Left foot of gimel #3

Back to the question – a gimel that the left foot is totally connected to the guf, is it kosher?

The question of this gimel to my understanding is –

what is the definition of the left foot of the gimel?

Alfa Beisa ois gimel (quoted in BY) basicaly calls the left foot  ירך שמאל  but at the end [of his 2nd gimel] writes ויהיה הירך משוך עב אל הגוף because 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. 3].

[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 ביותר]

Accordingly, this 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 long [right-left].

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 Sh'amar.

"as in 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.


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  2. i would like to comment on tyour earlier post
    "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."

    Rabbi Greenfeld from Vaad Mishmeres STa"M told me that the tshuvos maharam ben chaviv miksav yad quoted by the shaarei tshuva was already printed as sefer KOL GADOL.HERE IS THE LINK

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  4. thanks
    I looked it up - the maharam there: the gimel ashkenazi looks like a nun sfaradi. which therefore is pasul for sfaradi. Somewhat an opposite case of what i'm talking about, but proves that shinuyim between the csavim that are posel may occur. If so there is no machalokes between the maharam and NB.
    yasher koiach

  5. but he doesnt picturize or explain there, why the ashkenaz gimel looks like a nun - maybe, since in BY the regel should resemble a nun, although there was a pgima between - hard to accept.
    I do recall somebody that explained in the BY יהיה ירך משוך עב אליה - אל הגוף meaning that it was mamash touching the guf, like the first pictures on the post,
    obviously today we would pasel that as a nun, maybe thats what maharam saw?


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