Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day
Shabbos Shabbos - Chapter Nine, Shabbos Shabbos - Chapter Ten, Shabbos Shabbos - Chapter Eleven
Shabbos - Chapter Nine
A person who bakes [an amount of food] the size of a dried fig is liable. Just as a person is liable for baking bread, he is liable for cooking food or herbs, or for heating water. These are all one type [of activity].
The minimum amount of water for which one is liable for heating is an amount sufficient to wash a small limb. The minimum amount of herbs for which one is liable is the amount required to serve the purpose for which they are being cooked.
A person who places an egg next to a kettle so that it will become slightly cooked is liable if the egg becomes cooked, for a person who cooks with a derivative of fire is considered as if he cooked with fire itself.
Similarly, a person who washes aged salted fish or sole- a very thin, soft fish - with hot water is liable. Washing them with hot water completes the cooking process they require. The same principles apply in other similar situations.
A person who breaks open an egg over a warm cloth, over sand, or over the dust of the roads that are heated by the sun is not liable even though it becomes roasted, for the derivatives of the heat of the sun are [governed by] different [laws than those governing] the derivatives of fire. Nevertheless, the Sages instituted a decree forbidding cooking with [the derivatives of the heat of the sun], lest [one cook with] the derivatives of fire. Similarly, a person who cooks using the [hot] springs of Tiberias and the like is not held liable.
A person who cooks food on a fire that has been completely cooked or who cooks food that does not need to be cooked at all is not liable.
When one person brought fire, another brought wood, another brought a pot, another added water, another put in meat, another put in spices, and another stirred it, all are liable for cooking. For anyone who performs an activity that is necessary for cooking is considered as [having performed that forbidden labor].
If, by contrast, one put down the pot, another came and added water, another came and added meat, another came and added spices, another came and brought fire, another came and placed wood on the fire, and another came and stirred, it is only the latter two who are liable for cooking.
When a person places meat over coals, and a portion the size of a dried fig becomes [thoroughly] roasted, he is liable even when the portions that are roasted are [separate, and located] in two or three portions [of the piece of meat].
When there is not a portion the size of a dried fig that has become [thoroughly] roasted, but the entire [piece of meat] becomes half-cooked, one is liable. If, however, it is half-cooked from one side only, one is not liable until one turns it so that it becomes half-cooked on both sides.
If a person forgot and attached a loaf to an oven on the Sabbath, but remembered [the prohibition involved afterwards], he may remove it before it bakes and causes [him to be liable for performing a forbidden] labor.
A person who melts even the slightest amount of metal or who heats a piece of metal until [it glows like] a coal performs a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of cooking. Similarly, a person who melts wax, tallow, tar, brown tar, or pitch, and the like performs a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of cooking and is liable.
Similarly, a person who heats an earthenware utensil until it becomes hard clay is liable for cooking. The general principle is: Whether one softens a firm entity with fire or hardens a soft entity, one is liable for cooking.
One who shears wool or hair from an animal or a beast - whether alive or dead - is liable. [This applies even when he] removes [these substances] from skin.
What is the minimum measure for which one is liable? Enough to spin a thread that is twice the length of a width of a sit from it. How long is the width of a sit? The distance from the thumb to the first finger when they are extended as far as possible. This is approximately two thirds of a zeret.
A person who tears off the wing of a bird [is liable for performing] a derivative of shearing. One who spins wool from a living animal is not liable, for this is not the ordinary manner of shearing, nor is this the ordinary manner of beating, nor is this the ordinary manner of spinning.
A person who cuts his nails, his hair, his mustache, or his beard [performs a] derivative [of the forbidden labor] of shearing and is liable. [This applies] provided one cuts them using a utensil. If one removes them by hand, one is not liable. [The above applies regarding both] one's own [nails and the like] and those of a colleague.
Similarly, a person who cuts a wart from his body, whether using a utensil or by hand is not liable. [The above applies regarding both] one's own [warts] and those of a colleague.
It is permitted to remove a wart in the Temple by hand, but not with a utensil. If it is dry, one may cut it off with a utensil, [in order to] take part in the Temple service.
How much hair is it necessary for a person to remove with a utensil to be liable? Two hairs. If one removes a grey hair from dark ones, one is liable for removing even one.
[The following rules apply to] a nail when the majority of it has been split, or to strips of flesh that have begun to peel: If they have split upward and annoy the person, one may remove them by hand, but not with a utensil. If, however, one removes them with a utensil, one is not liable.
If they do not annoy the person, it is forbidden to remove them even by hand. If the majority has not been split [nor has begun to peel], it is forbidden to remove them even by hand, and one who removes them with a utensil is liable.
A person who whitens wool, linen, wool to be dyed crimson, or any other fabrics that are ordinarily whitened is liable.
What is the minimum measure for which one is liable? [An amount of fibers large enough] to produce a thread as long as twice the width of a sit - i.e., four handbreadths.
Laundering clothes is a derivative of the [forbidden] labor of whitening and causes one to be liable.
A person who wrings out a garment until the water [absorbed] in it is discharged is considered as one who laundersand is held liable. Wringing out [a garment] is one of the activities necessary for laundering, as stirring is one of the activities necessary for cooking.
There is no concept of wringing out hair. Similarly, one is not liable for wringing out leather.
One who beats wool, linen, wool to be dyed crimson, or any other similar fabrics is liable. What is the minimum measure for which one is liable? [An amount of fibers large enough] to produce a thread four handbreadths long.
A person who beats animal sinews until they become like wool, so that [cord] can be spun from them, is liable for performing a derivative of beating.
A person who dyes a thread that is four handbreadths long or fabric from which a thread of this length can be spun is liable.
A person is not liable unless the dye he uses will make a permanent [change in the article's color]. When the application of color will not have a permanent effect - e.g., one who applies red clay or vermilion to iron or brass and colors it is not liable, for it can be removed immediately without dyeing it at all. Whenever a person performs a labor that does not have a permanent effect on the Sabbath, he is not liable.
A person who creates a color is liable [for performing] a derivative of the labor of dyeing. What is implied? One mixed gallnut juice into vitriol until the entire mixture turned black, or mixed isatis into saffron water until the entire mixture turned green and the like.
What is the minimum measure for which one is liable? [An amount of dye large enough] to dye a thread four handbreadths long.
A person who spins a thread four handbreadths long from any fibers [from] which [thread] is spun is liable. This includes spinning wool, linen, [camel] hair, goat's hair, animal sinews, and any other fibers of this nature.
A person who makes felt is liable for [performing] a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of spinning if he makes felt from fibers that could be used to spin a thread of ordinary thickness that is four handbreadths long.
A person who makes two heddles is liable.
A person who makes a sifter, a strainer, a basket, a hairnet, or one who weaves a rope bed [performs] a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of making heddles; when he makes two frames of any one of the above, he is liable. Similarly, a person who makes two frames of any object that is made frame by frame like the above is liable.
Weavers generally stretch out the threads [of the warp] to the desired length and width of the fabric. Two people hold [the beams to which the ends of the threads are connected], one from one side and one from the other side. A person beats the threads with a rod and aligns them so that they lie one next to the other, [all of the] warp threads without the woof.
Extending the threads as the weavers do is called mounting the warp. A person who [extends these threads] so they are taut is called one who sets the warp. Bending [the loom] and inserting the woof between the warp [threads] is called weaving.
The person who mounts the warp is liable. This is one of the  primary categories of [forbidden] labor. The person who beats the threads until they separate and then aligns them performs a derivative of mounting the warp. What is the minimum measure for which one is liable? Preparing a fabric that is two fingerbreadths wide.
Similarly, a person is liable for weaving two threads [of a fabric] two fingerbreadths wide. [The above applies] whether one began the weaving [of a garment] or whether one wove two additional threads on a garment that had already been begun by another weaver. If one wove only a single thread, but completed the garment by doing so, one is liable.
If one weaves two threads a width of three frames at the end of a fabric, one is liable. To what can this be compared? To weaving a thin belt, three frames wide.
A person who straightens the threads and separates them in the midst of the weaving process [performs] a derivative [of the labor] of weaving.
Similarly, one who braids hair [performs] a derivative [of the labor] of weaving. The measure for which one is liable is making a braid two fingerbreadths long.
One who is בוצע two threads is liable. בוצע refers to the separation of woven fabric. One is liable for [the labor of] בוצע whether one removes the woof from the warp or the warp from woof.
[The above applies provided that] one is not acting with a destructive [intent], but rather with the intent to improve [the garment]. For example, there are people who mend [tears in] very light garments. First, they undo the weave. Afterwards, they mend the garment, and then reweave the threads that they undid. [In this manner,] they join two garments or two tears together.
A person who undoes a braid for the sake of fixing it [performs] a derivative [of the labor] of בוצע. The minimum measure for which one is liable is the same as the minimum measure for בוצע.
Shabbos - Chapter Ten
A person who ties a knot which is intended to remain permanently and which can be tied [only] by craftsmen is liable. Included in this category are the knots tied by camel drivers, the knots tied by seamen, the knots tied by shoemakers when making shoes and sandals.
One who ties a knot that is intended to remain permanently, but does not require a craftsmen [to tie it], is not liable. A knot that will not remain permanently and does not require a craftsman may be tied with no compunctions.
How is [the intermediate category] defined? If one of a person's sandal straps tore and he tied it, a rope tore and one tied it, one tied a rope to a bucket, or one tied the bridle of an animal, the person is not liable. The same applies to all other knots that do not require professional expertise, but are always tied with the intention that they remain permanently.
Any knot that is not intended to remain permanently is forbidden to be tied using a knot that requires professional expertise.
A woman may tie the opening of her cloak although it has two openings. She may tie the strands of a hairnet although it hangs loosely on her head.
One may tie the straps of shoes and sandals that are tied around one's foot when donning them. One may tie pouches of wine and pouches of oil although they have two protrusions. One may tie a pot of meat although it is possible to remove the meat without untying the knot.
One may tie a bucket with a linen cord, a belt or another similar entity, but not with an ordinary rope. One may tie a rope before an animal or tie it to an animal's foot so that it will not go out, although this involves two knots.
If a rope is tied to a cow, one may tie it to its feeding trough. If a rope is tied to a feeding trough, one may tie it to a cow. One may not, however, bring a rope from one's home and tie it to [both] a cow and a feeding trough. If, however, one has a weaver's rope which one is permitted to carry, one may bring it and tie it to both the cow and the feeding trough.
[The rationale for these laws is that] all [the above] knots do not require professional expertise, nor are they intended to remain. On the contrary, a person ties them and unties them at will. Therefore, it is permitted to tie them with no compunctions.
One may untie the openings of baskets of dates and dried figs, break off or cut off the cord, take them and eat them.
Any substance that is fit to be used as animal fodder may be used for tying on the Sabbath. Therefore, if the straps of a person's sandals snapped in a carmelit, he may take a moist reed that is fit to be eaten by an animal, wind it around [the sandal] and tie it.
If a sandal strap slips from its place, or one's foot slips from the sandal, one may return the strap to its place, provided one does not tie a knot.
It is permitted to tie a loop [on the Sabbath], for it will not be interchanged with a knot. Therefore, if a rope snapped, one may gather the the two ends together, wind a linen cord around them and tie a loop.
It is permissible to tie a knot that is not permanent in nature for the purpose of a mitzvah. For example, one may tie a knot to calibrate one of the Torah's measures.
One may tie a harp string that snaps in the Temple, but not anywhere else. One may not tie a harp string for the first time on the Sabbath, even in the Temple.
A person is liable for untying any knot that he is liable for tying. Whenever a person is not liable for tying a knot, he is not liable for untying it. Whenever a person is permitted to tie a knot, he is permitted to untie it.
A person who winds together a rope from palm branches, love grass, strands of wool, strands of flax, strands of goat's hair or the like is liable for performing a derivative of the [forbidden] labor of tying.
The minimum measure for which one is liable is a length of rope sufficient to remain wound without being tied, for then the work the person performed is permanent.
Similarly, a person who unwinds cords performs a derivative of the forbidden labor of untying and is liable. [This applies] provided one's intent is not merely destructive in nature. The minimum measure for which one is liable is the same as that for winding a cord.
A person who sews two stitches is liable, provided he ties the stitches at both ends so that they will remain and not slip out. If, however, one sews an additional stitch, one is liable even if one did not tie [the ends], for one's stitching will remain.
A person who pulls taut a thread used for sewing on the Sabbath is liable, because this activity is necessary for sewing.
A person who tears [a length of a garment] sufficient to tie two stitches for the sake of tying two stitches is liable. In contrast, one who tears with the intent to ruin is not liable, for [his activity] is destructive in nature.
A person who tears in a fit of rage or [one who rends his garments] for the sake of a deceased person for whom he is required to rend his garments is liable, for by doing so he settles his mind and calms his natural inclination. Since his anger is soothed through this act, it is considered to be constructive in nature and he is liable.
A person who makes an opening for a neck [in a garment] on the Sabbath is liable.
A person who attaches paper or hides together with scribe's glue and the like is liable for performing a derivative of the forbidden labor of sewing.
Conversely, a person who separates papers or hides that are stuck together is liable for performing a derivative of the forbidden labor of tearing if his intent is not merely destructive.
A person is liable for building even the slightest amount.
A person who levels the floor inside a house is liable. Whether he lowers a raised piece of earth or fills a cavity, he is considered to be building and is liable.
When one person places down a stone and another the mortar, the one who places down the mortar is liable. For the highest row [of stones], one is liable merely for lifting up the stone and placing it on the mortar, since other mortar is not placed upon it.
A person who builds on a base of utensils is not liable.
A person who erects a permanent tent is liable for performing a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of building.
Similarly, a person who fashions an earthenware utensil - e.g., an oven or a jug - before they are fired [in a kiln] is liable for performing a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of building.
Similarly, one who makes cheese performs a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of building. One is not liable until one makes an amount of cheese equivalent to the size of a dried fig.
A person who inserts the blade of an axe onto its handle or one who performs any similar activity performs a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of building. Similarly, one who attaches one piece of wood to another, whether he attaches them with a nail or by inserting one piece of wood into another until they become a single entity, is liable for performing a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of building.
A person who makes even the slightest hole in a chicken coop to let light in is liable for building.
A person who returns a door of a well, a cistern, or a wing of a building [to its place] is liable for building.
A person who demolishes even the slightest amount is liable, provided he demolishes with the intent to build. If his intent in demolishing is merely destructive, he is not liable.
A person who demolishes a permanent tent or separates a piece of wood attached to another is liable for performing a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of demolishing, provided his intent is to improve it [afterwards].
A person who gives the [final] blow with a hammer is liable. [Similarly,] a person who performs any activity that represents the completion of a task is liable for performing a derivative of dealing [the final] hammer blow.
What is implied? A person who blows a glass vessel, one makes a design, or even a portion of a design, on a utensil, one who planes [the edges of a utensil], one who makes a hole of even the smallest size in a piece of wood, a building, a piece of metal, or a utensil is liable for performing a derivative of dealing [the final] hammer blow.
One is not liable for making [a hole] unless it can be used to bring in and bring out.
A person who pierces a blister on the Sabbath to widen the opening of the wound, as physicians do, with the intent of widening the opening of the wound is liable for performing [a derivative of] dealing [the final] hammer blow, for this is a labor performed by a physician.
If one pierced it to remove its pus, [the act] is permitted.
One who files a stone to even the slightest degree is liable for performing [a derivative of] dealing [the final] hammer blow. A person who aligns a stone in the foundation of a building, adjusting its position with his hands and settling it in its proper place, is liable for performing [a derivative of] dealing [the final] hammer blow.
A person who removes threads, straws, or splinters of wood from a garment by hand - for example, the splinters that are found in woolen garments - is liable for performing [a derivative of] dealing [the final] hammer blow. [This applies] provided the person is disturbed by them. If, however, he removes them as a matter of course, [without thinking,] he is not liable.
A person who shakes out a new black garment to make it attractive and to remove any remnants of white wool adhering to it, as is a tailor's practice, is liable to bring a sin offering. If he is not disturbed by them, it is permissible [to do so].
A person who traps a living creature from a species that is common to trap - e.g., beasts, fowl, or fish - is liable provided he traps them in a place where no further efforts are required to trap them.
What is implied? One chased after a deer until one caused it to enter a room, a garden, or a courtyard, and one locked it inside, one caused a fowl to fly into a closet and locked it, one removed a fish from the sea and placed it in a bowl of water. [In all these instances,] the person is liable.
If, however, a person caused a bird to fly into a room and locked it, caused a fish to swim from the sea into a pool of water, or chased a deer until he caused it to enter a large hall, and locked it, he is not liable. [The living creature] is not completely trapped, for if he to desired to take it, he would have to chase it and trap it in [this new place]. Therefore, a person who traps a lion is not liable until he causes it to enter the pen in which it will be enclosed.
[The following] - a place in which if a person ran, he could reach the animal in a single movement, and a place so narrow that the shadow of both walls would merge in the middle - are considered to be small places. If one chased a deer or the like into such a place, one is liable. If a place is larger than this, a person who chases an animal or a fowl into it is not liable.
[The following principle applies regarding] the eight creeping animals mentioned in the Torah and similarly, other creeping animals and crawling things: When a species is usually trapped, a person who traps any one of them - whether for a purpose, or without a purpose, even merely for the sake of sport - is liable, since he intended to trap and actually did so. A person is liable for performing a [forbidden] labor even if he has no need for the actual labor he performed.
A person who traps an animal that is sleeping or a blind animal is liable.
When a person sends out dogs to trap deer, rabbits, and the like, the deer flees because of the dog, and the person chases after the deer or stands before it and as such, frightens it so that the dog can catch it, he is liable for [performing] a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of trapping. The same applies with regard to [trapping] fowl.
When a deer enters a room and one person closes it, the latter is liable. If two people close it, they are not liable. If the door cannot be closed by a single person and they both close it, they are both liable.
When one person sat in the entrance and did not block it, and a second person sat down and blocked it, the second person is liable.
When the one person blocks the entrance when he sits down, and a second person sits down next to him [in a manner that also obstructs the entrance], the first person [alone] is liable. [This applies] even if he later rises and leaves, [and the second person remains blocking the entrance], for the second person has not done anything. He is permitted to remain seated in the doorway until the evening and then take the deer. To what could this be compared? To one who locks his house to protect it and finds a trapped deer inside.
If a fowl enters under the edge of a person's clothes, he may [continue] sitting and watch it until nightfall. It is [then] permitted [to take it].
A person who traps a deer that is old, limping, sick, or small is not liable.
A person who releases an animal, a beast, or a fowl from a trap is not liable. A person who traps a beast or a fowl that is in his domain - e.g., ducks, chickens, or doves from a cote - is not liable. A person who traps a living being whose species is not usually trapped - e.g., locusts, wild bees, hornets, mosquitoes, fleas, and the like - is not liable.
Crawling beasts that are dangerous - e.g., snakes, scorpions and the like - may be trapped on the Sabbath. [This leniency is granted] even when they are not deadly, but merely bite, provided one's intent is to prevent [someone from] being bitten.
What should one do? Place a utensil over them, cover them with something, or tie them so they cannot cause damage.
Shabbos - Chapter Eleven
A person who slaughters is liable. This does not apply only to [ritual] slaughter. Anyone who takes the life of a living beast, an animal, fowl, fish, or crawling animal - whether by slaughtering, stabbing, or beating - is liable.
A person who strangles a living creature performs a derivative of slaughtering. Therefore, if one removed a fish from the glass of water [in which it was being kept] until it died, one is liable for strangling it. [Indeed, one is liable even if one returns it to the water before] the fish actually dies. As long as [a portion of its body as wide as] a sela between its fins becomes dry, one is liable, for it will not be able to live afterwards.
A person who inserts his hand into an animal's womb and removes a fetus [from] the womb is liable.
A person who kills insects and worms that are conceived through male-female relations or fleas that come into being from the dust is liable as if he killed an animal or a beast. In contrast, a person is not liable for killing insects and worms that come into being from dung, rotten fruit, or the like - e.g., the worms found in meat or those found in legumes.
A person who checks his clothes for lice on the Sabbath may rub off the lice and discard them. It is is permitted to kill lice on the Sabbath, for they come into being from sweat.
It is permitted to kill beasts or insects whose bites are surely deadly, as soon as one sees them - for example, flies in Egypt, hornets in Nineveh, scorpions in Adiabena, snakes in Eretz Yisrael, and rabid dogs in all places.
[The following rules apply with regard to] other dangerous animals: If they are chasing a person, one may kill them.If they are staying in their place or fleeing from the person, it is forbidden to kill them. If one steps on them accidentally as one is walking and kills them, this is permitted.
A person who skins [a portion of an animal's] hide large enough to make an amulet is liable. Similarly, one who processes [a portion of an animal's] hide large enough to make an amulet is liable.
Just as one who processes [a hide is liable], so too, is one who salts [a hide], for salting is one of the methods of processing. [Prohibitions associated with the forbidden labor of] processing do not apply with regard to foodstuffs.
Similarly, one who smooths [a portion of an animal's] hide large enough to make an amulet is liable. What is meant by smoothing? Removing the hair or the wool from the hide after [the animal's] death so that the surface of the hide will be smooth.
A person who separates duchsustos from k'lafis liable for [performing] a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of skinning. A person who separates [a portion] from a hide large enough to make an amulet is liable.
A person who treads upon a hide with his feet until it becomes hard, or one who softens it with his hands, extending it, and leveling it as the leather workers do is liable for [performing] a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of processing.
A person who pulls a feather from the wing of a fowl is liable for [performing] a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of smoothing. Similarly, a person who smears a poultice of even the smallest size, beeswax, tar, or other entities that are smeared until a smooth surface is produced is liable for [performing a derivative of the forbidden labor of] smoothing.
A person who rubs a hide that is suspended between pillars is liable for smoothing.
A person who cuts [a portion] from a hide large enough to make an amulet is liable, provided he cuts with a specific length and width in mind. Cutting in this manner is considered as labor [forbidden on the Sabbath]. If, however, one cuts with a destructive intent, or without a precise measure, doing so either without thought entirely or for pleasure, he is not liable.
A person who trims [the down from] a wing [of a fowl] is liable [for performing] a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of cutting. Similarly, one who planes a beam of cedar wood is liable for cutting. Similarly, anyone who cuts a piece of wood or a piece of metal is liable for cutting.
A person who takes a small piece of wood and trims it to use as a toothpick or to pry open a door is liable.
Any article that is fit to be used as animal fodder - e.g., straw, soft grasses, palm branches, and the like, may be trimmed on the Sabbath, because the the concept of preparing a utensil does not apply in this context.
It is permitted to break fragrant branches [by hand] for the sake of their scent although they are hard and dry. One may strip [their bark] as one desires, regardless of whether one strips [the bark] of a small branch or a large branch.
A person who writes two letters is liable. A person who erases writing so that he can write two letters is liable.
A person who writes one large letter the size of two [ordinary] letters is not liable. In contrast, a person who erases one large letter in a place where two letters can be written is liable.
A person who wrote one letter that concluded a scroll is liable. A person who writes for the sake of ruining the parchment is liable, for one is liable for the writing itself and the surface on which [the letters] are written is not significant. If one rubs out writing with the intent of ruining [the writing surface], one is not liable.
Should one rub out ink that fell on a scroll or rub out wax that fell on a writing tablet, one is liable if [the rubbed out] portion is large enough for two letters to be written upon it.
A person who writes the same letter twice and thus produces a word [that has meaning] - e.g., דד תת גג רר שש סס חח - is liable.
One is liable for writing in any language and with any characters, or even for making two marks.
A person is not liable for writing in the following circumstances:
He writes one letter next to writing that existed previously;
he writes on top of writing that existed previously;
he intended to write a chet and instead wrote two zeinim or makes a similar error with regard to other letters;
he writes one letter on the floor [of a house] and one letter on [one of] the beams [of the ceiling], for they are not read as a single unit;
he writes two letters on two pages of a writing tablet that are not read as a single unit.
When a person writes [two letters] in two corners [of the walls of a house] or on two pages of a writing tablet and they can be read as a single unit, he is liable.
If a person took a parchment or the like and wrote one letter upon it in one city and traveled on that same [Sabbath] day to another city where he wrote another letter on another scroll, he is liable. [This decision is rendered] because when the [two parchments] are brought close to each other, they can be read as a single unit. All that is necessary is to bring them together.
A person who writes merely one letter is not liable even when [that letter] is representative of an entire word. What is implied? One wrote a מ and everyone knows that the intent is the word ma'aser or one wrote [that letter] in the place where a number is required and thus it is as if one wrote [the word] "forty," one is not liable.
If one was checking a single letter and divided it, [creating] two [letters], one is liable; for example, one divided the connecting lines of a chet, thus creating two zeinim. The same applies in all similar situations.
A person who writes with his left hand, with the back of one's hand, with his feet, his mouth, or with his elbow, is not liable.
A left-handed person who writes with his right hand - which for him is equivalent to other people's left hand - is not liable. If he writes with his left hand, he is liable. A person who is ambidextrous is liable regardless of whether he writes with his right or left hand.
When an adult holds a pen and a child holds his hand [and moves it, causing] him to write, [the adult] is not liable.
A person who writes is not liable until he writes with a substance that leaves a permanent mark - e.g., with ink, black tint, vermilion, gum, vitriol, and the like - on a surface on which the writing will remain preserved - e.g., a skin, parchment, paper, wood, and the like.
[In contrast,] a person is not liable if he writes with a substance that does not leave a permanent mark - e.g., beverages or fruit juice - or if he writes with ink and the like on a substance like vegetable leaves where the writing will not be preserved. One is liable only when writing with a substance that leaves a permanent mark on a surface where that mark will be preserved.
Similarly with regard to [the forbidden labor of erasing]: A person who erases is liable only when erasing writing that would leave a permanent mark from a surface where that mark will be preserved.
A person who writes on his skin is liable, because his flesh is [comparable to an animal] hide. Even though the warmth of his flesh will cause the writing to fade afterwards, this is comparable to writing that was erased. In contrast, a person who engraves the forms of letters onto his skin is not liable.
A person who cuts out the form of letters on a hide is liable. In contrast, a person who makes a mark in the shape of letters on a hide is not liable.
A person who traces over letters that were written with vermilion with ink is liable for two [transgressions]: one for writing and one for erasing. [In contrast,] a person who traces with ink over letters that were written with ink, who traces with vermilion over letters that were written with vermilion, or who traces with vermilion over letters that were written with ink, is not liable.
Making designs is a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of writing. What is implied? A person who makes designs or who creates forms on a wall or with red color and the like as artists do is liable [for performing a derivative of] writing. Similarly, a person who erases a design for the sake of correcting [it] is liable [for performing] a derivative [of the forbidden labor] of erasing.
A person who rules a line in order to write two letters below that line is liable. Carpenters who draw a red line on a beam to enable them to saw evenly perform a derivative of ruling a line. Similarly, stonemasons who [make lines] on a stone so that they will cut it evenly [perform a derivative of ruling a line.]
One is liable regardless of whether the line one rules is colored or without color.
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Said one to the other, “Behold, here comes the dreamer!”
–Joseph’s brothers, Genesis 37:19