Sunday, May 6, 2012
Rambam- Yisodei HaTorah Perek 6 Halacha 6: How To Get Rid of A Vessel With G-D's Name On It
First, I would like to apologize to anyone who cares that I have not been writing lately. I have been extremely busy with medical school. So, here is the next halacha in the Rambam that I am up to on my blog:
כלי שהיה שם כתוב עליו קוצץ את מקום השם וגונזו. ואפילו היה השם חקוק בכלי מתכות או בכלי זכוכית והתיך הכלי הרי זה לוקה אלא חותך את מקומו וגונזו. וכן אם היה שם כתוב על בשרו הרי זה לא ירחץ ולא יסוך ולא יעמוד במקום הטנופת. נזדמנה לו טבילה של מצוה כורך עליו גמי וטובל ואם לא מצא גמי מסבב בבגדיו ולא יהדק כדי שלא יחוץ שלא אמרו לכרוך עליו אלא מפני שאסור לעמוד בפני השם כשהוא ערום:
A vessel that has G-D's name written on it [can only be disposed of] if one cuts out the name and then buries it (the piece with the name). Even if G-D's name is carved into a metal vessel or a glass vessel and [the vessel is melted] the [person who melted the vessel] receives lashes, rather cut out its place and bury it (the place with the name). Also, if G-D's name is written on a person's skin, then he can not wash, moisturize, or stand in a place with garbage. If it is time for him to do a commandment type of bathing, he should wrap a reed-rope on [the area G-D's name is written] and bathe. If he can't find a reed-rope then he should wrap [the area with G-D's name] with his clothing. However, it is not that he is wrapping [the garment around the area of the skin] in order that the area not be cleaned, rather the only reason they say (the Chachamim of the Gemara in Shabbos 120a) that [G-D's name needs] to be wrapped is because it is forbidden to be in the presence of G-D's name naked.
This halacha shows that writing and carving are considered the same act. Whether an object was written on with a pencil, which is extrinsic to the object, or someone carved the name of G-D with a knife into the vessel, which is intrinsic to the object, these both constitute acts of writing out G-D's name in a way that the name is holy, if it was written with the proper Kavanah (intention). However, this is not always the case, there are many times where carving is not considered the same as writing. However, that will be seen in later halachas in the Rambam if I ever get there on this blog.