Very Interesting Request

I hope everyone had a great Yom Tov,

Someone came to me last week and asked me to write yud kay vov kay of sheim hashem 7 times on seven small pieces of klaf (vertically). When I asked him why, he told me that he has a growth in his throat and a Rabbi / Mekubel in Israel had said to put the 7 pieces of klaf in 7 cups of water so that the ink should mix with the water. He should drink one cup of water each day for a week.

Two questions on this:

1) Would it be a question of mechikas hashem to do this? Or is the fact that it is written vertically remove this chshash.
2) Is it safe to drink water that has ink and klaf soaking in it?

Feedback appreciated


  1. If it is written with Dio Lanetzach, the ink will not dissolve in the water.

    If it is written with the Rambam's Dio Ashan, the ink might dissolve in the water and would be safe, but, probably not kosher to drink because afatzim are not kosher. It should be written with the Rambam's Dio Ashan without the afatzim.

    If it is written with Dio Kankantom it could be a health hazard. Kankantom is not safe to drink.

    1. It was written with regular commercial indian ink, the same type used to write gittin.

      I don't know how much will actually get into the water and most likely it will be bottul. I'm not really worried about kashrus, more about toxicity.

      Also if its a shailo of mechikas hahem....

    2. India ink is alcohol based. As far as I know it does not dissolve in water.

  2. M'chikat Hashem it may well be - after all the intention seems to be to write the Holy name because of this superstition. Growth in the throat - better he should see a doctor and forget about drinking ink. That's what Hashem would want him to do.

  3. While kankatom-based ink is probably not lethal in those small amounts, it isn't exactly healthy either. (I am not a doctor. Just going on a semester of general chemistry and common sense.) The halachic issues I see are: Darkei Ha'Emori and Mechikas Hashem in that order.

  4. Besides, Darkei HaEmori, this is also a serious profanation of "lifnei iver lo titten michshol" - Do not place a stumbling block before the blind - you shall FEAR

    The principle of lifnei iver prohibits one from giving bad advice to another person. Like Mordechai mentions above, this man needs to be directed to see a proper doctor and not to engage in practices similar to that of the pagan Amorite superstitions.

    In addition, the above verse is considered to be a prohibition against helping or causing another to sin. Therefore, I would strongly advise to not become part and accessory to the writing of these parchments.

    The same goes to, selling anything that has the potential of causing harm to others. This is also prohibited. Here the potential harm is not only physical to the person, but also to our own special Jewish tradition. We have labored for thousands of years to uphold proper outlooks and notions that bring light into the world, however, in a few seconds these may end-up denigrated to a level lower than withchcraft and those of the occult arts practiced by primitive medicine men.

    However, in this case, it's much worst, for we end-up associating God's name to it. You shall not do thus to the Lord your God."

    I feel for this man, and pray that he is soon able to find a refuah shelema. Let's help him guide him into the right path and aid him to seek a proper throat specialist. May you be "matzliach."

  5. R' Eli asked two questions:

    For anyone who believes this is a question of Mechikas Hashem, can you please cite your source...?

    As far as I know, such a question is not answered by intuition. It is answered by Halacha.

    1. A source would be appreciated as my gut feeling is that its indeed not a problem of mechikas hashem because it's written vertically

  6. This is similar, albeit not exactly, your situation. I suppose a question is not whether it's mi'ikar hadin assur, but rather whether it's proper.

    שו"ת בצל החכמה חלק ה סימן קנ ד"ה ו) אגב
    ו) אגב אעיר במי שכותב תיבות מסויימות שבראשי תיבות או בסופי תיבות שלהן יש שם קודש, והוא מכוון לכך בעת כתיבתו, יל"ע אם אסור למחוק תיבות או אפילו אחת מתיבות אלו או אפילו רק אחת מראשי תיבות או סופי תיבות הנ"ל, והוא עפ"י המבואר ברמ"א או"ח (סי' רע"א סעי' י') לענין קידוש ליל שבת שכתב ונוהגין לישב אף בשעה שאומר ויכולו רק כשמתחילין עומדין קצת לכבוד השם כי מתחילין יום הששי ויכולו השמים ונרמז השם בר"ת, עכ"ל. ואעפ"י שבאמירתו אינו ניכר כלל השם המרומז בראשי התיבות, אפי"ה שייך לעמוד באמירת תיבות אלו לכבוד השם, ה"נ י"ל בכותב כהנ"ל, אעפ"י שאינו ניכר רמז להשם בכתיבה, שאין למוחקן מפני כבוד השם ועכ"פ שלא לצורך. ברם בכותב אותיות השם שבראשי התיבות או בסופן באותיות גדולות שניכרת בהן כוונתו לכתיבת השם, נראה להנ"ל שאסור למוחקן, והוא נלמד מדברי הרדב"ז שהעתקתי בספרי (ח"ד סי' ק"ה אות ג') שכתב דכל שכותב אות ראשון של השם וכתב על ראשו כגון א' מאלקים י' מהוי' אינו נמחק ע"ש.

  7. In a Teshuva (Salmas Yosef), R' Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld remarks on the writer's practice of writing - in his letter - the Shem Yud Kay , with dashes between the letters. He writes that when the intention is to write Hashem's name (not, for example, some Aramaic form to "to be"), and it is recognizable to the reader, then the use of the dashes accomplishes nothing: he has written a Shem. (I do not have the exact number with me; I have the Sefer at home.) Seems to me that this is comparable.

  8. It's clearly not an issue of erasing a shem. It's not similar to writing a shem with dashes as we're not Chinese, and each line is a totally separate thing.

    As pointed out by Rav Tzvi, it could be written with dio ashan. Also, since we're not worried about the permanency of the ink, you could technically write it with any vegan ink or vegan ink recipe.

    The real question is whether you should get involved in these kinds of possible charlatan kabbalists. I'd say in this situation to do it for several reasons:

    1) Perhaps the segula has a source.
    2) Perhaps the person's belief will help, even if the "kabbalist" is a charlatan.
    3) If the person doesn't do it and the medical issue gets worse, he'll always think, "if only I had done the segula."

    But, I would, as a sofer, advise him that these segulos often don't work, and insist that he must also see a doctor.

    People respect sofrim more than we realise, and advice from a sofer may be taken very seriously.

  9. In not sure that it's so clear. Did you the teshuva I posted?


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