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The 39 Melachos

The Basic Premise of Menapeitz When wool is shorn, it comes in tightly entangled clumps and is useless in its raw state. Therefore, even once the wool has been cleaned, it is still not ready to be made into thread. First, the fibres of wool must be separated and disentangled. This disentangling of strands of wool is the Melacha of Menapeitz, combing. In the Mishkan Wool was required to make the cloth coverings, Yerios, which were draped over the Mishkan. After the sheep has been sheared (Gozez), and the fleece has been thoroughly cleaned (Melabein), in order to prepare them for dyeing and spinning, it was necessary to comb out the entangled strands of wool the Melacha of Menapeitz. The Different Methods of Menapeitz There are three different methods through which Menapeitz can be transgressed. 1) Beating. The wool is beaten with rods which loosens the clumps of wool and allows the wool to be separated and then spun. The beating also removes all sand, dust and other impurities that havent previously been removed from the fleece through Melabein. 2) Picking. The strands of wool that are stuck together in clumps are pulled apart by hand and separated. This isnt a very good method as the thread produced is quite uneven and rough, and fabric produced from the thread is consequently lumpy and coarse. 3) Combing. The raw wool is held in place on an iron-toothed comb and combed with a similar comb.

The combing draws out the entangled strands and aligns them into a smooth strip of wool which is perfect for spinning. This method produces a higher quality thread than the other methods. The Purpose of Menapeitz The primary purpose of Menapeitz is to separate entangled fibres so that they can be spun into a thread. This also prepares the thread for the dyeing process as if the fleece would be rough and uncombed, the colour wouldnt set evenly. Menapeitz applies not only to materials which can be used to make clothing, but also to any fibres from which fabric can be made such as synthetic fibres and straw. However, Menapeitz doesnt apply to live hair or fur as it is impossible to spin live hair or fur into thread. Therefore, it is not Menapeitz to comb ones hair. Nevertheless, it is forbidden to comb ones hair under the Melacha of Gozez, shearing. Combing a Shaitel According to some Poskim, combing a shaitel is Menapeitz as the shaitel is considered a garment, regardless of whether the shaitel is made of human hair or not. Through combing, the strands of hair are disentangled and thereby suitable for their purpose, just as when raw wool fibres are combed, they are made suitable for their purpose of spinning. However, other Poskim maintain Menapeitz is combing fibres so that they are ready for spinning. Therefore, since shaitel hairs cannot be spun, it is permissible to comb a shaitel on Shabbos. However, the combing should not be done too forcefully as removing too many hairs could be considered Sosair, demolishing.

25th January 2014

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Dvar Torah

Issue No: 454 Shabbos In: 4:20 Shabbos Out: 5:32 Sof Zman Krias Shema: 10:01

The Parshah of Mishpatim is full of monetary laws. The Mesechtos in Nezikin and elsewhere analyse every single pasuk, every word, and sometimes even an 'extra' letter, in order to learn out additional points to the simple meaning. Clearly every word is precious. How surprising it is that one of the Mishpatim is repeated (in 22:20 and 23:9) almost word for word, namely the Mitzvah not to oppress a Ger? Rashi, (quoting Bava Metzia 59b) says that this admonition is mentioned 36 times, because he is more likely to feel offense than others, as explained by Rashi in Horius.

help him in his rehabilitation, although they will be exposed in their own home to someone who is, initially at least, not of their standard. Yet the Torah expects and demands this level of compassion from us. In the previous Sedra, we read the Aseres Hadibros, where the first half comprised Mitzvos Bein Adam lMokom whilst the second were Mitzvos Bein Adam lChavero. Of course all of these Mitzvos have the same fundamental importance, and the starting point must be a belief in Hashem and all the implications of that, yet we have been told by Chazal in at least two places that the essence of Judaism is found in the Mitzvos Bein Adam lChavero. Rabi Akiva taught that veohavta lereacha kamocha is a klal gadol bTorah, surely implying that this is THE klal gadol baTorah. And, equally famously, Hillel told his would-be convert that the whole Torah can be summarised on one foot as the negative side of what Rabi Akiva had said, namely that which is hateful to you don't do to others. Maybe there is a progression; the first five Mitzvos establish the foundations of our belief whilst the second five are the best way to put it all into practice. For it is relatively easy to obey and humble ourselves in front of the Almighty, but not so easy before mere mortals.

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We can see from here the crucial importance of being considerate, even towards the least fortunate members of our community. We can easily infer this also from the very first of the Mishpatim, namely the laws of an Eved Ivri, a Hebrew slave. Who is it that would be sold as a servant - a thief who can't pay back, as Rashi tells us. Rav Shimshon Refoel Hirsch points out that the Torah starts with this example to highlight the superiority of the Torah way of dealing with a criminal, possibly from a dysfunctional background. He is allocated to a family (OK, bought by them as a slave) where he will hopefully learn to improve his ways by observing how a good family is run. Compare this to Rav Moshe Feinstein was once asked why we focus so other systems where, at least in the olden days, such a much on learning technical aspects of Nezikin - surely person would be locked up and almost forgotten we would gain more from more practical Mesechtos, about. such as in Moed? On the contrary, he answered, However, spare a thought for the family that will take is extremely practical, as we can learn him in, out of the goodness of their hearts, in order to from it the importance of caring for other people and their property, and avoiding acts of Nezikin.

Geonim Story

Dvar Torah

Eldad Hadani was so called, as he came from Shevet Dan. He was renowned for having journeyed far and wide and for having come from the one of the ten lost tribes of Israel who had been scattered by the Assyrian Empire. He describes how the tribes fled to Ethiopia where they settled and led a Torah way of life, including learning Tanach, not Talmud and they never celebrated Purim. Once, Eldad decided to journey from his home in Ethiopia to Egypt, taking a ship in the company of a man from Shevet Asher. Whilst crossing the sea, a terrible storm broke out and the ship was wrecked. Both Eldad and his friend managed to survive by clinging onto a wooden board which floated in the water. They were brought to the shore of a very wild country which was inhabited by cannibals, who captured them instantly. The man from Asher was fat and they slaughtered and ate him immediately. However, Eldad was lean and they decided it would be better to fatten him up before eating him. Defiantly, Eldad refused to eat any non -Kosher food so he ate very little, mostly nuts and berries and instead spent his days davening to Hashem to save him. In answer to his prayers, the cannibals were attacked and overwhelmed by a tribe of fire worshippers who took many captives including Eldad. The new masters brought their captives to Azania, in the land of Yemen, to sell them as slaves. A Jewish merchant, of the tribe of Yissachar, bought Eldad and set him free. Eldad now continued on his travels through the Arabian Peninsula and he was forced to trek over vast distances of

desert land. In the Arabian Desert he found the tribes of Ephraim and half of the tribe of Menasheh. They lived close to the Arabian city of Mecca. They led their lives in relative harmonious peace as the Arabs feared them greatly as they were might horseman and fearless fighters. Eldad went onto the land of the Persians and Medes, which had once been inhabited by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. In the mountains, he came across the Shevatim of Yissachar and Zevulun. Eldad travelled and behind Mount Paran encountered the Shevet of Reuven. Amazingly, Eldad related how these Jews could speak Hebrew and Persian, and that they learnt Tanach, Mishnah and Gemara. In addition, they would read from the Torah every week both in Persian and in Hebrew. Eldad journeyed on and came upon the famous city of Kairwan in North Africa. The city had a large Jewish population, with many Talmidei Chachamim. The Jews of Kairwan welcomed him, but were unsure just how trustworthy he was and how much of his farfetched story they could believe. They decided to send a letter to the Gaon Rabbi Zemach, who was head of the Yeshivah in Bavel. Rabbi Zemach replied that he believed Eldad to be a thoroughly righteous man and the majority of what he had told them was true. However, the harrowing experiences Eldad had gone through may have affected some of the memories he had retained. From the enquiry by the Jews of Kairwan, and from the Gaons reply which were preserved as written historical documents, we were able to uncover a myriad of long forgotten secrets of the Jewish people.

It famously says in this weeks Parsha (23:7), Rav Refael of Bershed was delivering a Shiur on the - Distance yourself from a false word. evils of falsehood when one of the congregants left the room. The man later explained, Rabbi, you were In Parshas Kedoshim (19:11), the Torah outlines the making me feel unbearably guilty. I am a retail negative commandment of You shall not lie to one merchant, and cannot tell the whole truth about my another and reinforces it by adding the same pasuk wares. Do you expect me to close shop and go that we find in this weeks Parsha, . begging? The Torah is clearly using the Kedoshim pasuk as the actual prohibition and quoting the pasuk from Rav Refael replied, You will not sustain a great loss if Mishpatim as a precautionary measure. This is you tell the truth about an item on which you make difficult to understand. Nearly everywhere else, the only one kopek profit. Just tell the truth about such Torah explicates the laws and only afterwards do the cheap items for a week, and then come back to me. Rabbis introduce the safeguards to prevent one from After a week the man reported that he had indeed transgressing these laws. This is the only instance told the truth about one kopek profit items. Good, when the Torah itself adds the precaution; why? RRefael said, now you will have no difficulty in To answer, we must understand the intrinsic meaning telling the truth about two kopek profit items. In this behind the statement Distance yourself! way, the man eventually told the truth about all his merchandise. His reputation as an honest merchant This warning means that one should act in a way that garnered him a large clientele, and he earned much there will be no need to lie. This can be achieved by more than had he lied about the products. looking at the long term implications of the lie. If following the lie there may be a point in time when The Gemara states that a wise person is one who can one may feel the need or desire to deny the lie to envision the outcome of their actions (Tamid 32a). another person, then one will not lie originally. By This does not mean that one should be a prophet; looking at the long term implications of lying, one can rather one should envision the long term implications prevent himself from lying in the first place. This is of their actions, not just the immediate effects. the true purpose of the command Distance yourself. Distancing oneself from falsehood not only prevents the transgression of the negative commandment, but The Navi Yirmiyah stated (10:10), Any breach of also results in ethical and profitable behaviour and it truth draws one away from G-d. Although lying can is vital for us that we strive to live a life of honesty fuel short term profit, only the truth can result in long and truth. term gain. This can be demonstrated from a story.

Q) If the reason for saying Kel melech neeman in a situation where he is only required to recite is in order to make the words in Shemah total the first paragraph of Shemah. For example by 248, then why are we required to say it by Krias Krias Shemah Al Hamitah or during Korbanos. Shemah Al Hamitah, when we do not recite the Hasmonean Beis Rabbi entire Shemah? Eli Hyman If you have a question on any topic you would like to have answered, just email us at A) Indeed, contrary to popular opinion one or send a text to should not recite Kel melech neeman if one is 07779579188

Riddle: Who was the first person to die after the Mabul? Answer in next weeks Living Torah Last weeks riddle: On Tishah Bav morning, we all sit on the floor. However, one person in every Shul sits publicly on a chair. Who is he? Answer: The person doing Hagbah. This person lifts the Torah and then sits on a chair and remains sitting with the Torah until the Chazzan takes the Torah and returns it to the Aron.