Friday, July 14, 2006

Yoma 38 Four Pens in One Hand

The Gemora states that Ben Kamtzar had a unique talent that he was able to write four letters with one hand at the same time and he did not teach this talent to anyone else. The Gemora says that was considered a shame and due to this, he was called a רשע. What were the חכמים concerned about? Rashi comments that this was referring to the name of Hashem which has four letters. The Tosfos Yom Tov explains that there is an advantage for the name of Hashem to be written at one time, so that His name should not be missing for a moment. The Minchas Chinuch has a novel approach and says that if one writes the first two letters of the name of Hashem which is the yud and the hey, that itself is one of the names of Hashem and by subsequently writing the third letter, the vav, it constitutes erasing Hashem's name. Ben Kamtzar was able to avoid with his special skill. The עמק ברכה asks that if the name of Hashem is written without proper intent, there is no prohibition to erase it, so why should there be an issur here when the scribe did not intend to write the 'two letter' name of Hashem, but rather His 'four letter' name?

8 comments:

David said...

1) Is there really no problem of erasing Hashem's name when there is no intention? The Gemara says a scribe has to be very careful, becasue if he writes the name "Yehuda", and a fly lands on the word causing him to erase the ink the fly lands on, he is liable for punishment for "mechikas shem".

2) Derech Agav - the Maharatz Chajes suggests that the meaning of this gemara, ( that Bar Kamtzar was able to write 4 letters with one hand) is that he invented a sort of printing press. Intressante. ( I apologize if this is common knowledge).

Avromi said...

1) It seems that there is an issur derabanan and that might be your case. I will check though in the Minchas chinuch, for i think he might hold there is an issur min hatorah.

2) I saw that in passing but it didnt register , so i looked again at the maharatz chayus and thank you

Anonymous said...

Does the Minchas Chinuch differentiate btw kavana to write the name with 2 letters of 4 letters. Perhaps, once you're incolved in the ma'asa of writing the name, your intent for 4 letters is disregarded, the entire ksiva is now one geared towards the totza of having Hashem;s name written? Where in the Chinuch is this found?

zaidy said...

Bimchilas kvodchem, lefi miut sichli, the old time printing presses using cold-type, or hot-type (ie; melted metal)placed one letter at a time in a line form (linotype)that was placed on the printer. By printing the line, you can print more than 4 letters. However,if this printing of four letters at once was done by keyboard entry, what determined the order of the letters. VTZ"Y

Avromi said...

the minchas chinuch is in 437

ill get to your question soon

Avromi said...

Zaidy:
the maharatz chayus asks your question - that if it was a type of press (though he doesnt get involved in hot/cold etc.) then it could have even been more than four, but the main chidush and advantage was for the shem Hashem which had four letters.

Avromi said...

The emek brocha page 40 says your distinction that since he was intending for the shem of 4, it is kodosh even at 2 letters.

Anonymous said...

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