Menapaitz

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Definition

  1. The melacha of Menapaitz is violated when combing hairs to prepare them for weaving.[1] The minimum measure to be obligated for violating Menapaitz is 4 tefachim. [2]

Practical Applications

  1. One may be lenient to comb a shaitel (wig) with a soft bristle brush. [3]

Sources

  1. Mishna 73a, Rashi s.v. HaMenapso
  2. Rambam Shabbos 9:12 based on the Mishna (Shabbos 105b)
  3. Shemirat Shabbos Kehilchata 14:52, see also Nishmat Shabbat
    Rabbi Ribiat (v. 3 p. 735) quotes a long discussion beginning with the gemara and continuing into the rishonim and achronim about combing one’s hair on Shabbos. The entire discussion revolves around the melacha of gozez, detaching hair, and not about the actual combing. Why is menapaitz not violated when combing one’s hair? The Avnei Nezer (O.C. 170-1) has two suggestions. First, menapaitz might only be violated when combing wool that is detached from its natural source; however, combing hair that is still attached to the living being is not similar to how combing was done in the mishkan. Alternatively, combing is only a violation of menapaitz when it is done to prepare for weaving. Combing hair that is attached to the body is clearly not a preparation for weaving and as such does not violate menapaitz. A practical application of these two suggestions is combing a shaitel. According to the first explanation, there is a question of menapaitz since, after all, the hair of the shaitel is detached from its natural source. Yet, according to the second approach, weaving is not relevant to shaitel hair, as such hair is not fit to be used for weaving.