The Melachah Of Menapetz

The Daily Halacha Moment - Menapetz - Combing 💇


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

What is the Melachah of Menapetz?


Answer:

In order to make the curtains and coverings of the Mishkan, wool was required. After the wool was removed from the animal, it was necessary to comb the fibers to straighten and untangle them, to prepare them for dyeing and spinning. This combing is the melachah of Menapetz.

Combing for the purpose of making wool into a string, can be done either with a utensil, such as with a brush,[1] or even by hand.[2]

The amount that one must comb in order for it to be considered the melachah of Menapetz is the amount of a string that is four tefachim long.[3]

Menapetz does not only apply to wool, but also to any fibers from which fabric-like material can be made, such as synthetic fibers, straw, and the like. [4]


Sources:

[1]. See Mishnah Berurah, end of siman 344, 1; Aruch HaShulchan 340:9.

[2]. See Avnei Nezer, O.C. 170, and in Iglei Tal 14:8.

[3]. Rambam, Shabbat, 9:12.

[4]. Chayeh Adam 23:1. However, it seems from the Mishnah Berurah, end of siman 344, 1, that with other materials it is an issue of Dash, and not Menapetz. See also in Minchat Chinuch, Dash, 1 and in Shevet HaLevi, vol. 1, 98:2.


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