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Back to the
question – a gimel that the left foot is totally connected to the guf, is it
The question of this gimel to my understanding is –
what is the definition of the left foot of the
Alfa Beisa ois
gimel (quoted in BY) basicaly calls the left foot ירך שמאלbut at the end [of his 2nd gimel] writes ויהיה הירך משוך עב אל הגוףbecause this part of the gimmel resembles a nun -
The foot should
be extended thick close to the body – meaning that the left foot should not be
far from the body [pic.1], but close, and extended wide [pic. 2] not thin [pic.
[the illustrations are to explain
the AB, I am not getting into the issue of the slant of this foot, only
regarding the dimension of this foot, and its attachment to the guf! ]
From the above
and the continuation of AB that the left foot should descend lower than the
line, in order to allow the next letter to be close to the head of the gimel,
it is obvious that the gimels foot is extended at least a full kulmus length to the left, sticking left past the
head at least a half kulmus, probably even a bit more!
[possibly the AB's source being the Truma & Hagahot Maimoniot רגל שמאל של גימ"ל ימשוך
foot was also somewhat of a moshav, resembling the moshav of the nun. This is
quite close to the old sefardi csav [velish] that the foot of the gimel was
Note Mor U'ktziya (quoted in Kol Yaacov):
The gimmel - according
Magen David (the Radbaz, a book on tzuras ha'oisios) is vav yud [pic. 4], according Sefer T'muna (there is
printing mistake in KY "v'lasfardim") zayin vav [pic. 5] as in Baruch
Baruch Sh'amar" refers to the AB quoted in BY, so the sefardi picture is
close to the gimel in BY!
[We must explain
why is this called then in the AB (from the gemara shabos 104) ירך שמאל– to limit its
length somewhat?! Difficult!]
Many later ashkenazi poskim skipped the resemblence to [the moshav of] nun,
calling the left foot a yud (as the Magen David, although not a full
sefardi gimmel – the head zayin, instead of vav) – see last Alfa Beisa ois
gimel (p. 261. Rabbi Meshi-Zahav told me that after editing the Baruch Sh'amar-Alfa
Beisa, he later came to a clear conclusion that the last AB is a different
author than the first 4 AB) that this foot resembles a
yud (a factor not mentioned in AB or BY!), levush -
a yud, Pri megadim.
This is the
common ashkenazi script to write the gimels left foot as an upside down yud,
hanging to the guf by the leg of the yud. No ashkenazic scripts in the last 200
years wrote the foot extended as a vav!
So we have 2 gimels,
the modern ashkenazic, the old sefardic. What is the nafka-mina l'hilchasa
between these 2 pictures?
1. The sefardi
gimel – the vav [left foot] may connect totally to the guf (we don’t have a
reason to call it pasul, and indeed there actualy where some sefardi scripts
that wrote the gimmel so), but in the ashkenazi gimel – if the foot/yud is totally
attached it is pasul, because this is exactly like the yudei alfin pein etc.
touching the guf that are pasul (Mikdash M'at).
IE in the sfardi
script the dimension is the length [right-left], in the ashkenazi script the
dimension is hight.
It doesn’t make
sense to say, that any minimum heikar for the gimel is sufficient [and the 2
opinions mentioned are only lechatchila] - because the gemara and poskim call
it "yerech smol" – a distinct limb of the ois, and being totally
attached to the guf would annul its form! Just like in the case of yud ha'alef!
2. Since the
[old] sefardi gimel's dimension is the length, it may be thin [from
top-bottom], but the ashkenazi gimel being a yud "a yerech" has the
law of yerech hai that its minimum measure in height is 1k, otherwise
pasul as in hai (but may be fixed).
This is all based
on the ashkenazic custom that the gimmels left foot is a yerech-yud, and that
the yerech has a minimum measure of Mlo OK. The sefardim argue [maybe not on the
custom, since today all sefardi sofrim write the foot as a yud and not like a
vav, but] in regard the shiyur as absolute measure, as I explained in "common problems in yudim" last month.
This gave me a "Safrut smile"... OK, I realise that this is not Ktav STaM, however it is interesting what happens when graphic/font Hebrew becomes too stylised. Case-in-point, a colleague and I were visiting the mayor's office in the Gaza Belt region of Shaar HaNegev (adjoining Sderot). He is new to reading Hebrew and pronounced the welcome sign as " brooning " or " broobing " (instead of the intended " brookhim ". I replied that he was more correct than the graphic designer, as the letter meant to be a " khaf " was closer to a halakhic "Nun" or "Bet", and had this been Ktav STaM, the letter would likely be considered pasul as a "Khaf".
Both the Shulchan Aruch Harav and the Mishnah Brurah use similar terminology when describing the importance of the shin being "pointy" on the bottom and all three branches of the letter shin meeting at a point or "chad" at the bottom of the letter. There is a strong foundation in Halacha for this and for the bottom of the shin to be flat like a moshav (base) is considered questionable (Pri Megadim) and definitely not Kosher Lechatchillah. It is worse if the moshav is very wide, but it is still questionable if it is lechatchillah if there is a thick noticeable base rather than a chad. Even for Sephardim, who lechatchillah make an angular base, it is still important that the base is indeed on a (significant) angle. If the base is flat, even if all three branches of the shin come out of the base connected , as in the top picture, it is problematic. It is worse in the bottom picture below where the right head/ branch comes out of the right part of the base and the m