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1. One must save any holy writings from being burned by a fire on Shabbos, even if it involves transgressing certain Isurim d'Rabanan.
2. There is a dispute about whether this law (#1) also applies to holy writings written in a language other than Hebrew.
3. One is not allowed to transgress at all in order to save written blessings or amulets from a fire on Shabbos, even if they contain Torah concepts.
4. There is a dispute about whether holy writings written in Hebrew with ink that is not permanent may be saved from a fire on Shabbos.
5. If a Torah scroll has been almost completely erased, it retains its holiness only if at least 85 letters remain.


1. These include Torah, Nevi'im, and Kesuvim, even though the latter Sefarim (Nevi'im and Kesuvim) often were not used on Shabbos.
2. Rav Huna: This law does not apply to holy writings in languages other than Hebrew; the Mishnah refers only to holy writings written in Hebrew. Reference is made to writings in other languages only to teach that even though one may not transgress an Isur to save them on Shabbos, they are holy enough that they require Genizah. Rav Chisda: This law also applies to holy writings in languages other than Hebrew.
3. This law was taught at a time when it was still prohibited to write down the Oral Torah. Accordingly, the Sages viewed with disapproval people who wrote these things down, since they were acting incorrectly. (The Me'iri notes that nowadays one is permitted to write these things and thus they may be saved on Shabbos.)
4. While Rabah bar Rav Huna originally said that they may not be saved (according to both opinions in #2 above), Rav Hamnuna quoted a Beraisa that implies that they may be saved.
5. This number (85) is the smallest number of letters found in any Parshah (i.e. the Parshah of "va'Yehi bi'Neso'a ha'Aron") in the Torah. The 85 letters must all be part of whole words, as opposed to scattered about, a letter here and a letter there.

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