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Does Melaben Involve Water Or Not - Answer

The answer is as follows: When one has dust on his garment and he shakes it off the garment will be completely cleaned - even without water. In such an instance melaben is done even without water.

When cleaning a garment that is muddy, merely rubbing off the garment will not completely clean the it. Traces of mud will remain. In this case water is required for a complete cleaning and a transgression of melaben.

It emerges then that Rashi did not contradict himself. He said that there is melaben even without water he was talking about dust. When he said that in order to do melaben one needs to use water he was explaining the gemara that was talking about mud. [Sha'ar Hatziyun]

So Rebbe Akiva Eiger's question is answered. Which makes a Torah Scholar wonder why RA"E didn't offer such a basic distinction. He obviously has a different understanding of melaben. That is food for thought.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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