(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Menachos 38


***** Perek ha'Techeiles *****


(a) Our Mishnah discusses the Techeiles and the Lavan of Tzitzis. Two threads of the Tzitzis must be dyed Techeiles.

(b) Techeiles and Lavan - are not Me'akev each other ...

(c) ... meaning - that if all four threads are either of one or of the other, one is Yotze (see also Tosfos DH 'ha'Techeiles').

(d) The shel Yad and the shel Rosh - are not Me'akev each other either.

(a) We learn from the Pasuk "al Tzitzis ha'Kanaf" - that the Tzitzis must be of the same kind as the (corner of the) garment.

(b) That means in practical terms - that they must be white (since most garments in former times were made of white linen).

(c) From the fact that after "al Tzitzis ha'Kanaf" and "P'sil Techeiles", the Torah writes "u'Re'isem Oso" Rebbi learns - that Techeiles and Lavan *are Me'akev each other*.

(d) The Rabbanan counter that - by pointing to the word "Oso" - which is singular, implying that they *are not*.

(a) To reconcile our Mishnah with Rebbi, Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, based on a Beraisa, establishes 'Me'akeves' - with regard to the order of precedence (i.e. that even if one tied the Techeiles thread first, the Tzitzis are nevertheless Kasher).

(b) According to the Beraisa, when tying the threads, Lavan should precede Techeiles - because it is written first in the Pasuk.

(c) When the Beraisa concludes 've'Im Hikdim Techeiles le'Lavan Yatza, Ela she'Chisar Mitzvah', the Tana cannot mean that he is lacking the Mitzvah of Lavan - because then he would not be Yotze according to Rebbi.

(d) Consequently, Rav Yehudah Amar Rav explains it to mean - that although he has performed the Mitzvah of Lavan and Techeiles, he is lacking the Mitzvah of giving the Lavan precedence.




(a) We just explained how Lavan is not Me'akev Techeiles, even according to Rebbi. Rami bar Chama explains 'ha'Techeiles Einah Me'akeves es ha'Lavan' - by establishing the case by a garment that is made of Techeiles (so that 'Miyn Kanaf' refers to Techeiles, and that is what one ought to have started with [but did not]).

(b) This is also how Levi and Shmuel explained the Sugya, with Rami bar Chama explaining 'ha'Techeiles Einah Me'akeves es ha'Lavan'. Levi initially told Aryoch (meaning 'king' and referring to Shmuel, since the Halachah is always like him in money-matters) not to sit down until he had explained our Mishnah to him.

(c) Rava objected to Rami bar Chama's explanation. What he meant when he said 'Midi Tziv'a ka'Garim' was - that we do not go by the color of any particular garment to determine 'Miyn ha'Kanaf', but after the majority of garments, which as we explained, tended to be made of white linen. Consequently, one is always obligated to begins with Lavan and not with Techeiles.

(d) So he interprets 'ha'Techeiles Einah Me'akeves es ha'Lavan, ve'ha'Lavan Eino Me'akev es ha'Techeiles' in our Mishnah - with regard to Gardumin, even according to Rebbi. What the Mishnah therefore means is - that whether the Lavan threads tore and the Techeiles remained, or vice-versa, the Tzitzis are Kasher, because one is not Me'akev the other.

(a) This explanation is based on the ruling of B'nei Rebbi Chiya, which we discussed in the previous Perek (regarding Gardumei Techeiles and Gardumei Eizov). bar Hamduri quoting Shmuel gave as the Shi'ur of Gardumei Techeiles - sufficient thread to tie into a single knot.

(b) The two possible interpretations of 'K'dei le'Anvan' are - either enough to tie all the remaining threads together into a knot, or enough to tie each thread independently.

(c) We do not know which is the correct one - because the She'eilah remains unanswered.

(a) Rav Ashi asked what the Din will be in a case where the threads are too thick to tie into a knot -though it would be possible to do so if they were of a regular thickness. He asked whether that is considered 'K'dei Le'anvan' (and is therefore Kasher), or nor.

(b) Rav Acha b'rei de'Rava resolved Rav Ashi's She'eilah - by pointing out that there where thin Tzitzis would be Kasher, thick ones certainly are, seeing as they possess the advantage of being more discernible.

7) The Tana who argues with Rebbi is Rebbi Yitzchak ... in the name of Rebbi Yochanan ben Nuri. He says that someone who has no Techeiles - should use Lavan instead.


(a) Bearing in mind that Rava disagrees with the previous presumption that Gardumei Techeiles must require a Shi'ur (see Tosfos DH 'K'dei Le'anvan'), his basis for saying that each Chulya (group of rings) requires a knot is - because otherwise, how could the b'nei Rebbi Chiya declare Girdumei Techeiles Kasher, seeing as once the Tzitzis tear right down to the top knot, it is bound to come undone. Now if there were no more knots except for the one by the Kanaf, all that would then remain would be threads (P'sil) without the encircled part (the G'dil), which would be Pasul.

(b) We refute Rava's proof however - by establishing the b'nei Rebbi Chiya when the owner opted to tie knots for each Chulya (but that does not make it d'Oraysa).

(a) We learn from the juxtaposition (Semuchin) of the Pesukim "Lo Silbash Sha'atnez" and "Gedilim Ta'aseh Lach" - that the Mitzvah of Tzitzis (tying Tzitzis [incorporating Techeiles]) on a garment of linen [Sadin be'Tzitzis]) overrides the Isur of Kil'ayim.

(b) Rabah (or Rava) proves from there that the top (double) knot must be d'Oraysa - because if it was not, why would we require a Pasuk to permit Sadin be'Tzitzis, seeing as without the knot, one only sticks the Tzitzis into the garment once (and 'Tekifah Achas' is not considered joined), in which case there is no Isur Sha'atnez to begin with.

(c) Despite the fact that it does really makes no difference where one ties the knot, Rabah refers specifically to 'Kesher Elyon' - because if one were to tie only one knot, that is where one would logically tie it, in order to retain the G'dil.

(d) We need a proof that 'Kesher Elyon d'Oraysa', because, even though without it, the G'dil will not hold permanently - it might hold for a day or two if one arranges the rings tightly (particularly if one adds a single knot).

10) Some take Kesher Elyon to mean specifically the knot next to the garment. And the reason that Rabah refers specifically to that knot and not to the knot at the end of the Tzitzis is - because the latter is far from the place were the Tzitzis joins the garment and would therefore not constitute Sha'atnez.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,