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A diagonal korah

A korah may be placed diagonally across the opening of a mavoi-alleyway. However, carrying is only permitted up until the edge of the korah. It follows, that one will be able to carry further if one is carrying on the side of the mavoi that has the long side of the korah placed over it.

A korah is only valid if the opening of the mavoi is ten amos or less. The poskim disagree if, a korah which is placed diagonally and stretches for a distance of more than ten amos, is still valid.

[ שו"ע שסג, ל, משנ"ב קכו, שעה"צ קיד, וביה"ל ד"ה יכול; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 127]

An uneven mavoi

A korah placed diagonally over an uneven mavoi (one side is long and the other side is short) is invalid. The reason for this is as follows; the longer side of the mavoi appears as if it is a reshus harabim (since it does not have a parallel wall) and if a person would carry in this area of the mavoi, he may come to carry in an actual reshus harabim. The poskim disagree if the entire korah is invalid, and one may not carry in the entire mavoi, or is it only prohibited to carry in the uneven section of the mavoi. The halacha follows the stringent opinion that the korah is completely invalid. The korah should instead be placed in a straight line by the edge of the shorter wall.

[ שו"ע שסג, ל, משנ"ב קכג-קכד, וביה"ל ד"ה שצידו, וד"ה אינו; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 125]

A korah placed on a slight angle

As mentioned, a korah may not be placed diagonally over an uneven mavoi since it will not serve as a reminder for people not to carry into the reshus harabim. The poskim disagree if the korah must be perfectly straight or, may it be placed on a slight angle as long as it appears to be straight. A similar concept applies to a courtyard in which one places a lechi at each edge of the opening in order to permit carrying inside. Here as well, the two lechis must be placed in a straight line. The above mentioned poskim would also disagree if it is sufficient that the lechis just appear to be straight or must they actually be straight.

[ משנ"ב שסג, קכה, וביה"ל ד"ה שצידו; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 126]
  • According to some Rishonim, an alley that is open less than three tefachim does not have to be “fixed” by a lechi or a korah. Other Rishonim maintain that any opening up until four tefachim does not have to be closed off.

  • A riverbank may serve as a halachic partition, provided that it is either ten tefachim deep at its edge, or it slopes on a ten tefach angle over a distance of four amos. Therefore, an alleyway that opens into a river like this does not need to be closed off by any other partition.

  • Adjoining together all the courtyards of the mavoi.

  • Placing a lechi or a korah in middle of the mavoi

  • Splitting a mavoi in half
PLEASE NOTE: The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.
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