Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Here is a letter gimmel with a backwards foot. Since the foot is reversed, do we maintain that this gimmel has lost it's shape? Afterall, in Gemarah Shabbat 104a we have young students describing the shape of the gimmel within the context of the Alef-Bet. There, they describe the Gimmel as having its leg extended towards the Daleth, because it's as one who bestows kindness - "gemol dalim."
That is certainly not the case here, for the foot is certainly facing the other way. However, with respect to the above example, it is still possible that one may argue that the leg is extended towards the Daleth and that, only the foot is backwards. The answer to the above is that in the real world, the leg follows the direction of the foot, and therefore it is still facing away from the Daleth.
The bottom line is that the language of the young students are allusions to the shape of the letters before them at the time. They do not describe real life cases of logic as above. As such, this is a She'elat Hakham. Is there a way to be lenient and correct this gimmel or is it plain passul? Your educated and informed response is always appreciated.