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Aino Miskayeim 2 – Tofeir and Kosheir (Klal 9) Hilchos Shabbos – S0311

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Aino Miskayeim 2 - Tofeir and Kosheir (Klal 9) Hilchos Shabbos - S0311


Sponsorships for the upcoming Klalim, which discuss the 39 melachos of Shabbos, are available. Please contact Rabbi Reingold for more information at or 301.996.5910


We have finished Klal 9. The purpose of this Klal was to learn about broad klalim which come up regarding melachos of Shabbos. We will discuss a few other concepts not discussed by the Chayei Adam.


We are learning about the concept of miskayeim, that melacha must have a certain level of permanence to it in order to be chayav. We learned that the Rambam applies the concept of miskayeim to all melachos. The Shaar Hatziyun (303:sk 68) infers from the Rambam that even if the melacha will not last longer than through Shabbos, it is considered miskayeim. In siman 340, the Biur Halacha quotes the Rashba that miskayeim for koseiv does not require that the writing last forever, but that the writing will last for the average amount of time that a person wishes for writing to last. Going back to the Shaar Hatziyun, he points out that it appears from Rashi that miskayeim would require a longer period of permanence than the implication of the Rambam, but he does not specify a time. 


Regarding the second type of miskayeim, where the outcome could be permanent but the creator plans for it to be temporary, the Gemara says that regarding kosheir, such a knot is not chayav. The Gemara explains that the entire purpose of a knot is combining things together. If the original knot was made with the intent to undo it, it undermines the entire purpose of the knot, so it is not chayav. Thus, the leniency of aino miskayeim will apply to kosher. 

Regarding whether aino miskayeim is a reason to exempt one from a chiyuv of tofeir, the Gemara says that a tefirah which will not last is not chayav. However, our question is not regarding an inherently non-permanent stitching, but  stitching which could be permanent, except that the creator has intent that it should be temporary. 

There is no Gemara which explicitly discusses this question. The Shulchan Aruch (317:3) brings a machlokes about this point. The conclusion is not to be matir it in front of am ha’aretz, because an am ha’aretz will not understand why it is muttar. In private one can be meikel.


  1. If it is stitched for a very short time–less than 24 hours–it is muttar. This 24 hour heter applies to kosheir as well. 
  2. If a knot is made, or tofeir performed, with intent it should last more than 7 days, it is considered permanent and is therefore assur. 
  3. A knot which is made to last between 24 hours and 7 days is a machlokes whether it is non-permanent and muttar or permanent enough that it is assur miderabanan. We rely on the lenient opinion only in times of need. 


The same thought process would apply to tofeir. If the stitches are made to be removed immediately, it is muttar to undo the tefirah, etc.


An interesting application of this halacha is the Rambam’s opinion that gluing two items together is a toldah of tofeir. Thus, regarding the tabs on diapers, the tabs are stuck to the diaper, but they are made to be stuck temporarily to the diaper until the diaper is changed. If one holds that there is no heter of aino miskayeim for tofeir, it will not help. However, as the Rema seems to hold that aino miskayeim does apply to tofeir, it should be muttar. We will clarify more details about this case in the upcoming shiur, be’ezras Hashem.



  • The concept of aino miskayeim applies to tofeir and kosheir, in that one will not be chayav mideoraysa for tofeir or kosheir which is aino miskayeim. A knot or stitching which can not last for 24 hours is Muttar to remove. If a knot or stitching is physically able to last for a long time, but one plans to remove it, then:
    • If it is made to last less than 24 hours, it is muttar to untie or tear the item.
    • If it is made to last more than 7 days, it is considered miskayeim and assur to untie or tear the item.
    • If it is made to last more than 24 hours but less than 7 days, it is a machlokes whether it is considered miskayeim or aino miskayeim. It is assur to untie or tear such an item, except for situations of significant need.

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