[Avodah] Panim Chadashos in an era of mass production

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Thu Feb 14 13:16:40 PST 2019

SA CM 360:5 talks about acquiring an item after gezeilah through a shinui
that is not chozer libriaso -- no yi'ush needed.

Of coure I had starts at AhS, where it's se'if 7.

Examples: Stealing wood and nailing it together to make a boat is chozer
lebriaso (AhS: ssuming the wood was stolen in ship plank form) because
one can pull the nails out and restore them.

If one steal sand and make bricks, one are not qoneh -- because a hammer
can return them to sand. (AhS has a yeish omerim that limits this to
bricks dried in the sun; kiln baked bricks can't be broken back down
to sand.re not qoneh because one can melt the coin back down.

SA s' 6: But the following shinuyim are qonim:

- One steals wood and planes it smooth, cuts it or hollows it out
  to make keilim,
- Steals wood and dyes or bleaches it
- Steals a brick and turns it into saned
- Destroys coins

Because even if you turn the metal back into a coin it's panim chadashos.

First, a tangent.... Notice how entropy-related the halakhah ends up being.
A shinui that matters increases entropy. If you actuall make an item
out of something of lower entropy -- a brick from dirt -- it's reversible
because entropy naturally increases.

The AhS (again, se'if 7) spends time defining panim chadashos.

1- Shitah Mequbetzes: because you can't make it with exactly the same
look as the original.
2- Rashi: ... exactly the same width or length

And even if you used the same stamp, the appearance would be a little
different (AhS: even according to Rashi, kakh nir'eh li).

Going back to my entropy detour: because you aren't restoring it to the
same low-entropy state.

But here's the question I am really interested in:

I had gotten into this thinking that panim chadashos had to do with
identity. Even if it the sand were reformed into a brick, it would be
a new brick made of the same stand.

But if it's about appearnace (tzurah, mar'eh according to the SM or
dimensions according to Rashi), then is this still true? Aren't today's
mass produced items so consistent that a human can't tell them apart?
And therefore if the same metal was made using the same die to make
a coin, there would be no change. Seems to me.

And if so, would the halakhah change? (Not that a gazlan getting ahold
of the same mass production equipment to remake the same item as the
owner originally did is all that likely...)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             One who kills his inclination is as though he
micha at aishdas.org        brought an offering. But to bring an offering,
http://www.aishdas.org   you must know where to slaughter and what
Fax: (270) 514-1507      parts to offer.        - R' Simcha Zissel Ziv

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