פורום בינלאומי לנושא סת"ם

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Total lack of hekker ribuah in rear of titurah

Is this kosher? There is hekker ribuah underneath but no cut out on the top. (Someone just brought these back from Israel where they purchased this from a "top" sofer as a "top" pair of tefillin". Hmmm)

(It is a basic halacha that for the ribuah of the titurah there must be a "cut out" on both sides between the titurah and maabarta that creates the two back corners of the titurah and defines the ribuah of the titurah)

Monday, July 23, 2018

A rare and remarkable skill....

Do not try this yourself! Only a handful of people in the world can do is not for the faint hearted (I was holding my breath watching this). Still beats rewriting the yeriya and well worth the few dollars they charge for this service...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

3 questions on mezuzah: short reigh/daled; gimel; peh

I was shown this mezuzah.

3 questions:

1. How short is too short for a reish or daled? Here are 3 examples found:

2. Gimel: I have seen a gimel like this before (see image below), where both regalim seem to come from the gag, where as I understand it, it would be pasul. Here the left regel comes out of the right regel, but very close to the gag where it looks like its coming out the gag. Would this be a sheila l'tinok?

3: Peh pshuta: thoughts?

As always I would appreciate your thoughts.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Alef - change?

Found this Alef in Torah reading from yesterday...

Not having too much experience, and I had not seen something like this before, I along with another sofer in the minyan  decided its a change in tsurah and we took out another sefer Torah.

Is this a change in tsurah?

After the service, we looked closer at this Sefer and noted many letters that were pasul and many questionable ones...

Here is a snapshot of some of them.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the Alef and the others too...

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

נו"ן פשוטה שנפסקה

נראה לי שמותר לתקנה, כי צורתה ברור, וההפסק אינו ניכר כל כך. (דבר כזה, יש לבחון בראיה אמיתית במציאות, כי שינויים קטנים יכולים לשנות את השאלה)
גם הב' של "בין" העקב משוך מדי ימינה, מ"מ כשרה.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

width of each colums (Bnai Haman/V'es) in 42 line (45 or 48cm) Aseres Bnai Haman

In order to figure out the width of the amud I need to know the width of the Bnai Haman and the width of V'es then I can calculate the space to leave in between. (Will be according to Rav Elyashiv who holds the space should be 2x the width of both V'es and Bnai Haman. (For example, if Bnai Haman is 6cm and V'es is 4cm then the space in between is 20cm.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Suspicious Mechika

It may be a bit hard to see, but there is a mechika on the second line of Vehoyah. starts after the Lamed of LeAhavah and goes to the end of the line. How and why would this be done without a mechikas HaShem or shelo kisidran? (the daled and vav at the end of the line are not touching)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

קרע גדול במעברתא

אמנם איני זוכר שיש דין מפורש בקרע המעברתא, מ"מ נראה שאין להכשיר קרע גדול כל כך.
אבל אם ירצה לתפור עור או להדביק עור על המעברתא - כדי להיות המעברתא שלימה - רשאי.

Do you have sefer Mishnas Hasofer - newer edition?

I have the original edition from 5752. I recently saw another (new) sefer quote from him and what he says doesn't even remotely match what Rav Stern writes, at least in his original edition. If you have the later edition, let me know and I'd request a picture of a short piece to see if in fact, it's in the newer edition or just a mistake.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

ספר בנין א"ב?

Is anyone familiar with this sefer? I've seen it quoted in Mishmeres Stam and Kesiva Tama.

Fixing a Mashuach sefer Torah

Above are some photographs of a sefer Torah I have been called in to repair from time to time.  It as a sefer written on klaf mashuach, coated parchment. Over the past few years I have noticed fresh problems and cracking, occurring more frequently, to the point that there are currently several amudim that look like the pictures above. I have never previously agreed to undertake a comprehensive repair a mashuach torah scroll, because that nature of it is very difficult to work with (ink runs off the coating) and because of the coating, there is no guarantee how quickly letters will continue to crack. Once it starts, it doesn't stop, and it would be very difficult to guarantee continued Kashrus.

I have recommended to the owners that it is beyond my scope and capabilities to work with such a sefer.  Furthermore, all of my usual  repairers that I outsource to in Israel, won't touch klaf moshuach seforim. Does anyone know of a reliable repairer of klaf mashuach? Perhaps someone who knows a method of ensuring the letters don't continue to crack? I would like to be able to do something to help the owners of the sefer.

I have also heard of someone that puts a coating of some sort of laquer on top of the ksav to make sure it doesn't crack. I am not talking about fixative as that would likely be useless on mashuach. Can anyone shed any light on this please?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lanai Table Instructions

Does anyone have instructions for how to put together the Lanai Table? I just put it together, and I want to make sure that I have it right.

Monday, May 14, 2018

New book on the laws of Sefer Torah


 With gratitude to Hashem I am happy to inform you of the release of my newest book, Sefer Torah: Divine Protection and Unity. Several years of work have gone into this project and I am pleased to share that it is the most thorough book in English of its kind. The book is designed to be user-friendly while also providing extensive research and sources. It is a great reference for Ashkenazic, Sefaridic and Chabad practice.

 A special thanks to Rav Moshe Weiner and the other Rabbonim for the careful review of this entire sefer and extensive notes. 

Just in time for Shavuos! The sefer is available on Amazon.

קבלת התורה בשמחה ובפנימיות

Rabbi Dovid Nissan Bressman

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The OK's Hechsher on STa"M....Will it work?

In today’s day and age, virtually every kosher product available to the consumer comes with a hechsher. By hechsher, I mean an official and recognised rabbinical body or agency that certifies the kashrus of a product, be it a food item or a religious article. Hechsherim play a vital role in providing consumer confidence, and something branded by a reputable kashrus agency will be considered more legitimate than a similar product that does not. The agency has rigid policies and protocols in place to ensure correct standards are met, and they are independent of the manufacturer so that there is no conflict of interest.

As we have discussed on this forum previously, there is a distinct lack of official hechsherim on Sta”m products - Tefillin, Mezuzos and Sifrei Torah. Even the Vaad Mishmeres Sta”m, the oldest and most well- known rabbinic agency in the Sta”m world does not certify products. They test and ordain sofrim and magihim (examiners), offer a computer checking service (spelling errors only), and get involved in cases of major fraud such as printed Sta”m. Very little exists by way of a proper hechsher by a reputable kashrus agency for Sta”m.

The average reseller, be it retail Judaica shops, book or gift shops, online Judaica websites etc., do not usually offer Sta”m with a hechshser. Most establishments operate without any significant rabbinical oversight, and it basically boils down to the knowledge (or lack thereof) and integrity (or lack thereof) of the owner and their respective suppliers. There is very little in terms of regulation or quality control even in Israel and certainly in the diaspora.

It is true that many private sofrim and Safrus establishments provide an excellent standard of kosher Sta”m, and they will argue that a hechsher is unnecessary. However there are still unscrupulous vendors pushing the boundaries of kashrus, and lack of regulation allows them to get away with it. While reputations do play an important role - a more informed customer may know who is more reputable and who is not -  many are unaware and find themselves in a virtual jungle, not knowing who to trust. An option to purchase Sta”m with a reliable hechsher with sound policies and thorough rabbinical oversight, may go a long way in improving both consumer confidence and regulating standards.

So it is therefore welcome news that, as of this year, the American-based OK Kosher Certification agency has begun giving a hechsher on Sta”m. You are now able to buy tefillin, mezuzos, megillos and Torah scrolls, sealed and packaged, bearing an official hologram with the symbol of the OK. Finally, one of the reputable, mainstream hechsherim have plucked up the courage to take on a hechsher for Sta”m.

But will this hechsher on Sta”m really work?  This is not the first time one of the big kashrus agencies has become involved in certifying tefillin and mezuzos for the mass market. It has been tried several times before and they usually don't last for more than a short period of time.  Things usually unravel at the first cycle of checking (Sta"m is checked very often in some circles, particularly Chabad). No system is foolproof, even the best sofrim / magihim can make mistakes. It doesn’t need to be a major error such as a spelling mistake. Even something as small as two letters slightly touching (negiya) render the product unkosher. Or it may even be something which is questionably kosher, a phenomenon which can manifest itself in hundreds of ways.  Once these mistakes are found, they will be out there in the public.

The agencies quickly learn that Sta"m is very different to food and other products they certify. Most problems resulting from human error during kosher food production, are either never exposed to the consumer or are self-limiting due to the perishable nature of food.  However, in Sta"m, every individual item eventually gets re-examined down the track (not once, but many times) by other independent expert examiners, (many who will not have the agencies’ interests at heart.

I know this may sound blunt - but I've been in this business long enough to know the reality. It is not a question of IF mistakes will be found. It is a question of how many, how quickly and how bad they are. Others in the industry will be looking for them. The fact that they are under a hechsher, a novelty concept, will put them under additional scrutiny. Once mistakes go public, the agency's reputation will begin to suffer, and people may even begin to question other products they certify. 

This is exactly what happened about twelve years ago to the Batatz Eideh Hachareidis (one of the largest and most reputable kashrus agencies in Israel) when they began certifying Sta"m, and suddenly stopped about a year later. I spoke to one of their examiners at the time and he said they scrapped it because it caused too much "agmas nefesh" for the Eidah. (They still certify batim and retzuos, but that's not the same thing since they do not come under the same level of independent scrutiny down the track.) A few years ago the Star K also started certifying Sta”m, and again, did not manage to keep it going for more than a short while. And this is precisely the reason why the Vaad Mishmeres Sta”m, the most qualified organisation to regulate this industry, do not certify individual products.

(The only official Hechsher that I know of, that has survived long term, is the hechsher of Rabbi Landau. Rabbi Landau has a small “Lishkas Sta”m” in Bnei Brak, that sells sealed mezuzos and tefillin with a hechsher. However, they only sell very small quantities and only certify Sta”m with very high-quality writing. They are extremely selective and do not certify the typical middle and lower range of tefillin and mezuzos. As a result of this policy, they have not really penetetrated the market, nor is this hechsher viable for mass production to the mainstream.)

Unquestionably, the biggest challenge that the OK will face, is that they have chosen to certify middle and lower quality (non – mehudar) Sta”m. This is a necessary evil if they want their Hechsher to be available to the mass market, because it’s what sells most. Almost all retail establishments such as Judaica and Jewish book shops, primarily sell the more basic level of mezuzos and tefillin. It is umpteen times more difficult to certify cheaper Sta”m. They require a lot more scrutiny, repair and quality control prior to sale. Problems are much more common, and the halachic grey areas are much more challenging.

Even on higher end Sta”m, many discrepancies exist between individual sofrim even rabbis, about how to define halachic levels and minimum standards of acceptability for items to be classified as Mehudar, Kosher lechatchilah and Kosher bedieved. Discrepancies in Sta’m even with regards to broader classifications of what is kosher and what is possul are often debated between the major poskim in the field. It is more diverse than in any other area of halacha. The nature of Sta”m is that a shailo presented may never have existed before, or never exist again. It is far from an exact science and much depends on personal judgement. The OK are going to need a very solid and reputable rabbinical team to stand behind their decisions and policies. In order to gain acceptability and the trust of the public, at least one highly regarded posek in the field of Sta”m will need to be actively involved.

Most of the kashrus issues in Sta’m pertain to the technical halochos of tzuras ha’osiyos – the formation of the letters themselves. I appreciate that someone who is not a sofer or knowlegable in these laws will not be interested in how the OK will rule on some of these more contentious issues.  However more commonly discussed halachic aspects, pertaining to broader matters of kashrus in Sta”m, will likely be of interest to many. It will be interesting to know what their policies will be on the following:

1.     Will items being sold under the hechsher be written exclusively by sofrim with ksav kabollah (ordination / certification)?  It is no secret that the majority of practising sofrim do NOT have ksav kabolla, even though in today’s day and age it is considered a basic requirement. Will the OK be indicating which Rabbonim / certifying agencies they will they accept and which will they not? On what basis will they make this decision?

2.     What type of parchment will the OK allow their sofrim to write on. There are more klaf manufacturers now than ever, (with varying levels of credibility) and each sofer has his personal preference. Some have hechsherim and some do not. Which manufacturers/hechsherim will be accepted and which will not?

3.     Which batim will they be using for tefillin? There are dozens of manufacturers and some of them are known to sell highly problematic merchandise (despite having a hechsher). Which hakpodos (specifications/ stringencies) will they require? For example, will they be selling rov prudos or only prudos legamri (different types of separation of the four batim compartments)? What will their position be on the debate regarding alcohol testing for cracks (as debated previously on this forum)?

4.     With regards to retzuos, will they allow machine-made types for their lower end tefillin, or only hand-made? Again, which manufacturers will they approve? Will they rule in accordance with Rabbi Landau or the Badatz on the highly debated issue of how the retzuos must be painted.

5.     Who will examine their Sta”m and what credentials will they require of their examiners? The Vaad Mishmeres Sta”m have a separate exam and certificate for examiners, which is more advanced than the one for ksav kabollah (certification for writing only), and requires further study and a minimum of 3 years shimush (apprenticeship) specifically for checking. (Most sofrim are not qualified examiners, nor do they need to be). Will the OK require examiners to be certified and by whom?

6.     Will they allow examiners to make minor repairs and touch ups with a rapidograph (technical pen) or only a proper feather quill? If they allow the use of rapidograph, (as many poskim do), will they be against the use of the European synthetic rapidograph inks? Which inks will they allow?

As stated above, these questions represent some of the broader kashrus issues which are discussed and debated in Sta”m.  However, this is really only the tip of the iceberg. As said earlier, most of the Halachic challenges in Sta”m pertain to the laws of the formation of the letters (tzuras haosiyos). They involve thousands of technical laws, and some of their nuances are heavily debated by today’s poskim. These will need to be carefully navigated by the decision makers behind the hechsher.  They far surpass the scope of this article. (Perhaps another time we can explore their policies on contentious matters such as how to define  kav moshuch and sofek kav moshuch and if and how they are fixable lechatchilah; What are the exact gedorim of kuba and zonov and do these laws apply to tefillin as well? Is there room for ponim chadoshos bedieved or is it considered completely unacceptable?; If there is a space of more than three yudin between two words, is it kosher lechatchilah or bedieved? For a lamed to be kosher lechatchilah, does the neck need to be 1, 1.5 or 2 times the length of its head? Etc, Etc.)

In conclusion, it must be reiterated that the success of the hechsher long term is two-fold. Firstly, their examiners must be extremely punctilious and their quality control must be stellar, because, as explained above, mistakes will be more detrimental to their hechsher than any other product they certify. Secondly, the rabbinic team who will be setting halachic policy and paskening on individual shailos much must hold a great degree of weight in order to justify the positions on the many contentious technicalities in Sta”m.

If the above two criteria are met (the second will be easier than the first) there is every good chance that the hechsher will work. Hopefully the certified products will not just be available through one or several resellers, but will be available to the mainstream consumer, at gift and Judaica shops, kosher shops, Jewish bookstores and online websites. Considering the (well-documented and much complained about) lack of regulation and ensuing widespread sale and distribution of problematic Sta”m at such establishments, this will be a fresh and much needed option available to consumers. When presented with a choice at these establishments, I hope a noteworthy percentage of people will opt to choose to buy the certified Sta”m products.  

Friday, May 11, 2018

יו"ד דומה לרי"ש קטנה

היו"ד דומה לרי"ש קטנה, דינה כדין יו"ד הדומה ללמ"ד קטנה - שאלת תינוק

Monday, April 30, 2018

Hechsher of the OK on stam

I have heard that the OK will soon be giving a hechsher on Tefillin, Mezuzos and Sifrei Torah...

Has anyone else heard of this?

Update : Someone sent me this. Seems INDEED this is the case. See below.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mem with straight gag

A friend showed me this mezuzah and said he was advised by a credible magiah that this mezuzah was pasul. I saw these pencil markings on it. I noted the mem of matar has the gag touching "too much" but mishnat hasofer says bediavad (even if the gag is a complete straight line) this can be fixed in a tefillin and mezuzah. Does anyone know of any source which would hold this mem is pasul?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Double Sirtut

Has anyone heard of any major posek saying double sirtut reduces (halachic) hiddur?

I know there is a source in rishonim not to have more than one sirtut. Does anyone know where? Is this taken into account buy today's poskim?


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Backwards Tzadik source in Rishonim


Since I just joined the forum I figured I would post something small that I found interesting to introduce myself.

Here is A source in Rishonim for the minhag of the backwards head of the letter Tzadik.

The Minchas Solet (R' Menachem Mendel Meshi-Zahav), perush on the Baruch Sheamar, brings that, while the custom of having the right head of the letter Tzadik face towards the right seems to originate from the Arizal, the truth is that you can find an earlier source for in the Rishonim. Namely, the Meiri and in his understanding of Rashi.

In explaining the statement in the Gemara that you should be careful in writing that your letters Tzadik and Gimel should not look alike (לא יעשה צדין גמין), one explanation is that if you flip the gimel around it will look like the long Tzadik. Now, the sefer Hatruma qualifies this that the head of the backwards gimel will not match the right head of the Tzadik, since it will face towards the right. However, the Meiri understands Rashi to hold that it will match the Gimel, implying that the right head of the Tzadik also faces towards the right, according to Rashi.

I have been going through the posts on this blog and it is a tremendous resource and a wealth of practical insight. Yasher koach! Keep it up!

I have a blog where I sometimes post my Torah thoughts:

As well as a YouTube channel where I post mamarim/Mishnayos etc for chazara.
For example:

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Hi everyone,

I have recently come across 2 cases of those plastic retzuos which were first discovered about two and a half years ago. This is the type that has the thick plastic (not paint veneer) heat pressed onto poor quality leather that easily tears once it is separated from the plastic.

One was from a pair of tefillin purchased in NY , the other, from Israel. Both sets were a few years old and could have easily come from those fraudulent batches being sold a few years ago.

My theory is that some of them began splitting right away or within a short amount of time, so people changed them. Some people may also have tested them when the fuss was being made once the fraud was discovered, and changed them then. But in all likelihood, many did not, and if the two parts are still bonded together (some may have been manufactured better than others) then people would be unaware that anything is wrong.

The common pask on those retzuos were that they were possul.

I'm wondering if anyone else is still seeing them and if sofrim in general keep an eye out for them when people bring tefillin in for checking. Now that it has been a few years, these will start coming in for routine checking, and if they are still out there and have not been replaced, it is incumbent upon the sofrim checking tefillin to keep an eye out for them. If they look suspicious, they should be tested immediately.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Looking for a Table שולחן סופר in Eretz Yisroel or America


 I am looking for a table while I am in Eretz Yisroel. I am here until next Wednesday, and the only tables I have seen are the ones that stand on an existing table or the Lanai one that I have shown on the right. I plan to bring the Table back to America in two checked bags.

 I found the one on the right for 2000 shekels, and I am wondering if anyone knows a better price? If possible I would like to see if other table options exist already in America besides the one Merkaz Hasofrim sell (I think the Lanai one is better). Specifically I would like a Larger writing surface for working with large sheets of Bristol Vellum, but I still want the ergonomic benefits of the Sofer Table. I was thinking of just making my own piece of wood and attaching it to the Lani Table to suit my needs. Perhaps I would incorporate a Light Board into the Lanai Table.

Any Help would be appreciated.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Tefilin - first parsha only

On Friday morning I started writing parshiot for tefillin shel rosh. I didn't anticipate having any problem completing at least the first two, but it both took a lot longer than I expected and I had to stop twice to wait for letters to dry so that I could correct them. I ran out of time and was only able to finish the first parsha.
All the sources I've seen say that you need to write at least the first two in one sitting. What is the status of the parsha that I wrote? Is it kosher but not lechatchila? Should I start from the beginning but save it in case I ever need a first parsha written at an earlier date? I saw the Lishkat Sofer brings down an opinion that if there is a sofer who is not robust and will likely make mistakes if he writes for long periods, that it is better to take breaks. But I could not be certain if he was talking about breaks after finishing the second parsha (as opposed to writing all four at once), or breaks in general, and whether he is just talking about brief pauses or more than that.

And while on the topic, what are you supposed to do if you're writing tefillin and you make a mistake? Is the correct thing to sit by yourself and wait for it to dry without talking? Start another set of tefillin so that you stay in the same mindset? Or is it acceptable to take a break and come back to it?


Josh Skarf

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

שאלה בדין ריוח סתומה בתפלין

הכ"ף פשוטה בסוף השיטה ענקית - אמנם נראה שמבחינת צורת האות היא כשרה, אך יש להסתפק שמא הוא מפסיק את הריוח שלאחר ובשעריך. שהרי כעת הריוח אינו פתוח לסוף השיטה. או לאידך שמא נעשה בעצם כאן פרשת סתומה במקום שאינה צריכה להיות פ' סתומה?
אמנם מדובר בתפלין של ראש שלדינא אינו מעכב בה צורת הפרשיות פתוחה וסתומה [וכמו כן יש לומר - אם הניח ריוח פ' סתומה במקום שאינה צריכה].

Friday, March 16, 2018

Ashkenaz Ketores

Does anyone know where I can get  a ketores with the words as they appear in a nusach Ashkenaz siddur?

or where I can get a tikun nusach Ashkenaz?

Pitum Haketores Nusach Ashkenaz

Where can i get a Pitum Haketores Nusach Ashkenaz. Ksav Ari is ok but i would like the nusach founnd in an ashkenaz siddur.
Yitzchok Weinnberger

Monday, February 26, 2018


Anyone ever see or heard of this?

Mem of בהם

The black dot under the mem is a hole in the klaf is there a problem with a small letter that isn't one of the list of small letters?

Also any comments on the Yud of עשרים a number of them in this sefer are written like that almost long enough to be a Vov.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Last two columns made narrower in a Megillah

I recently got a tikkun for a 48 line meggilat Esther. The last two columns were made narrower, presumably to make sure the writing ended at the bottom of the column. Is this a requirement for a megillah? If so, what's the source? I have seen an older 50 line megillah where the writing ended in the middle of the column. Is it perhaps preferable to write columns that are all equal rather than have it end at the end?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Question Received by email

A Chabad Rabbi asked me to post this:

The Alter Rebbe writes in the Piskey Hasiddur as we know, in Hilchos Tefilin that the Shel Rosh has to be between the eyes “Mamesh”. Meaning that we need to make sure its align as perfect as we can,  due to the reason he gives,  that according to Rashi’s shita,  two parshiyos are on the right and two on the left, and based on the Rosh’s pirush -  its on one’s head that two have to be on one’s right side of the head and the other two on the left side of the head etc.  (checkout the leshon in the siddur below) .

"ואח"כ יניח את של ראש בגובה הראש ויזהר שיהא באמצע רוחב הראש ממש שהרי אמרו 'קדש' 'והי' כי יביאך' מימין ו'שמע' 'והי' אם שמוע' משמאל, ובתפילין דרש"י שהפרשיות כסדרן אין בין ימין לשמאל אלא משהו דהיינו החריץ שבין והי' כי יביאך לשמע, על כן צריך ליזהר בזה מאוד".

However, the Alter Rebbe writes in shulchan Aruch siman 32 seif Nun Tes , (based on the Baruch She’amar)  that the  Bayis of shel Rosh only lachatchila needs that all four compartments /batim should be equally in size/width,
ושל ראש יהיה כל הד' בתים יחד מרובעין ולא כל אחד בפני עצמו -ולכתחלה יעשה כל הד' בתים שוין שלא יהא אחד רחב מחבירו

So my question is, if the batim machers are not  particular about this,  and each compartment of the Shel Rosh made, may be little bit off and are not identical in width,  how is it possible that the Shel Rosh will ever be in the middle of the head where two parshiyos are on the right and two on the left?  (based on the above words of the Alter Rebbe in the Piskey Hasidur) If one bayis is little small and the other slightly wider,  the two parshiyos on either side will never be in the middle
באמצע רוחב הראש ממש

Can you please clarify this klutz kasha for me?

Friday, February 2, 2018

צד"י פשוטה שאינה יורדת מתחת לשיטה

מה דין הצ' פשוטה הזאת?
לכאורה אין בה פסלות, מכיון שיש בה צורה נכונה, אע"פ שאינה יורדת מהשיטה.
בלי קשר להאם יורדת מהשיטה או לא - יש אומרים שהיא פסולה כי היא בעצם מין עיי"ן הפוכה. זה לא נראה לי נכון.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Second Hey in G-d's Name

While looking through an old Sefer Torah and some old tefillin and I found that consistently the second hey in the four letter name is rounded like a reish on the top right corner (example attached).  None of the other heys are like this. According to the Mishna Berurah these would be b'dieved heys. Does anyone happen to know the source for this?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

48 Line Megillat Esther with Parshiyot Setumot

Does anyone happen to have or know where I can find a tikkun for a 48 line Megillat Esther with only parshiyot setumot (both of these being requirements mentioned by the הגהות מיימוניות) with bnei haman the same size as the rest of the ktav (like the Gra)? Also I keep getting mixed answers about this but some soferim have told me the columns after Bnei would need to be a different width. Is this an absolute or preferable? Is there any problem with the columns being different widths? Also, while looking through some old megillot from the Israel national library, I found that there were quite a few varying traditions when it came to smaller letters in Bnei haman. (They all had the bigger vav of course) If anyone could suggest poskim who discuss this matter that would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
What does everyone think of the yud in לבניך?
It's not clear if the light part is actual mamashut dyo or if it's just a roshem.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Does anyone have knowledge of this Rov? I recently checked a pair of tefillin and the parshiyos are definitely not mehudar. The customer would like to go back to where he bought them and ask for a refund.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Is there a resource available that lists instances of shem Hashem in a given text?
To be more specific, I'm writing Megilat Rut and I'm wondering about 1:16, where Rut says "Elokayich Elokai." Since she's speaking generally, I would guess it isn't considered shem Hashem, but I'm wondering if there is a place to look these things up?


Monday, January 8, 2018

Mezuzah Position part 2

As per my previous post, this door frame is structured as follows (picture taking standing on the outside of the house looking in, by the left door post):
 - an outer door frame
 - then a sliding fly screen on the outside of the house
 - then an "inner door frame"
 - then a sliding glass door on the inside of the house.

In the previous post, several suggested the mezuzah should go on the inner door post, which as now confirmed is between the fly screen and glass door.

I would like to argue that the mezuzah should go on the far right outer door frame, as this is the most outer door frame.

What are your thoughts?

This looks pretty good.... it sits on your table, has a lightbox and magnets....and seems pretty comfortable and sturdy

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Rapidograph and air bubbles

I've been at this for many years and have been satisfied with Rotring. (I tried multiple brands and this is the best.) However, recently I'm having far more than normal trouble with air bubbles that is forcing ink out and making it very difficult to work. I switched to a new head and still have the problem. I cleaned the other head and tried it again and nothing has changed. I even switched to a new cartridge. I open and pop the air bubbles and put take the head on and off a few times to release the air. Ink is still often coming out the tip. I'm using Dio Lanetzach (I don't want to use over the counter ink and I had been using Hadar 17 but it was very difficult to work with.) Could the ink be the issue? The bottle is a few years old and maybe something to the remaining ink in the bottle?

שאלת תינוק

הר' קטנה - דינה שאלת תינוק. [לי זה נראה כרי"ש, אבל בכל זאת היא קטנה, ואפשר תינוקות יטעו בה ביחסה לגודל שאר הכתב].
כמה תינוקות נשאלו, אחר שהראו להם רישי"ן ויודי"ן מכתב זה, וכולם [פרט לאחד] קראוהו יו"ד - ופסלוהו.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

How to fix the gimmel of the previous post so it is lechatchillah

The red is where you add a stroke of ink so now the left רגל is now clearly coming out of the right רגל and not questionably going right up to the back of the גג.

Then  you can scratch a little from the גג  to perfect it. The area to scratch is marked in green.

Whether or not you choose to fix it is up to you , but it is definitely kosher even without fixing...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mezuzah Position

How many Mezuzahs should be on this door frame(s)? and where should they be positioned.
To describe the frame:
there are 4 glass panels
the 2 middle panels are sliding glass doors.
There are door posts separating each glass panel.
There is currently a mezuzah at point C marked in the image.
Many thanks

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

5 Generations

Our work always bring interesting things our way.  A few days ago I received a young Russian man working on his Doctoral PhD in a local university in my studio.  With him were very old Chabad tefillin which he wanted for me to restore the Batim. Upon seeing them I remarked, these are at least over 100 years old!  Yes, he remarked with much pride: "they span 5 generations!"

The housings are 4.4 cm x 4.4 cm and are painted with a hard shinny lacquer finish similar to those used in old pill-sized tefillin from the period.  Besides encasing the entire batim, the paint also extends to the underside of the base creating a case of Hatzitzah for the wearer.

Their construction is very different than our modern tefillin.  These would roughly fall into our category of Peshutim, but certainly not perudot.  The divisions for the four interior housings of the Shel Rosh are created by gluing three separate pieces of leather to the interior of the head compartment, while the division lines from the outside remain purely cosmetic.

Upon checking the parashiot, the writing is within the"Alter Rebbe" family.  The parchments had been checked by a different sofer in the past, and the last parasha of the shel yad -(Vehaya i'm Shamo'a) -  replaced with a smaller modern Arizal.  Unfortunately, upon my checking, the shel yad did not check-out properly. Some of the letters, although correctable, were not "makaf gevil."  The landmine, however, in this type of writ; many times involves the writing of the letter BET.  Five generations went by using a passul shel yad because a BET in the tefillin has the DIN of KHAF!

I have large older Russian parashiot that are still kasher and could technically replace the entire Shel Yad.  However, if refurbished, the housings would still be Bedieved.  What would you do? Refurbish or buy new?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Long Zain in Elifaz

Here is the reverse of the PEN sheala, the regel is at least 2.5 kulmusin but it looks like a zain because it's next to the Pay, can you do a shealas tinok on it?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

יו"ד גדולה מדי

היו"ד אמנם כשרה ביחס לעצמה, אבל היא גדולה מדי ביחס לתיבה שבתוכה היא נמצאת - ויש כאן בעיה של "כתיבה תמה" של יחס האותיות בתיבה זו לזו, כמבואר בדברי האחרונים בבעיה של "פן" כאשר הנו"ן פשוטה אמנם כשרה, אך ליד הפ"א היא נראית כזיי"ן.

ונראה שכאן מותר לתקנה בגרירה, למעט את עביה, כי אין חק תוכות אלא בעשיית צורת האות, וצורת היו"ד הזו עליה.

ראה דוגמא נוספת:  פורום לנושאי סת"ם: יו"ד גדולה מדי

Thursday, November 16, 2017

batim 4x4 and placement on the arm

According to the SA Harav (and pashtus from the Shimusha Rabbah himself and also sefer Hatruma, Eshkol, Pri Megadim) the bayis shel yad need not be 2 etzbaos, which according to SA Harav refers to the ketzitzah (hence ketzitza is 4x4). Even according to those that it applies to the yad (See siman 32 Bach, Eliyahu Rabba and Be'er Heitev), this shiur is only lechatchila according to the Shimusha Rabba.On the other hand, according to the SA and Rama the bayis shel yad must fit on the muscle no higher than the 1/2 way point of the humerus bone. Presumably, a "4x4" bayis can't be accommodated within this space for some/many(?) bar mitzvah boys. If so, lechatchila, shouldn't a smaller bayis shel yad be (temporarily) chosen for such situations rather than to place the bayis higher up and rely on the Gra? (See Mishnah Brurah 27/4; Biur Halachah 32/41 “Ain Lo Shiur” in the name of Shulchan Shlomo; Aruch Hashulchan 27/4, who writes that one who has a sore and can't place the tefillin according to the SA/Rama can rely on the Gra.)