פורום בינלאומי לנושא סת"ם

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Left foot of gimel #2

In regard to the question in the last post - can it be that a ois that is kosher for sfardim be pasul for ashkenazim (or opposite).

The Shaarei Tshuva OC36 quotes Sfardi Poskim that csav ashkenaz is pasul for sfardim, since there are shinuyim between the csavim. He (the ST, I didn’t look up the seforim he quotes) doesn’t mention what/which shinuyim are m'akev, that are pasul for Bnei Sfarad.

The Noda B'yehuda vol 1 YD 80 writes that changes in csav from what is written in BY as csav ashkenaz, isnt m'akev, since anything that isn't mentioned in the talmud, isnt m'akev (it isnt clear if the NB means that anything mentioned is always m'akev, or that at least what is mentioned may be m'akev - if the talmud says so). The NB writes: notice that csav velish is different from csav ashkenaz. This meant that csav velish is accepted for an ashkenazi. (I would think this may argue with the ST mentioned).

But this is a general statement - not every change can be accepted, bnei ashkenaz have accepted the psak of Rabenu Tam (see Rema 32:4) that "kotzo shel yud m'akev" is refering to the lower left kotz, against Rashis interpretation that the g'mara refers to the regel of the yud. But sfardim never accepted RT's view l'ekuva – it isnt mentioned in the SA. So old sfardi csavim may be found without Kotz RT and are kosher for sfardim (see Yeriot Shlomo p. 276, footnote 4), and pasul for ashkenazim.


See Shut Zemach Zedek (OC 18) in regard to kaf pshuta that is squared, the poskim argue. Many ashkenazic poskim say its pasul (Baruch Sh'amar, Maharil, Magen Avraham, SA Harav), against this Sefardi poskim say that not only that it is kosher, but many Sfardi sofrim wrote the kaf pshuta l'chatchila square.

The Zemach Zedek writes that this is not a subject from the talmud, since there is no talmudic source to pasel a kaf pshuta that is square (I understand his final understanding that this is an ashkenazic custom to pasel the kaf, but is not truly based on the talmud).

One may note also the controversial issue on zadi of arizal, the yud turned backwards [to the right]. The Chazon Ish held it was pasul for ashkenazim, since according Baruch Sh'amar its pasul. The CI admitted that the sfardim are custom to this zadi, so it is kosher for sefardim, and only pasul for ashkenazim because of their custom to follow csav BY & Baruch Sh'amar.

Without getting into the controversial issue of the arizal's zadi – we see a common idea from Zemach Zedek and Chazon Ish, that it is possible for one community to pasel anothers csav – because of the minhag.


I would summarize:

It is possible for ashkenaz or sefard to pasel the csav of the other community, for one of 2 reasons.

1. A hallachic dispute between sfardi / ashknazi Poskim which according to one shita is pasul – exa. kotz RT.

2. A minhag accepted by one community, exa. caf pshuta squared.


The issue of the gimel will be continued bezras hashem, in another post.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Another example of (yesh omrim) posul to an ashkenazi and kosher for a Sfardi would be a ב which is rounded like a reish on the top of the letter -Shut Beish Shlomo.
    Concerning the psak of the Chazon Ish, I read in Tshuvas Vehanhagos (Rav Shternbach), that he latter admitted that he was chazar bo in his psak. (I thought his main problem was based on the taina of the Gr"a).
    What is a svara to posul based only "on a minhag accepted by one community" seemingly if the letter looks good, the shulchan Aruch does not make any issue about it how can a minhag posul it? I am not questioning the authority of the Rabbis to do it, but it seems quite novel.

  3. I didn't mean that the rabbis decided to make a minhag - rather it became custom in the ashkenaz community, not to accept some shinuy as kosher, for example since the Baruch Sh'amar wrote that kaf mruba is pasul, it had been accepted as custom/hallacha.
    Another issue as this, also from Baruch Sh'amar, that the left foot of the hai must stand at the left, if it is in the center of the hai it is pasul (see BS p. 97 that this isn't explicit - pasul, but the MA 32:33 considers it pasul) and the final psak in SA Harav 32:37 "since this isn't mentioned in the talmud".

    I didn't mean a community in the minimal meaning - rather the whole or main body of ashkenaz or sfarad community.

    Even if the CI was chozer bo in regard to a detail [the zadi], that isn't the point, the point was the possibilty of an accepted pasul, although not stemming from correct hallachic basis, but basicaly from the custom.

  4. I understood it meant the Ashkenaz community in general etc.. I was not so clear.

    Concerning the Chazon Ish, I forgot to write " on a side note.." I know it was not the focus of your essay.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.