Shiyur Moshav of the lamed

The MB 32:42 quotes the Pri Megadim that the law of shiyur Mlo Ois Ketana is applicable to other letters also [although this shiyur was mentioned in gemara and SA in regard to hai, the hai is only an example] as dalet, lamed, pei pshuta, zadi pshuta, kuf, reish, tav, or ches [the MB explains: l'ch'ora the PM meant either right or left foot of the ches] if a shiyur in the length of the foot as a yud [MOK] was left, it is acceptable. [till here the quote from PM. The MB Continues:] ועיין לקמן see in siman 36 in the laws of zuras haosiyos [the elaboration of Mishnat Sofrim on the PM's words] in letters lamed, pei pshuta, zadi pshuta, kuf, and tav.


I find the words of the MB very deep and important l'hallacha, and although quite arguable, when studying what the MB is teaching, we may appreciate his logic.

All that I'm writing in this post, is explaining my understanding of the MB's shita, only. I am not regarding if this opinion is accepted/argued by other Poskim.


The Biur Hallacha on MS ois lamed: it is impossible to explain the PM in regard to the right line of the lamed, since a lamed lacking the moshav is not an ois, therefore the PM must mean the bottom line – the moshav must have a min. shiyur 1k.

(Note Biur Hasofer p. 70 questions the MB's explanation of PM. A. Who said that the PM didn’t mean the right line of the lamed, like the other letters [as a sefardi lamed], but the moshav is not m'akev at all. B. The Baruch Sh'amar quotes R. Todros Halevi that the lameds guf is a dalet.

A. I think that although worth an argument, the MB takes the pshat in BY that the basic build of the lamed is caf and vav, just like the MB quotes an argument if the top is a yud instead of vav there are those that posel, the same is in regard to the guf, if the guf isn't at all a caf, it isn't a lamed at all.

B. The Baruch Sh'amar (p. 118) wrote clearly "that this zura [the guf being a dalet] has been lost" and the custom is to follow the kabala of R. Yehuda Hachasid that the lamed is round [like a caf, not square as dalet]. And the AB writes clearly from S. Hatmuna that the guf is a caf. Since this is the custom, a change from that would be pasel, unaccepted!)


The MS on ois Pai Pshuta: the meaning of the PM is the foot extending after the nekuda of the pai, must be min. 1k, because if measured from the gag of the pai, it isn't a letter at all. (the MB uses the same logic as above to force an understanding in the PM).


The MS on ois Zadi Pshuta: the PM explains that the shiyur MOK starts after the connection of the yud to the guf.


The MS on ois Kuf: the meaning of the PM is in regard to the left foot, but not the total length of the foot – since that definitly is pasul, resembling mamash a hai, but to the extension of the left foot after the moshav of the right side, IE 1k under the line.

[The MS could not explain the PM in regard to the right foot, since the kuf must have a moshav, so therefore there is no possibility for a shiyur of MOK for the right foot.

The BH on kuf: explains that the kuf's moshav doesn't have a shiyur (not like the lamed that has a min. shiyur of its moshav), but there must be a moshav somewhat, but if the guf is only a reish, it is pasul].


The MS on ois Tav: (quotes the PM) If one made the left foot tiny as a yud bent inwards as a pai … (it seems that if its bent outward, its kosher – because it has a shiyur MOK. But if the left foot would be shorter than 1k, it would be pasul).

(Although, I don’t think that this was the MB 32 reference to the tav, rather for what the MS wrote that the shiyur of regel yemin of tav is MOK, so therefore even l'chatchila if left this min. shiyur its kosher).


The MB 32 in his reference to MS tzuras hoisiyos [quote above] is not only giving further reference to the issue – but explaining the PM, since there is difficulty in understanding the PM.

How did the PM get from MOK in the foot of the hai to all these different extensions, the pai & zadi pshutim – definitly don’t resemble the hai?


The PM quoted by MB 32:47 writes that other letters like nun and caf pshuta (don’t have the shiyur MOK) because they if short resemble other letters (the nun – zayin, caf – reish). From this we understand that the PM is teaching that all ends (feet, extensions) of letters – are governed by the hallacha of MOK. IE, there is a shiyur for [these parts of the] letters, either MOK as the examples he gave, or Shaylas tinok as vav, nun and caf pshuta.


So the MB elaborates explaining the examples given by PM, to several chidushim that aren't at all the same, but the equality is that the extension/end of a letter has to have a shiyur MOK.


The dalet and reish may seem to be pashut – no chidush.


Ches – MOK in regard to both feet, left as right. The chidush - although this is the hallacha for a hai's left foot as its right, but in hai the left one is separate – although the left foot of ches is connected to the guf, it doesn’t matter, the shiyur must be MOK no less.


Lamed – if we explain the PM that MOK regards the right line of the guf, and a moshav is not meakev [although the PM is presenting a chidush l'hallacha], this is not relating to the subject of MOK, [but a chidush in defining the bdieved tzuras ha-lamed] – the MB says this teaches that the end of the lamed (according to the MB that a moshav is me'akev, because it is the guf of a caf, so it) must have a minimum shiyur = MOK.


Pai & zadi pshutim – although these are not mamash the foot of an ois, they are the ends, and the MB explains from which part we measure/consider the shiyur MOK.


Kuf – the MB in BH holds that although the moshav is meakev it has no shiyur, (it may be like the regel of a yud that doesn't have a shiyur) but why can't he explain that the right foot above the moshav must be min. shiyur MOK, and that this was cavanas HaPri Megadim??

I think that the MB probably holds that the min. highth of the right line of a kuf [as a lamed] are MOK, but this is not what the PM is teaching – because these parts are not the end of the letters, so they don't fit in the concept of MOK given to the foot or end/extension parts.

Therefore the kuf means – the left foot. The chidush is that the shiyur does not apply to the total length of the foot, because it could not be MOK only [that would definitly be pasul], but to the extending part under the kfifa [of the moshav].


Tav - the PM is relating to the right foot, not the left foot! Because the left foots part that is connected to the gag, isn't the end of the letter, since it continues to bend outward [same rationale as the right foot of the kuf, explained above].

But, the PM and MB do mention by the way - if the left foot was short as a yud and bent inward etc… Why did they have to mention its length (as a yud)?? Coudn't they just give the point, that a short left foot bent inward would resemble a pai??

We learn BTW that they indeed hold that the left foot [although not included in the class/category as explained] must be a MOK in height. But why??


Bezras hashem to be continued.


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