I was checking a mezuzah yesterday, in the word ירבו the ב' has a little tiny Chut hasara that seems to connect to the roof giving it a possible appearance of a ם. Although I must say it is not so noticeable by the naked eye, however I did catch it without a magnifier glass. The Mezuzah is 10 cm big, to give you an idea of how small it would be.

This was the Rabbi"s answer;

צריך הבחנת תינוק, ע"י כיסוי האות וי"ו שלאחריו

 Los Angeles


  1. Can I ask which Rov gave this answer? I think it is an excellent teshuvah, particularly the need to cover the vov at the end. I assume the logic there is that if the tinuk there sees the vov at the end of the word he will know that its supposed to be a beis and not a mem stumah, since a mem stumah appears only at the end of a word.

  2. The Rav was Dovid Greenfeld of Mishmerit Hastam, I will say that I did ask a Tinuk and he called it a final Mem.
    I believe the nimuk of the Rav was that only by Hai and Kuf that are touching the roof even kichut Hasara does it say a Tinuk does not help. Implying that by other letters a Sheilas Tinuk does help. See The Sefer Osios HaRav from Rabbi Moshe Weiner page 169.

  3. I am writing this while out so I don't have sefarim to confirm I've got the right sources but as I understand it regarding hey and kuf it's clear from משנה ברורה ל״ב that they differ from other letters as they need to be inherently separate entities and even if tzurat ha'ot is recognized you can't fix it.

    I have a question - would it be applicable to apply the principle mishna berura brings in the name of Magen Avraham (i think this source is right, again no sefarim ATM) that if the thickness is that much different then the Chut is כמאן דלית ליה דמי and can be scrapped away?

  4. Ari
    I think you meant the Biur Halacha 32:18 דיבור המתחיל כשר there the MB debates the issue in the name of the Gaon m'Vilna. He is speaking there basicaly about a sefer tora that perhaps doesnt have to be replaced because a ngiya k'chut hasara of the ha. In regard to permit in tefilin or mzuza (and kal v'chomer)Sefer tora to fix by scraping the ngiya, nobody today permits such scraping and this is considered pasul because chok tochos.
    I didnt understand the reference to magen avraham, and what you wrote: "that if the thickness is that much different then the Chut is כמאן דלית ליה דמי"
    and your question: can be scrapped away?
    did you question the beis resembling a mem that dovid showed, or the ha itself?

  5. Yes Biur Halacha thanks, I knew it was one or the other but couldn't remember exactly.

    For the Magen Avraham I was referring to 32:18 דיבור המתחיל פסול where he writes that the yud of an aleph that is touching the guf is only pasul when its the עצם of the yud itself and not the kotz because even without the kotz the yud is still kosher (MB adds that it should still be scraped and separated).

    I learnt from my teacher that it could be possible to say from this that whenever there's a negia where there shouldn't be (eg yudim of aleph, shin etc or even the rosh of the tet, although I know it's a whole other story) if the negia is substantial, ie the guf of a yud or the guf of the kefifa of the tet, then it's pasul gamur but if the negia is very very thin like a kotz and there's a big contrast between it and the letter then it could be scraped away.

    I hope I haven't misunderstood!

    My question is would this apply in this case since a) it really is thin kechut hasaara and b) there's a tiny tiny space at the top of the 'negia' so it's not really touching the gag?

  6. Ari thanks for explaining, but the issues are not equal - the kotz of the alef mentioned by the MA doesnt cause a shinui-tzura [at least to another letter], but in the shayla given the beis (after shaylas tinok that read it as a mem) has changed/lost its tzura, it is not a beis. Scraping it into shape is a classical chok tochos.
    Also it doesnt realy matter if the ngiya is closing the gap totaly till the gag, making it into a kosher mem stuma, or there still was left a tiny gap - since according to definition (shaylas tinok) it is a mem.

    In regard to Dovids comment:
    "I believe the nimuk of the Rav was that only by Hai and Kuf that are touching the roof even kichut Hasara does it say a Tinuk does not help. Implying that by other letters a Sheilas Tinuk does help."
    I think this is a mistake, the rav meant to ask a tinok which letter it is, since it was a safek in our eyes. But if it was clear to our vision, that it was a mem (regardless if the chut was touching or not) it would be pasul and forbidden to scrape because of chok tochos.

    But the difference Dovid meant to say, is: In our case the whole question was did the beis change into another letter or not, in regard to a hai, (obviously if the chut is close to touching in a hai, it will be the same shayla is it a hai or ches) and a kuf, there is an additional problem - although it is obvious to the sight which letters they are, when there is a full ngiya, then they are pasul and cannot be scraped. This is an extra chumra of the hallacha in regard to these 2 letters.

  7. Also what dovid wrote: "See The Sefer Osios HaRav from Rabbi Moshe Weiner page 169."
    I think this comment was meant for his later shayla - about a low quality mezuza with a yud like a hanging J. Therefore i relocated his comment there.

  8. I want to clarify what I wrote, certainly the reason why the Rabbi said Shailos Tinok was to see if in the Tinok's eyes the letter is a ב or something else (in this case a final Mem). If it was clearly touching even Cichut Hasara for sure it is posul and unfix able, here the question was because it is not clearly touching.
    We cannot be meikel if the tinok reads it as anything but a beis.
    However asking a tinuk is still a (bigger leniency- for lack of words) than out right possuling the Mezuza without the need to ask a tinuk.
    If such a similar Safek would have taken place with a Kuf or Hai we would not even have had the option for Shailos Tinuk, even if the tinok calls it a hei or a kuf. I was referring to the top of page 169.
    The sheila of the Yud looking like a hanging j is also on page 169.

    Chag Sameach


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