Carrying from One Domain to Another
6. What is meant by a "tzuras hapesach" (lit: "shape of a doorway")
(1)? One should erect a pole that is at least ten "tefachim" (2) high, at
each side of the breach in the courtyard wall (3), and place a rod or
string over them; this rod or string must be placed directly over these
posts and not to the side of them (4). One may, however, hammer nails into
the top of the poles, and then tie the string around them.
Each post may not be more than three "tefachim" away from the wall, nor
should they be more than three "tefachim" above the ground. In a difficult
situation, when the only way a "tzuras hapesach" can be made is to leave
more than three "tefachim" between it and the wall, one may follow the
lenient view, and do so.
(1) As we saw in HY 82:4, if a breach in a courtyard wall is wider than ten
"amos" (approximately 5.5m), or if neither four "tefachim" (approximately
36cm) of the wall remain on one side of the breach, nor is there one
"tefach" (approx. 9cm) on both sides, and certainly if none of the wall
remains at all, then, even if the opening is only three "tefachim" wide
(apppox. 27cm) (5), it is forbidden to carry within the courtyard until the
breach is repaired, preferably by erecting a "tzuras hapesach" ("form of a
doorway"). Once a "tzuras hapesach" is erected, the opening is considered
an entrance, not a breach.
(2) Opinions among the authorities as to the exact length of a 'tefach'
('handbreadth') range between 8 and 10cm ( 3 to 4 inches). Opinions among
the authorities as to the exact length of an "Amoh" ("cubit") range between
48 and 60cm (20 to 24 inches).
(3) The two poles on either side of the opening do not have to be the same
height. If they are not the same height, the rod or string over the top of
them should be placed on a slant; they should also be tight enough to
prevent swaying in the wind (Mishna Berura 362:60).
(4) It is not necessary for the two poles on the ground to reach the rod or
string that is over them; as long as the rod or string is directly above
them, there can be a large gap between them; this is based on the halachic
principle called "Gud Asik", whereby we view the top of the poles as if
they extend upwards to the rod or string.