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MOED KATAN 18
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1) CUTTING NAILS

(a) Beraisa: Just as it is forbidden to shave on Chol ha'Mo'ed and during mourning, so it is forbidden to cut one's nails on Chol ha'Mo'ed and during mourning. This is the opinion of R. Yehudah. R. Yosi, however, permits it both times.
(b) Halachah: Ula permits on Chol ha'Mo'ed and forbids during mourning. Shmuel permits both.
(c) Story with Shmuel and his brother.
1. Moral of the story: Don't say things that are ominous. Things that are spoken out loud tend to come true.
(d) Which nails may be cut according to Shmuel?
1. At first the Gemara thought only fingernails, but toenails are forbidden.
2. The Gemara discards this notion and rules that both are permitted.
3. With a Genustera (Aruch - nailclipper; Rashi - scissors), however, it is forbidden.
(e) Story with R. Yochanan, with three lessons:
1. He held it is permitted to cut nails on Chol
ha'Mo'ed
2. It is not gross to bite your nails in front of other people (Rashi MS).
3. One may throw one's nails on the floor.
i. Question: A Beraisa says that it is dangerous to discard nails on the floor; they should be buried or burned.
ii. Answer: The danger of nails on the floor is only for pregnant women, and pregnant women do not usually go into the Beis Midrash (where R. Yochanan threw his nails)
(f) Rebbi permitted nails to be cut (during mourning - Rashi), and also permitted trimming the moustache.
1. How much moustache may be cut?
2. (Rav or Rav Papa): The whole thing.
3. (R. Ami): This means only the part that bothers one when he eats.
4. (R. Nachman bar Yitzchak): The whole thing can be bothersome (he agrees with Rav or Rav Papa).
5. Some Agadeta about Pharaoh.

2) SOME DETAILS ABOUT LAUNDERING ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
(a) (R. Yochanan): If someone owns only one robe he may wash it on Chol ha'Mo'ed
(b) Question: This case is not listed among the exceptions where laundering is permitted, in the Mishnah (above, 14a, 1:b).
(c) Answer: The Mishnah was not dealing with this kind of case, but only with cases of people who have more than one garment and they are all dirty. (Rashi: The case of one robe is too obvious for the Mishnah to mention.)
(d) (Someone said in the name of R. Yochanan): It is permitted to launder linen garments on Chol ha'Mo'ed (because they are easy to launder - Rashi, and because they get dirty quicker - Rashi MS.).
(e) Question: The Mishnah does not list this among the exceptions.

18b----------------------------------------18b

(f) Answer: The Mishnah was not dealing with linen, but only with woolen clothing. (Rashi: The case of linen clothing is too obvious for the Mishnah to mention.)
(g) (Bar Hedya): Saw people laundering linen clothing on Chol ha'Mo'ed in Teveryah.
(h) (Abaye): This doesn't prove anything; they might not have bothered to ask the rabbis if it was permitted.

3) "MISHNAH" - DOCUMENTS THAT MAY BE WRITTEN ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
(a) The following documents may be written on Chol ha'Mo'ed, because a delay would result in a loss:
1. A document of Kidushin.
2. A Get
3. A receipt
4. A will
5. A deed of a gift
6. A Pruzbul (for Shemitah)
7. A document of assessment of property by the court.
8. A document obligating someone to support his stepchild.
9. A document attesting that Chalitzah was performed.
10. A document attesting that Mi'un was performed.
11. A document attesting to a decision of the court to divide a property in a particular manner. (Rashi. According to others, it is a document attesting to the agreement of the litigants to use three particular judges for their case.)
12. Documents announcing decrees of the court.
13. Documents concerning governmental rulings.

4) "GEMARA" - DOING "KIDUSHIN" ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
(a) Statement (Shmuel): It is permitted to do Kidushin (betrothal) on Chol ha'Mo'ed (although it is forbidden to marry - above, 8b). This is permitted so that he may lay claim to the woman before someone else beats him to it.
(b) Proof: The Mishnah permits the writing of documents of Kidushin on Chol ha'Mo'ed, so obviously the Kidushin is taking place on Chol ha'Mo'ed
(c) Rejection: Perhaps the Mishnah refers not to the Shtar used to effect Kidushin itself, but to a document outlining the financial obligations of the two families upon betrothal.
(d) Proof: The Mishnah above (8b) prohibits only marrying, implying that mere Kidushin is permitted.
(e) Rejection: On the contrary, Kidushin has more of a reason to be forbidden than marriage, for the latter is a Mitzvah while the former is not. Thus, perhaps if the Mishnah forbade marriage, it certainly means to forbid Kidushin.
(f) Proof: A Beraisa states explicitly that it is permitted to do Kidushin on Chol ha'Mo'ed
(g) Question: Why does Shmuel express concern (above, 4:a) that someone might beat this man to marrying this woman if he does not hurry to betroth her? Shmuel is the one who said that all marriages are pre-ordained in heaven! Whatever happens is supposed to happen; no rushing will help!
(h) Answer: It is possible to change the pre-ordained plan through prayer.

5) AGADETA
(a) Shmuel's concept, that matches are pre-ordained, is alluded to several times in Tanach.
(b) A person is never suspected of a misdeed unless he is guilty, in some sense, to some degree, of that misdeed.

6) "MISHNAH" - THINGS THAT MAY NOT BE WRITTEN ON CHOL HA'MO'ED
(a) The following may not be written on Chol ha'Mo'ed, because they can wait:
1. An IOU, unless:
i. the lender refuses to lend the money without it, or
ii. the scribe needs the money thus earned for basic food
2. Sifrei Torah, Tefilin, Mezuzos. Even a small correction in a Sefer Torah may not be made.
3. R. Yehudah does permit writing Tefilin and Mezuzos for one's own use, and spinning Tzitzis threads with a Shinui.
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