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Menachos 35

MENACHOS 35 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Baltimore, Maryland, formerly of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.



(a) Rav Chananel Amar Rav - invalidates Tefilin, if the order of the Parshiyos has been changed.

(b) Abaye qualified this - confining it to changing the inside Parshiyos to the outside or vice-versa (but permitting Tefilin whose two inside Parshiyos or two outside Parshiyos have been switched).

(c) Rava objects to Abaye's qualification - on the grounds that there is no reason to distinguish between a Parshah which now sees the air instead of K'sav, or vice versa, and a Parshah which now sees the left hand side instead of the right, or vice versa.

(d) Consequently, he concludes - both are Pasul.

(a) Rav Chananel Amar Rav lists the Titura as 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'. The 'Titura' - is the base of the Tefilin to which the Bayis is fixed, which protrudes on all sides from the Bayis, and which resembles the plank of a bridge (as this is what the word means).

(b) Abaye adds the Ma'abarta and the 'Shin' to the list. The 'Ma'abarta' - is the section of the Titura, which extends in front of it, through which one pulls the straps whichever way one wishes (which is what the word means).

(c) The Chumra that he adds with regard to the Charitz (the cuts that divide the four Batim of the shel Rosh) is - that they must reach the Titura.

(d) Rav Dimi from Neherda'a disagrees. In his opinion, this is not necessary (as long as they are discernible).

(a) Abaye maintains that before beginning to write Tefilin - the Sofer should examine the K'laf for holes.

(b) According to Rav Dimi from Neherda'a - this is not necessary, since the quill will discover the holes as the Sofer writes.

(a) The Beraisa ...
1. ... forbids using straps made of silk or of linen - only the same species as the Tefilin themselves.
2. ... permits using straps that are colored green, black or white.
(b) The Tana forbids red straps - because people might think that they became dyed red from the blood of sores that festered, or because his wife sat on them when she was a Nidah.

(c) Rebbi Yehudah recorded one episode concerning a Talmid of Rebbi Akiva - who wore straps of Techeiles (dark-blue wool) and another concerning a Talmid of Hurkenus the son of Rebbi Eliezer - who wore straps of purple-wool.

(d) He try to prove from there - that one may even use straps of a different kind, since otherwise, Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Eliezer would never have remained silent.

(a) The Chachamim countered Rebbi Yehudah's proofs - by arguing that in fact, Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Eliezer were not aware of what happened.

(b) We reconcile the ruling of the Rabbanan with Rebbi Yitzchak, in whose opinion black straps are 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai' - by establishing the Beraisa with regard to the inside of the straps (but not the front, which must be black).

(c) Even though the Tana is speaking about the insides of the straps, he is nevertheless concerned about 'G'nai ve'Davar Acher' - because sometimes, the strap becomes twisted, and the inside is exposed to view.

(a) The source given by the Beraisa for the Halachah that Tefilin must be square is - 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'.

(b) When Rav Papa explains ...

1. ... 'be'Tafran', he means - that the Sofer should take care not to spoil the Tefilin's squareness by stretching the stitches too taught.
2. ... 'ba'Aleksunan', he means - that the length should tally with the breadth (by ensuring that the diagonal is one and two fifths times the length and times the breadth.
(c) The Mishnah in Megilah rules that round Tefilin - constitute a danger and that one is not Yotzei the Mitzvah.

(d) Round Tefilin are dangerous - because the person wearing them might knock his head as he enters a low doorway, and cause the Tefilin to pierce his head.

(e) Rav Papa refutes the proof from there that Tefilin must be square - because by 'round', the Tana may mean that the base (the Titura) is oval and pointy (but round Tefilin, with a regular base, may well be Kasher).

(a) Rav Huna validates Tefilin - for as long as the Bayis remains whole. Once a hole appears, they are Pasul.

(b) Rav Chisda draws a distinction between two - which us still Kasher, and three - which is Pasul.

(c) Rav qualifies the last ruling - by confining it to where the two holes did not occur in adjacent Batim (but if they occurred in the first and second, the second and third or the third and the fourth Batim, the Tefilin are indeed Pasul). Alternatively, he means - that the two holes are facing each other, creating one hole that penetrates two of the inner walls of the Tefilin. But as long as the holes do not 'see each other', the Tefilin are Kasher.

(d) That ruling in turn, is confined to new Tefilin, but not to old ones - where the holes are a matter of age, and are not a sign of inferior quality leather (the source of the P'sul).

(a) When Abaye asked Rav Yosef to define 'new' and 'old' in this regard, he replied - that this can be determined by stretching the Bayis until the Batim separate. If they return to their original shape, then the Tefilin are considered old; if not, then they are considered new (see also Shitah Mekubetzes 4).

(b) Alternatively, he told him, one can determine it by pulling on a thin strip of leather that protrudes from the Bayis. If the Tefilin follow (or stretch), then they are new; but if the strip snaps off, then they are old.




(a) When Abaye's Tefilin-strap snapped, Rav Yosef forbade him to tie the ends together - because the Torah writes "u'Keshartam" (Keshirah Tamah), implying that it must look nice.

(b) When he asked whether he may then stitch them - he instructed him to go and see what people do (and people tend not to do that either) ...

(c) ... even if he were to move the stitch to the back, where it would not be seen.

(a) 'Gardumei Retzu'os' - are what remains of the Tefilin straps after the Shi'ur has torn off.

(b) Rav Papa ruled - 'Gardumei Retzu'os Kesheiros'.

(c) We refute this however, based on b'nei Rebbi Chiya, who declared Gardumei Techeiles and Gardumei Eizov (for a Parah Adumah) only to be Kasher. They did not include 'Gardumei Retzu'os' in their list - because whereas the former are Tashmishei Mitzvah, Tefilin-straps are Tashmishei Kedushah (which require the full Shi'ur even Bedieved).

(a) Evidently then, the Retzu'os of Tefilin have a Shi'ur. Rami bar Chama Amar Resh Lakish gives it as 'Etzba Tzeradah'. 'Etzba Tzeradah' is - the forefinger (which is the acronym of 'Tzarah de'Da' ( the rival of this one [the thumb]).

(b) When we say that ...

1. ... Rav Kahana demonstrated 'Kafuf', we mean - that he demonstrated the distance between the extended middle and fore-fingers.
2. ... Rav Ashi demonstrated 'Pashut', we mean ... the distance between the extended thumb and forefinger (which is considerably wider than the middle and fore-fingers, explaining why we refer to the latter as 'stretched', and the former, as 'bent').
(c) Rabah would throw the straps over his shoulders and let them hang behind him; Rav Acha bar Ya'akov would plait them together. Mar b'rei de'Ravina used to - let them hang in front of him, just like we do.
(a) According to Rav Yehudah b'rei de'Rav Shmuel bar Shilas in the name of Rav, the source of the Kesher shel Tefilin is - 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'.

(b) Besides the fact that the 'Daled' of the shel Rosh and the 'Yud' of the shel Yad should be facing outwards, when Rav Nachman says 've'Noyeihen le'Bar', he might also mean - that the beautiful (painted) part of the Retzu'ah should be facing outwards.

(c) We prove the second explanation to be the correct one - from the episode that follows, which specifically mentions 've'noyeihen le'Bar' in connection with a twisted strap.

(d) When Mar Zutra, pointing out that Rav Ashi's Retzu'os were twisted, queried him from 've'Noyeihen le'Bar', he responded with 'La'av Ada'ata'i', meaning that he had not realized that they were.

(a) Rebbi Eliezer interpreted the Psauk "Ve'ra'u Kol Amei ha'Aretz ki Sheim Hashem Nikra Alecha ve'Yar'u Mimeka" - in connection with the Tefilin she'be'Rosh'.

(b) And Rav Chana bar Bizna Amar Rebbi Shimon Chasida learns from the Pasuk "Va'hasirosi es Kapi, Ve'ra'isa es Achorai" - that Hashem showed Moshe the knot of His Tefilin (for Hashem [Kevayachol] wears Tefilin, as we learned in B'rachos)

(c) The fact that the Kesher shel Tefilin are placed ...

1. ... on the head (and not on the neck) - signifies that Yisrael too, will be 'up' and not 'down'.
2. ... opposite the face (and not at the side of the head) - signifies that they will be 'in front' and not 'at the back'.
(d) This is the meaning of 'K'lapei Panim'. Alternatively, we read these words as 'K'lapei P'nim', in which case they would mean that the knot should be on the inside, allowing the letters of Hashem's Name to face outwards (as we learned earlier).
(a) Initially, we understand the statement said in the name of Rav, Rav Huna or Shmuel 'Tefilin Mevarech Aleihen mi'Sha'as Hanachasan' to mean - that one recites the B'rachah after having put them on.

(b) We have a problem with that however, from a ruling of Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel, who says - that Birchos ha'Mitzvos must be recited 'Over la'Asiyasan' (immediately prior to their performance).

(c) So Abaye and Rava explain the original statement to mean - after the Tefilin have been put in place, but they have been tightened and adjusted (which is the main part of the Mitzvah).

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