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Jewish Holidays

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 […]

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 […]

Melacha #18 – Oseh Batei Nirin (Setting the heddles)

January 19, 2016, by

After the warp threads have been stretched on the frame, the heddles have to be set. The heddles are the part of the loom, typically made of wire, that separate the warp threads. The heddles – “batei nirin” in Hebrew – raise the warp threads successively, enabling the woof threads to pass over and under […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Melacha #13 – Melabein (Laundering)

May 29, 2015, by

So, here we have wool that has been shorn off the sheep and we are ready to turn it into cloth. Wool is pretty filthy at this point, so the first step in the process is to clean it. The wool has to be scrubbed in water, and then bleached to purify it of debris. […]

Melacha #12 – Gozeiz (Shearing)

April 29, 2015, by

The first eleven melachot were agricultural in nature, relating to the production of dyes (and/or the lechem hapanim). The next thirteen melachot were those involved in making the curtains and coverings of the Mishkan. The first step in the production of cloth is gozeiz, shearing the sheep. The melacha of gozeiz entails more than just shearing […]

Melacha #11: Ofeh/Bishul (Baking/Cooking)

February 10, 2015, by

As noted earlier, the first eleven melachot are collectively referred to a “sidurah d’pas,” the order of bread. Accordingly, the eleventh melacha listed in the mishna (Shabbos 4:2) is ofeh (baking), the final step in making bread. However, while the show bread was used in the Mishkan, it was not a part of its construction. In […]

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