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What is the underlying argument between the Chazon Ish and Rabbi Chaim Naaeh and Reb Moshe Feinstein? I know they argue in amounts, but what is the underlying argument? How did each get the Measurement he got, why do they argue, and what about?

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  • The motivation for this question was theses comments made by Reb Ovadiah somthing along the lines that the Chazan Ish did not understand somthing I was wondering what he did not understand Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 1:24
  • kikarhashabat.co.il/video.php?vid=60693-56216 Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 1:24
  • Warning it takes really long to load Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 1:24

2 Answers 2

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From what I've heard, it all starts with how you measure a "thumb-width", and from there multiply up to "handbreadth" (tefach), "cubit" (ama), and so on. The thumb-width question is whether it's measured from the narrower or wider part of the thumb.

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Another issue, though perhaps unrelated to the above opiners, is that these measurements are not stable with human appendages being a siman. Rather, the width of an average thumb defines the measurement, which can change with changing generations. Rav Moshe uses this logic (quoting the Chasam Sofer/Chavos Yair) as one apology for why the Chasam Sofer had a larger shiur than he.

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