Which mitzvos have individual parts to them that are essential to the entire mitzvah? Mishnah:
The seven branches of the Menorah are essential to each other. The seven lamps are essential to each other.
The two Parshiyos in a Mezuzah are essential to each other. Even one ksav (letter) is essential to them.
The four Parshiyos in Tefilin are essential to each other. Even one ksav (letter) is essential to them.
The four Tzitziyos (sets of strings on each of the four corners of a garment) are essential to each other, because they are all one Mitzvah.
2nd opinion: R’ Yishmael says, each of the four is a Mitzvah by itself.
מוּשָׂגִים 1. קְנֵי מְנוֹרָה
The Menorah had a total of seven branches. Six branches coming out of the seventh branch in the center (three branches from each side).
2. שִׁבְעָה נֵירוֹתֶיהָ
Above the branches were lamps – which were cups that the oil and wicks were placed in them. There were seven lamps.
3. מְעַכְּבִין זֶה אֶת זֶה
There are some Mitzvos that all of its parts are essential to each other and therefore missing one part prevents you from fulfilling the entire Mitzvah.
For example: One cannot fulfill the mitzvah of Lulav unless he also has an Esrog, Hadasim and Aravos.
[However, there are other Mitzvos that each part is an independent mitzvah on its own and therefore when you are missing one part it does not hold you back from fulfilling the other part\s.
For example: Although the Tefillin Shel Yad and the Tefillin Shel Rosh are both part of the Mitzvah of Tefillin, they are two separate Mitzvos, and you can fulfill one without the other.]
4. פָּרָשִׁיוֹת שֶׁבִּמְזוּזָה
There is a Mitzvah in the Torah that a Mezuzah be affixed to the doorposts of one's home. A Mezuzah is a piece of parchment upon which the Parshah of "Shema" and the Parshah of "v'Hayah Im Shamo'a" are written. Both of these Parshiyos contain a Passuk commanding the Mitzvah of Mezuzah.
5. פָּרָשִׁיוֹת שֶׁבִּתְפִילִין
The four Parshiyos written on the parchments of the Tefilin: "Shema" (Devarim 6:4-9), "v'Hayah Im Shamo'a" (Devarim 11:13-21), "Kadesh Li" (Shemos 13:1-10) and v'Hayah Ki Yevi'acha (Shemos 13:11-16). Each one contains peukim commanding the Mitzvah of Tefilin.
6. אַרְבַּע צִיצִיוֹת
There is a Mitzvah in the Torah to “make themselves tzitzis on the corners of their garments”, therefore if a man wishes to wear a four-cornered garment, he must tie tzitzis on to each corner.
1) How many branches are there in the Menorah and how many lamps?
2) What is the practical meaning of the term מעכבין זה את זה -?
2) What is the source that if even one letter is not written properly in a Mezuza or Tefillin you do not fulfill the Mitzvah?
כְּתַב אָחָד - אוׂת אַחַת, מְעַכּבִין זוּ אֶת זוּ דִכְתִיב (דברים ו) וּכְתַבְתָּם - כְּתִיבָה תַּמָה וּשְלֵימָה, וּּבִתְּפִילִין כְּתִיב הַוָיָ'ה (שם), וְהָיוּ לְטוׂטָפוׂת:
Rashi explains: the reason that a Mezuzah whith even one letter incomplete is Pasul, is because the Passuk states regarding Mezuzah וּכְתַבתָּם – you shall write them. The word וּכְתַבתָּם can be divided in two: וּכְתַב-תָּם – you shall write complete. Therefore, Mezuzos must be perfectly written according to its Halachik requirements.
שולחן ערוך יורה דעה סימן רפ"ה סעיף א' מצות עשה לכתוב פ' שמע והיה אם שמוע ולקובעם על מזוזת הפתח וצריך ליזהר בה מאד וכל הזהיר בה יאריכו ימיו וימי בניו ואם אינו זהיר בה יתקצרו:
Shulchan Aruch: It is a positive Mitzvah to write the Parshiyos of שמע and והי' אם שמוע, and to affix them on the door post. And one needs to be extremely careful in this, and anyone that is careful about this, his days will be lengthened and the days of his children, and if he is not careful about this, they will be shortened.
Why do we write in the Mezuzah specifically שמע and והי' אם שמוע?
ש"ך שם פרשת שמע והיה כו'. דכתיב בהו וכתבתם על מזוזות ביתך ובשעריך:
The Shach explains the reason we write in the Mezuzah these parshiyos, is because the Mitzvah of Mezuzah is mentioned in them. The same explanation is brought in Rashi regarding the four Parshiyos of Tefillin, that in all four the Mitzvah of Tefillin is mentioned.
Does the above apply to an entire Parsha?
Is there a specific order which Parsha should be written first?
If one violated that order, are the Tefillin still kosher?
שלחן ערוך אדמו"ר הזקן סימן ל"ב סעיף א'
... וְצָרִיךְ לְכָתְבָן כַּסֵּדֶר שֶׁהֵן כְּתוּבוֹת בַּתּוֹרָה, לִכְתֹּב תְּחִלָּה פָּרָשַׁת "קַדֶּשׁ", וְאַחַר־כָּךְ "וְהָיָה כִּי יְבִאֲךָ", וְאַחַר־כָּךְ "שְׁמַע", וְאַחַר־כָּךְ "וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ". וְאִם שִׁנָּה סִדְרָן - פְּסוּלִין.
Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch: These passages must be written in the order in which they appear in the Torah i.e., first the passage that begins Kadesh, then Vehayah ki yeviacha, then Shema, and then Vehayah im shamoa. If one changed the order, (tefillin which use these passages) are invalid.
Should a Sofer write the Parshiyos of Tefillin shel Yad Tefillin first or the Parshiyos of the Tefillin Shel Rosh?
וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁרָאוּי לְהַקְדִּים גַּם כֵּן פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁל יָד לְשֶׁל רֹאשׁ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמֻּקְדֶּמֶת בַּפָּסוּק. אַךְ אִם לֹא הִקְדִּים – לֹא פָּסוּל.
Some authorities maintain that it is also fitting [to write] the passages of the arm-tefillin before those of the head-tefillin, because they are mentioned first in the verse. Nevertheless, if one does not [write these passages] first, [the tefillin] are not invalidated.
(וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁלְּכַתְּחִלָּה רָאוּי לְהַקְדִּים פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת שֶׁל רֹאשׁ לְשֶׁל יָד, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁקְּדֻשַּׁת שֶׁל רֹאשׁ חֲמוּרָה מִשֶּׁל יָד. וְכֵן נָכוֹן עַל פִּי הַקַּבָּלָה):
(Others maintain that, as an initial preference, it is proper [to write] the passages of the head-tefillin before those of the arm-tefillin, because the holiness of the head-tefillin is greater than that of the arm-tefillin. This is proper according to the teachings of the Kabbalah.)
The Rebbe said to check the tefillin — but what was wrong with them?
Rabbi Shmuel Wosner was a leading posek in his generation. He passed away in 5775, (2015.)
The following is a story he told:
During the 1960’s, a Lubavitcher chossid whose son had just had his bar mitzvah came to Rabbi Vosner and related that around the time of his son's bar mitzvah, the boy began experiencing medical issues, which the doctors could not explain.
He asked the Rebbe for a blessing, and the Rebbe’s response was that the boy’s tefillin should be checked. The chossid was surprised, as he had bought his tefillin from a well known, G-d fearing and professional sofer — just recently, for the boy’s bar mitzvah. However, being a chossid, he brought the tefillin to another professional sofer. The sofer checked the tefillin and did not find anything wrong with them.
The boy's problems did not get better, and a while later, the chossid again wrote to the Rebbe, explaining that he had fulfilled the Rebbe’s instruction and checked the tefillin. The Rebbe’s response was the same: “Check the tefillin.”
This time, the chossid brought the tefillin to a highly respected and well known sofer. After looking over the tefillin meticulously, he told the father that not only could he not find a problem with the tefillin, he could not even find anything he could add that would make them more beautiful or bring them to a higher standard.
This time, the father did not waste time — he immediately sat down and reported to the Rebbe. The Rebbe’s response: “Check the tefillin. Consult with a rov in your city.”
The third sofer reviewed the tefillin and made the same observations as his priors. The Chossid’s next step was to visit Rabbi Shmuel Vosner, a rov in his city’s office. Rabbi Vosner observed the tefillin, and saw, like all the others, that indeed, they were beautiful, without any discernible problems.
The rov called for the sofer who had written the tefillin, and began asking him about his career — who taught him safrus, where he worked and the like. At a certain point, the sofer mentioned that he is meticulous to go to the mikvah before every time he begins his writing.
Rabbi Vonser knew that there weren’t any mikvaos in this man’s vicinity, so he asked the sofer how he worked out going to mikvah before each time he sat down to write — was he always traveling to another city before he began?
The soferexplained that truly, because he could not travel to another city so often, he left spaces for Hashem’s name when he wrote mezuzos and tefillin, and after he had a chance to go to the mikvah, he went over and filled in the names of Hashem where they belonged, so that at least the names of Hashem (which make mezuzos and tefillin holy) should be written after mikvah.
“Oy vey!” Rabbi Vosner exclaimed. “The tefillin are pasul! Holy articles must be written in their proper order!” Rabbi Vosner explained to the man that he must inform anyone he had sold holy articles that they were pasul, and that he could not continue writing holy articles until he reviewed the relevant halachos properly.
“The Rebbe, through his righteousness saw that the tefillin were pasul, and I rejoiced that the zechus of finding the source of the problem fell into my hands, and through this, to save the past and future customers of the sofer,” Rabbi Vosner concluded.
The mystery was solved.