Applying Mei Klaf (מי קלף) - eitzahs?

up until now i've employed a small cotton swab (q-tip) to apply mei klaf. the advantage is that a little goes a long way. i would also use the same q-tip each time, eventually causing a slightly noticeable mark to form around the area where the mei klaf had dried. i was told this was from particles of dust or dirt that had been on the q-tip.
i'm looking for a new method to apply mei klaf that conserves on the materials (and amount of mei klaf) being used
any advice?


  1. Q-tip is best. Never use the same qtip again.
    Mei-klaf is plastic dissolved in a solvent. When the qtip dries, the plastic accumulates on the cotton. After a few times, too much plastic accumulates, and too much plastic gets deposited on the klaf.

    1. thanks, reb tzvi! btw- i had no idea it was a plastic!

  2. R' Pesach,

    Would you mind explaining the purpose of using mei-klaf? I've seen it advertised, but have never used it myself and so am unclear as to what it actually does.

    1. mei klaf is used for klaf that does not hold the ink very well, causing it to spread or look dull as opposed to those nice, sharp otiyot that we all "chalish" over

      it is a liquid that dries almost immediately on contact with the klaf and creates a bit more traction on the parchment for sharper looking otiyot and for the prevention of negiyot and after a mechika it's good to use as well

    2. Wouldn't something like gum sandarac and some good sanding accomplish the same thing?

  3. There was a time when I thought of developing a better "Mei klaf". I asked Rabbi Wosner and he told me that writing on mei-klaf is like writing on plastic. Big חשש of חציצה. So I dropped the idea.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Doesn't Rav Wosner give a heksher to one of the brands of Mei Klaf now on the market?

  4. that was going to be my next question although after looking in the MB i am mistapek that mei klaf is even considered a chatzitza and here's why:

    first, from the pshat reading of the halacha in the shulchan aruch a chatziza is something that rests in between two points (ie the tefillin and the person's skin)

    second, the MB comments on סימן כז סעיף ד that "מין במינו אינו חוצץ".

    based on the SA and subsequent comment of the MB it is clear that mei klaf could not fit into the category of chatzitza.

    mei klaf does not sit on top of the klaf (so it does not form a barrier between the klaf and the dyo) rather it gets absorbed INTO the klaf, becoming an indistinguishable element of the klaf.

    in other words, since not only is it not visible, it also cannot be separated from the klaf itself, thereby rendering it "מין במינו"

    based on this logic it would seem more of a problem regarding chatzizah is the use of white chalk (or even אבקת עדן) on parchment because it never actually gets absorbed into the klaf and yet, i'm assuming that more people use chalk or powder than mei klaf!!

    1. Plastic and klaf are NOT מין במינו . They are two different and unrelated materials.

      The plastic wraps each fiber of the klaf, so it does not look like a layer on top of the klaf. But, it is a layer covering and wrapping each fiber of the klaf.

      Chalk powder is not a problem if the ink gets through the chalk particles and attaches itself to the fibers of the klaf.

    2. r' zvi

      yes, i know plastic and klaf are different
      however mei klaf is applied to the klaf as a liquid that absorbs into the klaf and becomes indistinguishable (and inseparable from the klaf)
      according to the definition of chatzizah (something that forms a barrier between two objects), MAYBE on a microscopic level there could be something to discuss but l'ein kol there is no chatzizah present
      one could not distinguish between klaf that had been treated with mei klaf and one that was not

      if there was anything else written about the dangers of mei klaf as chatziza i'd look into it more but there are more and more versions of it coming out, including a spray form that's fairly new to the market.

  5. Do you have a reference to any teshuvot or piskei Halacha on mei klaf?


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