be written down at all. Why, then, is it the widespread practice to write such things today?


(a) The ROSH writes that we find in Gitin (60a) that although it was originally prohibited to write any part of Torah sh'Ba'al Peh (the Oral Torah), it became permitted when the Sages saw that the Torah might, G-d forbid, become forgotten unless they permit Torah sh'Ba'al Peh to be committed to writing. The Sages' ruling was based on the verse, "A time to act for Hashem, they [may] annul Your Torah" (Tehilim 119:126). For the same reason it is permitted to write the books of Tanach in other languages (and, since it is permitted to write Tanach in other languages, such a book of Tanach must be saved from a fire even on Shabbos). The same applies to writing prayers and blessings (Sidurim), and it also permits writing all of these Sefarim in inks other than "Dyo," the special ink required for writing Torah scrolls.

(b) The MAGEN AVRAHAM (OC 334:12) adds, citing that TESHUVOS HA'REMA (#34), that the letters that appear in our Sefarim are not the same as the letters used in a Torah scroll. The Rema says that perhaps the printers developed this new typeface in order to permit them to print Divrei Torah, because the prohibition of writing Torah sh'Ba'al Peh applies only to writing with K'sav Ashuris (the type of letters used in a Torah scroll).

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