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MBY 340:1-14 Several Common ‘Tolados’ (sub-categories) of the ‘Melachos’ (abridged – part 3)
MBY 340:1-14 3) Actions related to ‘Kosaiv’ (writing) [Excerpted from The 39 Melachos by Rabbi D. Ribiat, Vol. IV, pp. 945, 947, 961]

Forming any kind of letter, symbol, picture or design that conveys a particular meaning or represents an idea (in any language) is the basic concept of the melacha of kosaiv (writing).
As a general rule, any method of forming a letter or symbol is the melacha of kosaiv. Thus, kosaiv may be accomplished by writing, scratching or engraving on a surface… Even scoring a simple line or marking on a paper or surface in order to represent a message of any kind is kosaiv, whether this is done with a knife, stylus or even one’s fingernail! This is true even though the mark is not any kind of language character, symbol or picture. This form of kosaiv is known as ‘rosheim’ (lit. marking) and is also included under the melacha of kosaiv, if it represents or contains a specific message to someone… In some cases temporary markings are permitted on Shabbos and Yom Tov: …It is permissible to “draw” letters or signs in the air, or on a dry surface where virtually no mark is left in the air or on the surface, because this does not resemble kosaiv at all (since no mark or trace remains.)

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