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1. The Gemara relates that certain children came to the Beis Midrash and stated teachings about the order of the letters of Alef-Beis.
2. The children's teachings did not merely expound the names of the letters, but also the shapes of the letters.
3. Reish Lakish explains the verse, "If for scoffers He will scoff, and for the humble He will give favor."
4. The Gemara continues to expound on the combination of letters known as "A'T Ba'SH."
5. One is liable for writing on Shabbos with any form of indelible ink or substance, as opposed to one that disappears quickly.


1. For example, they said that "Alef Beis" stands for "Alef Binah" -- "learn understanding (i.e. Torah)," and that "Gimel Dalet" means "Gemol Dalim" -- "help the poor."
2. For example, they taught that the leg of the Gimel is stretched toward the Dalet to teach that one should run after the poor to help them (see #1 above). Similarly, the top of the Dalet stretches back towards the Gimel to teach that the poor should avail themselves to be helped.
3. This means that if a person wants to sin, Hashem will give him the option to do so. If he wants to do good, Hashem will help him.
4. "A'T Ba'SH" is a system of writing a word by exchanging a letter in one half of the Alef-Beis with its corresponding letter in the other half of the Alef Beis. For example, the letter of Alef is interchangeable with the letter Tav ("A'T"), and the letter Beis is interchangeable with the letter Shin ("Ba'SH"). The Gemara expounds the first four combinations of "A"T Ba'SH Ga'R D'aK" to mean, "If you (At) are embarrassed (Bash) to sin, your soul will reside (Gar) under the Throne in Heaven (Dok; see Rashi)."
5. Similarly, one is liable for writing on any surface on which the writing remains, even on one's flesh.

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