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Kotaiv
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# Writing any kind of letter or symbol (that represents some idea) is forbidden under Kotaiv. <Ref> Rambam Shabbat 11:9 </ref>
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[[Writing on Shabbat]] is one of the 39 primary melachot of [[Shabbat]]. <ref> Mishna [[Shabbat]] 7:2, Daf 73a. Rashi 73a says that writing is counted among the melachot because in the mishkan they would write on each board of the Mishkan in order to return it to its correct place whenever the Mishkan was reassembled </ref> The topic of [[erasing on Shabbat]] is dealt with on a its own page.
# Affixing letters to a surface is also considered Kotaiv. <Ref> Magan Avraham 340:10, Mishna Brurah 340:22 (8) </ref>Examples include:  
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==Definition==
*    Attaching letters to a wallpaper,  
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# One who writes two letters on [[shabbat]] is chayav for the melacha of kotaiv<ref> Rambam Hilchos Shabbos 11:9. </ref>, but if one letter is significant enough that qualifies as well. <ref> The Mishna in Masechet [[Shabbat]] 73a writes that the prohibited melacha is for two letters but the gemara 104b says if it is one letter that finishes off the book, you are also obligated. The Avnei Nezer 201 explains that this is because it gives it significance. </ref>   
*    Placing magnetic letters to a board
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# The letters must have some particular meaning. For example, drawing a random line on a paper would not be considered an act of kosaiv, but nevertheless it is forbidden on a rabbinic level.<ref> S”A 340:24 </ref>
*    Arranging edible letters onto a cake.  
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# Writing any kind of letter or symbol (that represents some idea) is forbidden under Kotaiv. <Ref> Rambam [[Shabbat]] 11:9. Beiur Halacha 340:4  b'mashkin writes that based on [[Shabbat]] Yerushalmi 7:2 that if you draw a picture you are liable </ref> There is a dispute how to classify drawing designs. <ref> Rambam (Shabbos 11:17) considers Roshem to be a toldah of kosaiv , while Rashi (Shabbos 103 s.v. mishum) explains the opinion of Rabbi Yose differently. Mishna Brurah 340:22 codifies the Rambam. </ref>  
*    Snapping Scrabble letter tiles into fitted groves
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# Affixing letters to a surface is also considered Kotaiv. <Ref> Magen Avraham 340:10, Mishna Brurah 340:22 (8) </ref>Examples include:  
# However if the letters exist on a surface already it’s permissible to arrange them in an order. <Ref> Sh”t Igrot Moshe O”C 1:135 </ref>Examples include:
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## Attaching letters to a wallpaper,  
*    Arranging number cards in front of the shul to show congregants the correct page number  
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## Placing magnetic letters to a board
*    Lining up numbers of a combination lock <ref> Tzitz Eliezer vol 13 Siman 44, Bezel Chachma vol Siman 78, Shevet HaKehati vol 2 Siman 153, Shalmei Yehuda 3:!6 in the name of Rav Elyashiv Shlita, Mishnat Halachot vol  5 Siman 48, Chelkat Yacov vol 3 Siman 150, Divrei Shalom vol 4 Siman 51 </ref>
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## Arranging edible letters onto a cake.  
*    Playing a game that entails placing numbered tiles adjacent to one another
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## Snapping Scrabble letter tiles into fitted groves
# If ink or wax fell on writing one should not erase the ink or wax because that would be erasing in order to write. <Ref> Mishna Brurah 340:10 </ref>
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# However, if the letters exist on a surface already it’s permissible to arrange them in an order. <Ref> Sh”t Igrot Moshe O”C 1:135 </ref>Examples include:
*    If this is found in a Torah during Torah reading, if one can read the letter through the wax the Torah is fit to be read, but if it’s not readable some say to take out another Torah and some say just to read that word by heart. <Ref> Yabea Omer vol. 4 Orach Chaim 15:3, Mishna Brurah 340:10 </ref>
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## Arranging number cards in front of the shul to show congregants the correct page number  
*    Another example where erasing is forbidden on account of writing is where one erases one letter to form another letter or erasing one letter to form two letters such as separating an m into two n’s. <ref> Mishna Brurah 340:22(4) </ref>
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## Lining up numbers of a combination lock <ref> Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer 13:44, Sh"t Bitzel Hachochma vol Siman 78, Shevet HaKehati 2:153, Shalmei Yehuda 3:16 in the name of Rav Elyashiv, Mishnat Halachot 5:48, Chelkat Yaakov 3:150, Divrei Shalom 4:51 </ref>
# If letters or pictures are written on the side of pages of a book, it’s permissible to open and close the book. However it’s correct to be strict if you have another book and it’s preferable not to write on the sides of books.  <Ref> Birkei Yosef 340:5, Leviat Chen 120, Tzitz Eliezer vol. 13 Siman 44, Vayesh Moshe vol 1 Siman 65. </ref>
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## Playing a game that entails placing numbered tiles adjacent to one another
# If a book ripped in the place of words, it’s permissible to place the pieces next to one another to read it if one doesn’t have another of these books. <Ref> Mishnat Halachot vol 6 Siman 89, Beir Moshe vol 6 Siman 125, Shemirat Shabbat KeHalacha 28:3, Igrot Moshe Y”D vol 2 Siman 75 D”H “VeDvar HaDaf” </ref>
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#It is only forbidden by the torah if the writing is permanent, but even if it is temporary it is forbidden by the rabbis. <ref> Shulchan Aruch 340:4 quoting the Or Zarua 76 that non-permanent ink is forbidden midirabanan. </ref>
# One can brake a cake or cookie that has words printed in or on it if the writing is made of the food itself, but if the letters are made of food coloring or hard sugar one should be strict to brake the letters only in one’s mouth as one eats, nonetheless there is what to rely on to be lenient. <Ref> Sh”t Yabea Omer O”C 4:38, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 11:20, Sh”t Beir Moshe 6:92, Sh”t Az Nidabru 10:8 Sh”t Vayeshev Moshe 1:4 </ref>
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==In the Mishkan==
# It’s permissible to use a thermometer for which letters appear if the person has fever and when it’s removed from the person the letters disappear. [A digital thermometer is forbidden because using it completes an electric circuit.] <ref> Sh”t Yechva Daat 4:29, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 14:30 concludes that if a regular thermometer is available one shouldn’t use this type of thermometer, Minchat Ahava 22:19, Kinyan Torah 3:39 </ref>
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# The act of writing was used in the Mishkan to identify the position of each of the kerashim (planks). This was accomplished by inscribing a symbol on each keresh.<ref> Shabbos 103b </ref> Alternatively, the act of writing was needed to keep track of money and valuable materials that were being donated for the building of the mishkan.<ref> Avnei Neizer 199:10 </ref>
# It’s permissible to walk in shoes that have words etched into the soles that form words when walking on dirt or snow. <Ref> Yabea Omer O”C 5:28, Az Nidaberu 8:21, Beir Sharim 2:67, 3:38:3.  </ref>
 
# One can be lenient to wipe with tissue that has words not of sanctity in languages other than Hebrew. <Ref> Yabea Omer O”C 5:29, Az Nidaberu 1 pg 164#129, Rivivot Efraim 1:257 related to throwing paper with words on it in water. </ref>
 
# It’s forbidden to write on a table with liquids on his finger.  <Ref> S”A 340:4, Mishna Brurah 340:19 </ref>
 
# It’s forbidden to write letters in fog or steam. <ref> Mishna Brurah 340:20 </ref>
 
# Fingerprinting (dipping one’s finger into ink and then placing it on paper) is forbidden as it forms a meaningful image. <Ref> Shemirat Shabbat KeHalachata 41:75, Eretz Tzvi Siman 71,Yeshuot Moshe 1:70, Shuirim Metzuiim BeHalacha 80:55, Chelekat Yakov 3:25, Nachalat Ezra Hadaya O”C 1:7, Vayeshev Moshe 1:62 </ref>
 
# One can mark (not in the form a letter) a parchment by the press his nail because it doesn’t last, yet it’s preferable not because some forbid this. <Ref> S”A 340:5, Birkei Yosef 340:5 that Or Zaruah and Smak forbid, Beir Halacha D”H “Mutar”  </ref> According to everyone it’s forbidden to mark a paper as it’s soft and the mark will last. <Ref> Mishna Brurah 340:25 </ref>
 
# One may fold the page of a book to mark the place even if the crease leaves a lasting mark. <Ref> Menuchat Ahava 22:25, Shevet Hakehati 1:130 writes that it’s better not to fold the pages even during the week so as not to disrespect the sefer. Rivivot Efraim 1:223 (11) </ref>
 
# One may signal in the air, water or on a dry board in the form of letters if it doesn’t leave any mark. <Ref> Rama 340:4, Mishna Brurah 340:22, Shar Tzion 340:28 </ref>
 
# Taking a photograph is forbidden as it draws an image, but one does not have to avoid being in a picture taken by a non-Jew for his own purposes. <Ref> Mayim CHaim O”C 1: 145, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 16:26, Rivivot Efraim 3:230 </ref>
 
  
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==Forms of writing==
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# It’s forbidden to write on a table with liquids on his finger.  <Ref> S”A 340:4, Mishna Brurah 340:19 </ref>
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# It’s forbidden to write letters in fog or steam. <ref> Mishna Brurah 340:20 </ref>
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# Fingerprinting (dipping one’s finger into ink and then placing it on paper) is forbidden as it forms a meaningful image.  <Ref> Shemirat [[Shabbat]] KeHalachata 41:75, Eretz Tzvi Siman 71,Yeshuot Moshe 1:70, Shuirim Metzuyanim BeHalacha 80:55, Chelkat Yakov 3:25, Nachalat Ezra Hadaya O”C 1:7, Vayeshev Moshe 1:62 </ref>
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# One may signal in the air, water or on a dry board in the form of letters if it doesn’t leave any mark. <Ref> Rama 340:4, Mishna Brurah 340:22, Shar Tzion 340:28 </ref>
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==Pictures==
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# Taking a photograph is forbidden as it draws an image, but one does not have to avoid being in a picture taken by a non-Jew for his own purposes. <Ref> Mayim Chaim O”C 1: 145, Shemirat [[Shabbat]] KeHilchata 16:26, Rivivot Efraim 3:230 </ref>
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# Regarding walking in an area where there is a surveillance camera, see [[Electronics on Shabbat]].
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==Books==
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# One may mark (not in the form a letter) a parchment by pressing one's nail on the parchment because it doesn’t last, yet it’s preferable not to do this because some authorities forbid this. <Ref> S”A 340:5, Birkei Yosef 340:5 that Or Zaruah and Smak forbid, Beiur Halacha s.v. “Mutar”  </ref> However, all opinions agree that it’s forbidden to mark a paper as it’s soft and the mark will last. <Ref> Mishna Brurah 340:25 </ref>
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# One may fold the page of a book to mark the place even if the crease leaves a lasting mark. <Ref> Menuchat Ahava 22:25, Shevet Hakehati 1:130 writes that it’s better not to fold the pages even during the week so as not to disrespect the sefer. see also Rivivot Efraim 1:223 (11) </ref>
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# If a page in a book ripped where words are written, it’s permissible to place the pieces next to one another in order to read it, if one doesn’t have another copy of that book. <Ref> Mishnat Halachot vol 6 Siman 89, Sh"t Be'er Moshe 6:125, Shemirat [[Shabbat]] KeHalichata 28:2, Igrot Moshe Y”D vol 2 Siman 75 s.v. “VeDvar HaDaf” </ref>
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# If pages were stuck together by glue or some or material (like water) then it depends; if the pages are stuck in a place of letters, it’s forbidden to pull them apart because in doing so one breaks the letters, however, if the pages are stuck in a place of no letters, it’s permissible to pull the pages apart. <Ref>Shemirat [[Shabbat]] KeHilchata 28:1 </ref>
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===Writing on the Side of Books===
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{{Writing on the Side of Books}}
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==Other Practical Examples==
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# It’s permissible to walk in shoes that have words etched into the soles that form words when walking on dirt or snow. <Ref> Yabia Omer O”C 5:28, Az Nidaberu 8:21, Beir Sharim 2:67, 3:38:3.  </ref>
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# One can be lenient to wipe with tissue that has words not of sanctity in languages other than Hebrew. <Ref> Sh"t Yabia Omer O”C 5:29, Az Nidberu 1 pg 164#129, Sh"t Rivivot Efraim 1:257 related to throwing paper with words on it in water. </ref>
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# It’s permissible to use a thermometer for which letters appear if the person has fever and when it’s removed from the person the letters disappear. [A digital thermometer is forbidden because using it completes an electric circuit.] <ref> Sh”t Yechave Daat 4:29, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 14:30 concludes that if a regular thermometer is available one shouldn’t use this type of thermometer, Minchat Ahava 22:19, Kinyan Torah 3:39 </ref>
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# Regarding putting together a jigsaw puzzle on [[Shabbat]], see [[Games on Shabbat]].
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==Links==
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* [http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/734630/Rabbi_Michael_Taubes/Writing_on_Shabbat_ Writing on Shabbat] by Rabbi Michael Taubes
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* Article on [http://www.yeshiva.co/midrash/shiur.asp?cat=296&id=20615&q= Writing on Shabbat] by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Kaganoff
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* Article on [http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/744329/Rabbi_Josh_Flug/The_Melacha_of_Writing_on_Shabbat The Melacha of Writing on Shabbat] by Rabbi Josh Flug
 
==Sources==
 
==Sources==
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
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[[Category:Orach Chaim]]
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[[Category:Shabbat]]

Latest revision as of 16:01, 30 March 2015

Writing on Shabbat is one of the 39 primary melachot of Shabbat. [1] The topic of erasing on Shabbat is dealt with on a its own page.

Definition

  1. One who writes two letters on shabbat is chayav for the melacha of kotaiv[2], but if one letter is significant enough that qualifies as well. [3]
  2. The letters must have some particular meaning. For example, drawing a random line on a paper would not be considered an act of kosaiv, but nevertheless it is forbidden on a rabbinic level.[4]
  3. Writing any kind of letter or symbol (that represents some idea) is forbidden under Kotaiv. [5] There is a dispute how to classify drawing designs. [6]
  4. Affixing letters to a surface is also considered Kotaiv. [7]Examples include:
    1. Attaching letters to a wallpaper,
    2. Placing magnetic letters to a board
    3. Arranging edible letters onto a cake.
    4. Snapping Scrabble letter tiles into fitted groves
  5. However, if the letters exist on a surface already it’s permissible to arrange them in an order. [8]Examples include:
    1. Arranging number cards in front of the shul to show congregants the correct page number
    2. Lining up numbers of a combination lock [9]
    3. Playing a game that entails placing numbered tiles adjacent to one another
  6. It is only forbidden by the torah if the writing is permanent, but even if it is temporary it is forbidden by the rabbis. [10]

In the Mishkan

  1. The act of writing was used in the Mishkan to identify the position of each of the kerashim (planks). This was accomplished by inscribing a symbol on each keresh.[11] Alternatively, the act of writing was needed to keep track of money and valuable materials that were being donated for the building of the mishkan.[12]

Forms of writing

  1. It’s forbidden to write on a table with liquids on his finger. [13]
  2. It’s forbidden to write letters in fog or steam. [14]
  3. Fingerprinting (dipping one’s finger into ink and then placing it on paper) is forbidden as it forms a meaningful image. [15]
  4. One may signal in the air, water or on a dry board in the form of letters if it doesn’t leave any mark. [16]

Pictures

  1. Taking a photograph is forbidden as it draws an image, but one does not have to avoid being in a picture taken by a non-Jew for his own purposes. [17]
  2. Regarding walking in an area where there is a surveillance camera, see Electronics on Shabbat.

Books

  1. One may mark (not in the form a letter) a parchment by pressing one's nail on the parchment because it doesn’t last, yet it’s preferable not to do this because some authorities forbid this. [18] However, all opinions agree that it’s forbidden to mark a paper as it’s soft and the mark will last. [19]
  2. One may fold the page of a book to mark the place even if the crease leaves a lasting mark. [20]
  3. If a page in a book ripped where words are written, it’s permissible to place the pieces next to one another in order to read it, if one doesn’t have another copy of that book. [21]
  4. If pages were stuck together by glue or some or material (like water) then it depends; if the pages are stuck in a place of letters, it’s forbidden to pull them apart because in doing so one breaks the letters, however, if the pages are stuck in a place of no letters, it’s permissible to pull the pages apart. [22]

Writing on the Side of Books

  1. Many poskim hold that it is permitted to open a book on Shabbat even though it has letters or pictures on the side of the pages of the book; if, however, there is another similar book available without letters on the side, one should use that one. Also, it’s preferable not to write on the sides of books in order to avoid this issue. [23]

Other Practical Examples

  1. It’s permissible to walk in shoes that have words etched into the soles that form words when walking on dirt or snow. [24]
  2. One can be lenient to wipe with tissue that has words not of sanctity in languages other than Hebrew. [25]
  3. It’s permissible to use a thermometer for which letters appear if the person has fever and when it’s removed from the person the letters disappear. [A digital thermometer is forbidden because using it completes an electric circuit.] [26]
  4. Regarding putting together a jigsaw puzzle on Shabbat, see Games on Shabbat.

Links

Sources

  1. Mishna Shabbat 7:2, Daf 73a. Rashi 73a says that writing is counted among the melachot because in the mishkan they would write on each board of the Mishkan in order to return it to its correct place whenever the Mishkan was reassembled
  2. Rambam Hilchos Shabbos 11:9.
  3. The Mishna in Masechet Shabbat 73a writes that the prohibited melacha is for two letters but the gemara 104b says if it is one letter that finishes off the book, you are also obligated. The Avnei Nezer 201 explains that this is because it gives it significance.
  4. S”A 340:24
  5. Rambam Shabbat 11:9. Beiur Halacha 340:4 b'mashkin writes that based on Shabbat Yerushalmi 7:2 that if you draw a picture you are liable
  6. Rambam (Shabbos 11:17) considers Roshem to be a toldah of kosaiv , while Rashi (Shabbos 103 s.v. mishum) explains the opinion of Rabbi Yose differently. Mishna Brurah 340:22 codifies the Rambam.
  7. Magen Avraham 340:10, Mishna Brurah 340:22 (8)
  8. Sh”t Igrot Moshe O”C 1:135
  9. Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer 13:44, Sh"t Bitzel Hachochma vol Siman 78, Shevet HaKehati 2:153, Shalmei Yehuda 3:16 in the name of Rav Elyashiv, Mishnat Halachot 5:48, Chelkat Yaakov 3:150, Divrei Shalom 4:51
  10. Shulchan Aruch 340:4 quoting the Or Zarua 76 that non-permanent ink is forbidden midirabanan.
  11. Shabbos 103b
  12. Avnei Neizer 199:10
  13. S”A 340:4, Mishna Brurah 340:19
  14. Mishna Brurah 340:20
  15. Shemirat Shabbat KeHalachata 41:75, Eretz Tzvi Siman 71,Yeshuot Moshe 1:70, Shuirim Metzuyanim BeHalacha 80:55, Chelkat Yakov 3:25, Nachalat Ezra Hadaya O”C 1:7, Vayeshev Moshe 1:62
  16. Rama 340:4, Mishna Brurah 340:22, Shar Tzion 340:28
  17. Mayim Chaim O”C 1: 145, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 16:26, Rivivot Efraim 3:230
  18. S”A 340:5, Birkei Yosef 340:5 that Or Zaruah and Smak forbid, Beiur Halacha s.v. “Mutar”
  19. Mishna Brurah 340:25
  20. Menuchat Ahava 22:25, Shevet Hakehati 1:130 writes that it’s better not to fold the pages even during the week so as not to disrespect the sefer. see also Rivivot Efraim 1:223 (11)
  21. Mishnat Halachot vol 6 Siman 89, Sh"t Be'er Moshe 6:125, Shemirat Shabbat KeHalichata 28:2, Igrot Moshe Y”D vol 2 Siman 75 s.v. “VeDvar HaDaf”
  22. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:1
  23. Birkei Yosef 340:5, Leviat Chen 120, Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer 13:44, Vayesh Moshe 1:65, Mishna Berura 340:17.
    • The Levush 340:4 writes that it is a Torah violation to open or close a book with words stamped on the sides of the pages. He maintains that opening the book is erasing because the letters are broken, and then closing the book again is writing because the letters are reformed. Magen Avraham 340:6 and Chazon Ish 61:1 are machmir for this Levush.
    • The Rama in a teshuva (119), however, is lenient based on the Gemara Shabbat (104b) that says that there is a biblical prohibition if a person writes one letter in Tiveriya and one in Tzipori because it is not considered lacking a significant action to bring them together. The Rama infers that moving letters closer to or further from one another is not considered writing or erasing. Similarly, opening the book doesn’t erase the letters, but merely separates the parts of the letters, and closing the book doesn’t write the letters, but just combines the halves.
    • The Avnei Neizer 210:1-3 rejects this proof. He argues that separating two letters isn’t considered erasing because the letters still exist, but splitting letters horizontally is considered erasing because the letters become nonexistent. See Rama (ibid.) and Taz 340:2 for resolutions to this difficulty.
    • However, Sh"t Rama 119 and Taz 340:2 disagree saying that bringing existing letters together isn't a melacha and since the book is meant to be open and closed it is like opening and closing a door which is certainly permissible and not an issue of boneh and soter. The Rama's leniency is based on the Gemara Shabbat (104b) that says that there is a biblical prohibition if a person writes one letter in Tiveriya and one in Tzipori because it is not considered lacking a significant action to bring them together. The Rama infers that moving letters closer to or further from one another is not considered writing or erasing. Similarly, opening the book doesn’t erase the letters, but merely separates the parts of the letters, and closing the book doesn’t write the letters, but just combines the halves. The Avnei Neizer 210:1-3 rejects this proof. He argues that separating two letters isn’t considered erasing because the letters still exist, but splitting letters horizontally is considered erasing because the letters become nonexistent. See Rama (ibid.) and Taz 340:2 for resolutions to this difficulty. Based on this Avnei Nezer, see also Sh"t Har Tzvi Melechet Kotev 4 writes that even the Levush himself agrees that separating two complete letters isn't an issue of writing. He is just concerned of joining and separating letter fragments but not separating two whole letters.
    • Halacha for Ashkenazim: Mishna Brurah 340:17 comments that the minhag is to follow the Rama, yet if one has another sefer without letters on the side, he should use that one instead to be strict for the Levush. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 28:2 writes that it is preferable not to open a book with words or pictures written across the edge of their leaves and are broken and put back together when the book is opened and closed. He concludes that many authorities permit opening the book in such a case. The problem is best avoided by not writing on the edge of books.
    • Halacha for Sephardim: Yalkut Yosef (340:8 Din Kotev BeShabbat) writes that it is permitted according to the strict law, however, initially one should avoid writing words on the side of Sefarim.
  24. Yabia Omer O”C 5:28, Az Nidaberu 8:21, Beir Sharim 2:67, 3:38:3.
  25. Sh"t Yabia Omer O”C 5:29, Az Nidberu 1 pg 164#129, Sh"t Rivivot Efraim 1:257 related to throwing paper with words on it in water.
  26. Sh”t Yechave Daat 4:29, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 14:30 concludes that if a regular thermometer is available one shouldn’t use this type of thermometer, Minchat Ahava 22:19, Kinyan Torah 3:39