POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
Prepared by R. Yakov Blinder of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
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
(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
(d) Which nails may be cut according to Shmuel?
1. At first the Gemara thought only fingernails, but
toenails are forbidden.
(e) Story with R. Yochanan, with three lessons:
2. The Gemara discards this notion and rules that both
3. With a Genustera (Aruch - nailclipper; Rashi -
scissors), however, it is forbidden.
1. He held it is permitted to cut nails on Chol
(f) Rebbi permitted nails to be cut (during mourning -
Rashi), and also permitted trimming the moustache.
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)
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,
(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
(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
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
(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
(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
(h) Answer: It is possible to change the pre-ordained plan
(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
2. Sifrei Torah, Tefilin, Mezuzos. Even a small
correction in a Sefer Torah may not be made.
ii. the scribe needs the money thus earned for
3. R. Yehudah does permit writing Tefilin and Mezuzos
for one's own use, and spinning Tzitzis threads with
Index to Outlines for Maseches Moed Katan