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Jewish Holidays

Melacha #23 – Tofeir (Sewing)

October 16, 2017, by

The Mishkan was draped with a series of coverings. The coverings were made of individual panels that were sewn together into two large tapestries that were then joined by clasps. Connecting the individual panels one to another required sewing, which is the melacha of tofeir. Tofeir entails joining any two objects together, not just through […]

Melacha #22 – Matir (Untying)

June 2, 2017, by

The nets that were tied, as described in the previous melacha, sometimes had to be untied. This is matir (untying), the reciprocal melacha of kosheir (tying). When a melacha has a reciprocal (such as writing/erasing, igniting/extinguishing, etc.) a good rule of thumb is that if you can’t take something from status A to status B, […]

Melacha #21 – Kosheir (Tying)

November 1, 2016, by

Taking two threads – or two ends of the same thread –- and tying them together in a knot is the melacha of kosheir. The Talmud in tractate Shabbos (74b) discusses the uses of tying in building the Mishkan. One use was to make the nets that were necessary to catch the chilazon, a shellfish […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #20 – Potzei’ah (Detaching from the loom)

June 22, 2016, by

In the past several melachos, we stretched our vertical warp threads on the frame, set the heddles, and wove our cloth. The final stage of the weaving process is potzei’ah, detaching the cloth from the loom. This requires cutting the threads that hold the finished material in place. Removing stray threads from a garment on […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #19 – Oreig (Weaving)

February 8, 2016, by

We have threaded the warp with the vertical threads (see Melacha #17) and set the heddles to raise and lower these threads in succession (see Melacha #18). Our loom is now ready to weave. Passing the woof threads perpendicularly over and under the warp threads is weaving, also known as the melacha of oreig. One […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #17 – Maisach (Threading a Warp)

November 12, 2015, by

We now enter the first of several melachos pertaining to the weaving process. There are several prerequisites that one must accomplish before sitting down to weave. The first is threading the warp. Here’s how weaving works: woven cloth is a series of perpendicular threads criss-crossing one another repeatedly. The vertical threads are called the warp […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #16 – Toveh (Spinning)

October 14, 2015, by

By this point, we have nice combed, dyed wool, ready to be spun into thread. Spinning entails the twisting of fibers together; this is the melacha of toveh. This melacha can be accomplished manually or with a tool. (The spinning wheel may be the most familiar instrument for spinning thread, though the spindle is a […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #15 – Tzovei’ah (Dyeing)

July 6, 2015, by

After combing out the wool, but prior to spinning it to thread, the material was dyed. The coverings of the Tabernacle were dyed by dipping them into various colored solutions; changing or enhancing an object’s color is the melacha of tzovei’ah. A permanent dye is prohibited Biblically; temporary coloring is prohibited rabbinically. Examples of temporary […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #14 – Menapeitz (Combing)

June 10, 2015, by

After shearing the wool off of the sheep and scrubbing it clean, the wool had to be combed to untangle it. This is the melacha of menapeitz. Menapeitz applies to any material that can be processed into a textile-like form, whether it’s wool, cotton, polyester or even straw. However, it only applies to hair or […]

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