פורום בינלאומי לנושא סת"ם

Thursday, November 26, 2015

negiya yud beis

I think the saving factors are that the yud is fat and short. I've seen many yud beis negiyos a lot worse...

I really can't see a tinok reading it as a mem. However I still feel shailos chochom is called for...

Monday, November 16, 2015

cleaning klaf of old S"T

I think someone once mentioned a chemical method of cleaning klaf of an older sefer without ruining the ksav. Does anyone know how this is done or have any other ideas?


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Computer Checking

Does anyone have any experience of the Keshet Hasofer computer checking program?

another...long day...

Just another day at the hagaah table...

Method and Approach to Writing – Traditional vs. Modern

The following is really a response to Rabbi Eli Gutnik’s post about Rabbi Zirkind Z”L, as if his approach is a bit extreme, not “mainstream”.

Thank you Eli for pointing out those principles that Rabbi Zirkind worked so hard to instill in his students. Please allow me to clarify.

Rabbi Zirkind learned by Sofrim of the previous generation, including Rabbi Pollak of Williamsburg, and Rabbi Matlin who was the Rebbe’s personal Sofer.

Rabbi Zirkind became the Rebbe’s personal Sofer after Rabbi Matlin’s passing. He checked and wrote Mezuzot for the Rebbe’s house, made Retzuot by the Rebbe’s request, sewed the Rebbe’s Tefilin (when the gid tore), and the Rebbe personally ordered by him tefilin for other people.

The Rebbe recommended him to Horav Moshe Feinstein to write for him Rabeinu Tam Tefilin & later also wrote a Sefer Torah for him, and discussed with him all of the Tsuras Haoityot.

So definitely he is someone we can all look up to and learn from.

You write:

“compared to most other styles is in its simplicity. This is because he strongly believed in the fact that it says "Uchsavtem" (not Utziyartem etc) and that many of the more detailed and ornate ksavim (particularly Ksav Chabad) done today are "drawn" rather than simply "written".”

This approach to “writing” is the way STa”M was written in past generations, that’s the way ALL older Lubavitch sofrim wrote, that’s the way Rabbi Zirkind learned from Rabbi Matlin, that’s the way Rabbi Aronow from Toronto זאל זיין געזונט און שטארק writes, who also learned from previous generation Lubavich Sofrim, and that’s the way Rabbi Zilberman from Montreal wrote and taught.

With this same Style Reb Zalman Vainshtein wrote, and the Rebbe Rayatz ordered by him very many Mezuzot and tells him to “write at least 4 a day, considering Friday and Motzoei Shabbos as one, for a total of about 90 Mezuzot a month! And the main thing is to write more and faster”!

See the letter to him in Igros Kodesh volume 1 letter 178:

"..ורק העיקר כי ישתדל לכתוב יותר, היינו שרייבין געכער, ואם יהי' יותר יהי' יותר טוב"

Reb Zalman who was the Lubavitcher Sofer in Warsaw, advertised in the “Kovetz Hatomim”, that he learned Sofrus in Lubavitch by the order of the Rebbe Rayatz and that the Rebbe had written by him Parshiyot for his sons in-law and grandson. Attached to that ad are letters from Lubavitcher Rabonim that his ksav is what’s Mekubal from the Alter Rebbe.

This advertisement with a copy of his Ktav was printed in the Kfar Chabad magazine issue 971, 8 Cheshvan 5762.

A copy of his Ktav is also available at the following link.

Today we B”H have plenty of Parshiyot & Sifrei Torah written by Lubavich Sofrim of the past, including the Megilot which the Rebbe MaHaR”SH himself wrote, and all are written with the same approach!  Simply “written” in a flowing manner, rather than “drawn".

The “modern" style was started close to 100 years ago by the Sofer Reb Nesanel b”r Shmuel Teplinsky of Yerushalaim, who claimed to have a Mesora from the GR”O, based on the sefer “Ksov Lechaim – Ksiva Tama”. It became popular in Eretz Yisroel and now all copy his handwriting and think that this is Ksav Arizal! The authenticity of this Mesora is questionable, as the Rebbe writes in the Igros Kodesh:

אגרות קודש ח"ג אגרת תשל"א
"אבל בספר כתוב לחיים להסופר ר' אברהם חיים ממינסק (ווילנא תרי"ח) כותב ששמע ... כמובן יסוד קלוש הוא ביותר לקבוע עפ"ז דעת הגר"א שהיא היפך מהאריז"ל, ובפרט שגם התקון בזהר אינו עולה יפה כלל.."

See Ha’oros Ubiurim – Oholei Torah, gilyon 31 (587) page 24, where Rabbi Zirkind clarifies this issue.

You write:

“This argument was consistent with his general shittah that there is no such thing as "hiddur" when itcomes to ksav, there is no makkor in halacha for a beautifully written ksav being in any way advantageous to a simple (yet obviously halachadic) one: Either it is kosher k'din or it is not.”

Today the term “Mehudar” is used by Sofrim/marketers in a very unethical way! To grade artistically nicer looking parshios as “Mehudar” (which that by itself does not have any “Halachic” advantage), without considering other critical factors, such as the qualifications and years of experience of the Sofer (or lack thereof), what klaf was used, etc. and to grade that which to their eyes is not as artistic, as “not Mehudar”.

A typical example, a Mezuzah in which all lines start and finish perfectly even though some letters are stretched or narrow, may be called “very Mehudar” and a Mezuzah which the Sofer wrote normally without overly stretching, and a small space is left at the end of the line or a letter sticks out of line, is called “not as Mehudar”.

Another example: A Mezuzah written on beautiful white klaf, not knowing where it came from or by whom it was made, may be marketed as “Mehudar”. However, when a Sofer works and makes the Klaf himself to ensure the highest level of kashrus, and home-made klaf  may not be as white or have such a perfect finish, or there might be a little hole that’s only visible against the light, this “they” consider “not Mehudar”.

Aesthetics over substance is the real issue here. We may not give priority to so-called levels in “Hidur” that are not mentioned in Shulchan Oruch, over those things that really matter. Halacha is not Paskend that way! Whether it’s about Tsuras Haotiyot or anything else…

Friday, November 6, 2015

More on the current state of computer checking - and more problems...

Around the same time Rabbi Bressman posted his recents concerns surrounding the issue of computer checking, I was receiving emails from friends regarding another online discussion on this issue. This discussion was being held in a closed forum for Chabad Lubavitch Rabbis (Achdus Shluchim Exchange), on exactly the same topic.

While most members of this forum are not affiliated with Chabad, I think it's of great value for everyone to see the types of complaints and comments that were raised. Most Sifrei Torah reaching Chabad Houses (a substantial amount globally) are originally sourced from many of the mainstream sochrim in Bnai Brak, Yerushalayim, Ashdod etc and the issues they raised are the same as the one's I hear from the Litvish, Sefardi, Chaseidish etc rabbis as well.

It started with a post from one rabbi complaining that he bought a new sefer Torah which was computer checked and found to have a spelling mistake. There were many responses and discussion with people sharing their experiences, mostly negative. It is interesting to see it from their perspective. But for those of us in the business of STa"M, it is important to hear them loud and clear.

Because it's a closed forum, I was advised not to cut and paste the discussion with names, etc. But here are  some of the comments:

There were many comments, but these are just some of the experiences being shared:

     [EDITED] wrote:
> > > We bought a Sefer Torah from a very reliable person and it also had a
> > > mistake ארר instead of אשר. I don't know if the computer scan missed it
> > or
> > > it wasn't followed up on, but there is always the possibility for
> error.

     [EDITED] wrote:
 Same here. Had a ST written through a very reliable [edited] sofer.
> > Beautiful ksav. Was computer checked and still found a mistake during
> > kriah, missing a letter.


This one is bad (Although its not really a computer checking issue):

    [EDITED] wrote:
Same here.
A whole Yeriah was missing!!!

And this is pretty bad too:

     [EDITED] wrote:
> > > Over the past few years i have twice bought a new sefer torah.
> > > Both times I was
> > > assured that it was computer checked twice...
> > > Both times I paid kesef
> > > molei...
> > > Both times I bought by different well known [edited] sochrim...
> > > Both
> > > times they were written by different [edited] sofrim...
> > > Both times we
> > > discovered mistakes of chasir veyatir, (the last time it was missing an
> > > entire
> > > line!)
> > > my suggestion? if you buy or have bought a new sefer torah, demand a
> copy of
> > > the computer report, and double check each mistake found by the
> computer,
> > > to
> > > confirm it was actually corrected!

     [Edited] wrote:
Wow! This is scary stuff!

This one was written by someone from Australia. I include it not because he quotes me but because for me this has worked and brought me peace of mind:

    [Edited] wrote:
> > >I was‎ talking about his to Rabbi Eli Gutnick
> > who sells a lot of sforim, he said many of the private computer checkers who use the generic Tor or Duk software are unreliable,
> > > he always does an additional check at Mishmeres Stam PRIOR TO SALE, the software is better and the guys checking are more responsible.
> > Many of the seforim he deals with ALREADY computer checked
> > > are found to have errors at Mishmeres Stam.
> >The mishmeres stam computer check
> > > costs about $300 and can be done in a day.
> >It makes sense for anyone spending tens of thousands of dollars to pay a fraction extra to avoid the embarrassment and headache of mistakes.

This written in defense of the issue:

[Edited] wrote:
    > > Have you ever bought a car and drove off the lot and a block away from
> > dealer the engine light goes on??
> >
> > It happens
> >
> > The question is what warranty you have...

Finally this one sums it up:

   [EDITED] wrote:
> > > the issue is not if the sofer fixes that letter, that is a joke fixing
> > one
> > > letter takes a few minutes and would be a very small charge. the issue
> is
> > > that they say they are RELIABLE sofrim and checked it and computer
> > checked
> > > it PROPERLY! if it is checked properly any choser and yatir should be
> > > picked up. in the meantime we are reading for many years with a sefer
> > torah
> > > that is really possul!

I don't know what else to say but there, but comments are truly welcome.

Gut Shabbos

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Your thoughts?

While there is a yerech, albeit thick and ugly, does the blob of ink make it a shinui tzura? If the oketz was a normal length I'd be less inclined to pasel but as is it only makes the tzura look worse.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Why are there still misspellings today in mezuzos and Tefillin passing "computer checkings"?

I am aware of quite a few cases where there was  misspelled sta"M that had previously officially passed a "computer checking".

One assumption I had of the reason to this problem was since some programs offer way too many "hearos", the person going over the computer screen gets too used to clicking "ok" that some serious issues get overlooked unfortunately. (Keep in mind, that some people consider computer checking a cheap service, therefore it is done very quickly, with alot of clicking.)
 (Not a problem by the Mishmerit Stam computer system, nor by anyone that does the checking slowly and very carefully.)

I think that a possible solution to this problem, is for the program to be designed in a way that it only leaves "hearos" on the most serious problems which is the actual  misspellings, and leaves out anything which is not 'way off' for the magiah who does a manual checking (Bedikas Gavra) to go over. I.e. for the programs not to leave hearos on the tzuros haosios.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Question on כתב חבד

I talked to a grandson of the famous Chabad sofer  R' Eliezer Zirkind. He said that his grandfather had a Massoret of Ktav Alter Rebbe which has some differences from the כתב חבד used by sofrim today. He did not know what these differences are. Does anyone know what these differences are? Can we see samples?

2nd Zayin in mezuzos

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Received this question by email

(Below is a cut and paste from an email I received)

Yasher koach - wonderful blog! I'm getting started in stam, not yet ready to join you as a member (plus I see that you're maxed at 100 authors anyway). I do, however, have a question that I hope you'll consider posting yourself, as it's a common and critical one that I don't see dealt with yet by your chevra...

When a near-negiah is discovered in a sefer Torah during kriah, and it takes young people with good eyesight getting their noses right down next to the klaf to see that yes, there seems to be a chut hasairah of white space between - do we call that a negiah?

Near negios are judged l'fi "ayin regilah," according to Rav Wosner's zt"l teshuva ch' 1 siman 7 s"k 8, cited by the Mishnas HaSofer. I went to the teshuvah, and though he makes clear that you can't save such a situation with a magnifying glass, he doesn't explain precisely what r'us tivi (normal vision) means. It seems to me that we're talking about what the oisios look like from 18-24" away or so. But...

A magiah I know told me that his understanding is that ayin regilah is even when your eyelashes have to scrape the klaf in order to see that white space between oisios.

This is a fairly common shailah in sifrei Torah, it seems to me. Hoping you and the chevra can shed some light; I'm sure we'd all benefit from a post on it...

Yaakov Yosef Burgess
Cleveland, OH, USA

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Blog Update: Members and Authors

Hi all. I constantly get emails from people to join the forum, and am happy to send all new members an invite so that they can contribute. However Blogspot only allows 100 authors and I have exceeded that a while back. So I have been slowly dropping out some authors to allow for new ones. I have only been dropping out authors who don't post or comment. If I have dropped you out and you wish to remain an author, I apologise and I am happy to re invite you.

Having said the above, being an author allows you to post. But everyone who has ever joined, even if dropped as an author, remains a member. The membership list is manually added to the side bar, and I apologise again, I have not updated this in a long while. (There are about 25 members who joined since I last updated the list and hopefully I will find the time to do this soon).

I hope the above clarifies things. Thanks again to all those participating in this forum.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

דיו לנצח


Did anyone here used דיו לנצח and if yes ,how was the experience and outcome ?
Is it shiny or not ?does it flow easily ? and so on.

Can a Bayit shel rosh be repaired?

Can a Bayit shel rosh be repaired if there is a thin split at the top of the bayit.  Interestingly, while checking i accidentally looked inside the four sections and the light came through the other side a hairline split.

These batim are better quality pshutim mehudarim.  Is it Efshar letaken or not ? Am thinking I can put a glued piece of klaf inside but only if everyone agrees its mutar.

Monday, October 19, 2015

new app for checking mezuzos.

Michshal lerabim or zikuy lerabim?

Comments welcome

Sunday, October 18, 2015

First full column and a question

Finally finished my first column. I had a rough start, and I think I should have waited until tomorrow to finish it. I just wanted to get the first column done with. While doing a cursory check I noticed 2 lameds under a stretched out heh. Is this something I should fix?

Below is the full column:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Care for old Megillat Esther

I am hoping if you guys can confirm the origin of this megillah. I recently acquired an old "North African 19th century" Megillah.

It's written with 19 lines on gevil with setumot according to Rambam. (I believe)

At a cursory glance there are a number of letters that are rubbed out, some old patches, worm holes, and discoloration of the gevil. At the very beginning there is a prayer (I think) written in Rashi script with a tear through it at the edge.

The 10 sons of Haman is written similar to Chabad.

It doesn't look like it was mounted on an etz, unless it was glued on, and it seems to be folded between each column.

I would like to, at least, reinforce the edges where the gevil is starting to tear or has torn. What's the best way to do this? Glue strips of klaf on the tears?

What are some precautions I should take in caring for this megillah?

Thanks in advance

First Column with prayer
Tear at first column

Column 1 of  Megillat Esther

Discoloration, letters rubbed out, and worm damage

Discoloration and worm hole
10 sons of Haman


A local shul had a problem with one of their Sifrei Torah, they ordered a new yeriah from a Sofer in Eretz Yisroel and have asked me to sew it together for them. I noticed that the Sefer is 48 lines and the new yeriah is three amudim of 42 lines each. Is this a problem of מנומר

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Based on the other khafs, and the nun right near it. Is this כ in לכם kasher?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My first Megillat Esther

I am working on my first Megillat Esther and it's been an interesting learning experience. I am writing it for myself and G-d willing it should be done before next Purim.

Looking at my progress, I am rather hypercritical of my work. I would like an objective opinion/critique/advice of my work.

What I think:

After a few experiments, I am getting the feel of my kulmus. 
Spacing is still an issue for me, hopefully I will get the sense of it by my second column.

Picture was taken at a slant, so the perspective is a little deceiving. 

Thanks in advance.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

פסקי ספר התרומה - צורת האותיות

מצאתי בדפוס חדש של ספר התרומה (הוצאת מכון ירושלים, תש"ע, עמודים תקלט, תקמד-ה) הוספות דינים בכמה מצורות האותיות, שאינם כתובים בספר התרומה המצוי.
והעתקתים כאן מתוך הספר, בהוספת הערות - מה שנראה פירוש דבריו.
[יש להעיר דאף אחד מהראשונים, אינו מזכיר כלל דברי בעל התרומה בצורות האותיות. הראשון שמזכיר [ורק מהאותיות שבדפוס ישן] הוא הבית יוסף. אע"פ שנראה שבעל הגהות מיימוניות העתיק רוב דבריו מס' התרומה].


ו צריך שלא ימשוך ראשה של וא"ו מעט למטה, כדי שלא יהיו נראות כמו זי"ן, כמו שמצינו בפרק הבונה, דקתני שלא יעשה ביתי"ן כפי"ן:

[ז] צריך לעשות ראש של זי"ן עב, ושלא יאריך לה רגל שלמטה, כדי שלא יהא נראית נו"ן פשוטה:

נ ן נו"ן כפופה נו"ן פשוטה. וצריך שיהא הנו"ן פשוטה ארוכה, כדי שלא תהא נראית כזי"ן:

ס ע סמ"ך צריך להיות סתומה מכל צדדיה כמו המ"ם. ויש הפרש בין זו לזו, שהסמ"ך עגולה מלמטה ומאחוריה, ולא המ"ם שהיא רחבה מלמטה:

פ ף צריך להיות הפשוטה ארוכה ועגולה, ושלא יהא מחובר הנקודה שבתוכה, שלא תהא נראית למ"ם או לסמ"ך סתומה אם היה נקטע מעט הרגל שמשוך למטה:

צ ץ צד"י פשוטה צריך להיות ארוכה, ולחבר ראשה של ימין לשל שמאל, שאם היו רחוקים זה מזה, היו נראין כשתי אותיות יו"ד ונו"ן. וכן בצד"י כפופה, צריך לחבר ראש של ימין לשל שמאל באמצע האות, ולא לחברם למעלה, כדי שלא יהו נראות כמו נו"ן פשוטה ונו"ן כפופה, והיה נראית שראשיהן עב:

ר צריך שתהא עגולה, כדי שלא תהא נראית כדלי"ת:

ש שמעתי שיש בסדר קדמוני, שצריך להיות ראש אמצעי שבתוך השי"ן כמין יו"ד, וכן מצאתי בכתיבת קדמונים גאונים:

ת צריך רגל שמאל שבתוך האות רחב מלמטה, שלא יהא נראית כמין ה"א, ושלא יהא מחובר כל כך הרגל שמאל למעלה:

ו צריך שלא ימשוך ראשה של וא"ו מעט למטה, כדי שלא יהיו נראות כמו זי"ן, כמו שמצינו בפרק הבונה, דקתני שלא יעשה ביתי"ן כפי"ן:

לכאורה הפי' שלא יעשה ראש הוי"ו כפוף מעט כלפי מטה כעין ראש היו"ד שפניה כפופים כלפי מטה, אלא פניה ישרות (כמשמעות תקון תפלין והא"ב).
אך לא מובן כל ההמשך "כדי שלא יהיו נראות כמו זי"ן", וכן "כמו שמצינו בפרק הבונה, דקתני שלא יעשה ביתי"ן כפי"ן".
[ונראה שיש כאן טעו"ס, וצ"ל: "ו צריך שלא ימשוך ראשה של וא"ו מעט למטה, כדי שלא יהיו נראות כמו יו"ד, כמו שמצינו בפרק הבונה, דקתני שלא יעשה ווי"ן יודי"ן". וס"ל דלא סגי החילוק ביניהם שהיו"ד רגלה קצרה והוי"ו ארוכה, אלא גם יש שינוי בצורת ראשם. הוי"ו ראשה ישר והיו"ד כפופה מעט כלפי מטה.
או נשמטו כמה תיבות, וכן צ"ל: "ו צריך שלא ימשוך ראשה של וא"ו מעט למטה, כדי שלא יהיו נראות כמו יו"ד. וכן לא יהא ראשה עובר [פי' עובר לצד ימין] שלא תדמה לזי"ן, כמו שמצינו בפרק הבונה, דקתני שלא יעשה ביתי"ן כפי"ן" [כמו כן צריך ליזהר שלא יתחלף בין וי"ו לזי"ן].

[ז] צריך לעשות ראש של זי"ן עב, ושלא יאריך לה רגל שלמטה, כדי שלא יהא נראית נו"ן פשוטה:

עב פי' שעובר על שני צדדיו לימין ושמאל (וכן הוא בתקון תפלין), והטעם פשוט לחלק בינו לוי"ו.
ולא יאריך לה רגל כו' כמבואר בכל הראשונים ע"פ הגמ' שלא יעשה זייני"ן נוני"ן פשוטין.

נ ן נו"ן כפופה נו"ן פשוטה. וצריך שיהא הנו"ן פשוטה ארוכה, כדי שלא תהא נראית כזי"ן:

צ"ע הכוונה "נו"ן כפופה נו"ן פשוטה". [מכללות לשון התרומה מהדפוס הישן (שלא העתקתי כאן) מוכח דלא ס"ל כהגהות מיימוניות והא"ב, שכל המנצפ"ך הכפולות צ"ל דומות זו לזו בכל היכולת, אלא רק אותיות נצפ"ך צריך שתהיינה הפשוטות ארוכות כל כך שראויות לכופפן, ואולי גם באלו צריך שיהא ראשן דומות, כמו שכתב לענין כ"ף פשוטה שצריכה להיות עגולה כמו כ"ף כפופה. ואולי זה כוונתו כאן לציין שראש הנו"ן כפופה תדמה לראש הנו"ן פשוטה, ששתיהן ראשן כעין זי"ן, כדמוכח להלן אות צד"י. אבל לא ס"ל ששתי הממי"ן דומות כסברת הגה"מ, ולכן ס"ל שהסתומה מרובעת בד' זויות, וכן דעת התקון תפלין, ודלא כא"ב שהיא עגולה מעט למעלה].

ס ע סמ"ך צריך להיות סתומה מכל צדדיה כמו המ"ם. ויש הפרש בין זו לזו, שהסמ"ך עגולה מלמטה ומאחוריה, ולא המ"ם שהיא רחבה מלמטה:

צ"ע למה ציין לעיי"ן.
ויש הפרש בין זו לזו, שהסמ"ך עגולה מלמטה ומאחוריה, ולא המ"ם שהיא רחבה מלמטה. מכאן מוכח דעת בעל התרומה [וכן סברת התקון תפלין, כמו שכתבתי באותיות הרב עמ' רכח-ט, רמח-נ] שהחילוק בין מ"ם סתומה לסמ"ך הוא [גם] בצורת הגוף, ולא רק בעיגול או זוית לחוד. ודלא כמשמעות הא"ב, דעיקר החילוק ביניהם הוא רק שהמ"ם מרובעת בפינות למטה והסמ"ך עגולה בפינותיה.

פ ף צריך להיות הפשוטה ארוכה ועגולה, ושלא יהא מחובר הנקודה שבתוכה, שלא תהא נראית למ"ם או לסמ"ך סתומה אם היה נקטע מעט הרגל שמשוך למטה:

ושלא יהא מחובר הנקודה שבתוכה כו'. מה שכ' "אם היה נקטע מעט", אפשר לומר דאם נקטע לגמרי ודאי נפסלה, אלא אפילו אם רק נקטעה מעט מהחיבור ועדיין מחוברת מעט, מ"מ מחמת שהנקודה דביקה נדמית יותר למ"ם או סמ"ך. וצ"ע.
מדלא כתב [גם] בפ"א כפופה שיזהר שלא יגע הנקודה לגוף, כמו שכ' בתקון תפלין, ש"מ דס"ל לבעל התרומה [כסברת המג"א סי' לב ס"ק כט ושוע"ר סי' לו אות אל"ף] שאין פסול בנגיעת האות לעצמה, ורק מחמת שינוי צורתה תיפסל.

צ ץ צד"י פשוטה צריך להיות ארוכה, ולחבר ראשה של ימין לשל שמאל, שאם היו רחוקים זה מזה, היו נראין כשתי אותיות יו"ד ונו"ן. וכן בצד"י כפופה, צריך לחבר ראש של ימין לשל שמאל באמצע האות, ולא לחברם למעלה, כדי שלא יהו נראות כמו נו"ן פשוטה ונו"ן כפופה, והיה נראית שראשיהן עב:

ולחבר ראשה של ימין לשל שמאל, שאם היו רחוקים זה מזה, היו נראין כשתי אותיות יו"ד ונו"ן. לכאורה משמע שלא חשש התרומה לפירוד בגופי האות, כהוראת מהר"ם לפסול כל הפרודים, כמובא בהגה"מ וברוך שאמר אות אל"ף. אך יותר נראה שכוונתו כעין התקון תפלין בצד"י פשוטה "וידביק היו"ד היטב בצואר שלא תדמה ליו"ד נו"ן". כלומר, אם ירחיק הרבה היו"ד מהנו"ן, או לא ידבקינה היטיב, תיראה כשתי אותיות [יו"ד ונו"ן] המחוברות בדקות זה לזה, ולא כצד"י.

וכן בצד"י כפופה, צריך לחבר ראש של ימין לשל שמאל באמצע האות, ולא לחברם למעלה. שיעור הלשון - וכן בצד"י כפופה יזהר לחברה שלא תיראה כשתי אותיות כנ"ל, ובשתיהם מקום חיבור היו"ד יהא באמצע הצואר ולא למעלה בראש שלא יתדמו לנוני"ן כפי שמבאר.

כדי שלא יהו נראות כמו נו"ן פשוטה ונו"ן כפופה, והיה נראית שראשיהן עב. פי' היה נראה שתי הראשים כראש עבה אחד, והיא צורת נו"ן.

ש שמעתי שיש בסדר קדמוני, שצריך להיות ראש אמצעי שבתוך השי"ן כמין יו"ד, וכן מצאתי בכתיבת קדמונים גאונים:

סדר קדמוני נזכר ג"כ בתוספות מנחות לב,א ובס' התרומה לענין צורות פרשה פתוחה סתומה וסדורה. והוא מין תיקון ס"ת ותפלין קדום. ומכאן נראה שהיה מבואר בו גם קצת מצורת האותיות.
כמין יו"ד. כן דעת כל הראשונים, פרט לתקון בשם רבי נתן הדרשן.

ת צריך רגל שמאל שבתוך האות רחב מלמטה, שלא יהא נראית כמין ה"א, ושלא יהא מחובר כל כך הרגל שמאל למעלה:

רגל שמאל רחב כו' דין פשוט, אע"פ שלא נתבאר כ"כ בשאר הראשונים (אמנם כן משמעות הא"ב באות ת' השני). והטעם כי אין לה חיבור עבה לגג אלא דק, ואם אין רגלה למטה רחב תיראה כמין ה"א המחוברת לגגה בחיבור דק כחוט השערה ותיפסל.
ושלא יהא מחובר כל כך הרגל שמאל למעלה. פי' שהחיבור לא יהא עבה ותיראה כמין חי"ת פשוטה של רש"י, אלא יהא החיבור למעלה דק והרגל למטה רחבה ובולטת היטב כלפי חוץ לצד שמאל.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

ribuah on dakkos

Hi, I hope everyone had a wonderful Yom Tov.

I've always understood that if the thin layer of klaf that is stuck to the underside of dakkos batim comes away or breaks or peels off (at the sides or corners) this constitutes a flaw in the ribuah (even though the actual shape of the titurah is square)m

See pic.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to fix this?

I don't work much with dakkos anymore and I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Chol Hamoed emergency work

Hi all and Freilichen Sukkos.

Can one sew the atzei chayim onto a sefer Torah during Chol Hamoed? There are other kosher seforim in the shul but they really would like it done for Simchas Torah (it just arrived back from repair in Israel). Thanks

Monday, September 21, 2015

Shaylos on Tzuros Haosios.

 What do you say on the Mem sofit of 'Elokeichem'?
Second Nun of "Vishnantam"?

יו"ד ימנית בצד"י - גולם

האם היו"ד הימנית שבצד"י גולם?
רוב העולם מכשיר ואומר, כי יש משהו בולט לימין שיחשב ראש. (ולכאורה מאחר שדין גולם הוא דין מחודש כמבואר באחרונים, שקשה למצוא את מקורו בגמרא, ואכמ"ל, לכאורה יש להקל).
מ"מ בהסתכלות פשוטה יש לילך אחר רוב היו"ד, והיות שרוב מובהק של היו"ד דבוק, הרי זה גולם.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

צד"י [ספרדי, אר"י] כעין עיי"ן

הצד"י - יו"ד ימני יוצא ממש ממקום הכפיפה - אם זה היה כתב ב"י, זה היה פסול שהיה נעשה עיי"ן ממש, כמבואר בפוסקים. אך בכתב האר"י יש מקום להקל בבעיה זו, ראה פורום לנושאי סת"ם: צד"י כפופה - היו"ד דבוק בכיפוף מושבהפורום לנושאי סת"ם: יו"ד הצד"י מחוברת למטה מדי
מ"מ במקרה דידן - נראה לי להחמיר ולפסול.
ראה גם פורום לנושאי סת"ם: ירך היו"ד דבוק למטה בצד"י

הה"א - יורד ממנה קוץ שכמעט סותם החלל, אם זה היה ממש סותם את החלל [ואין כוונתי שהיה נוגע הקוץ לנקודה התחתונה - דזה פשיטא דפסול כמבואר בכל הפוסקים. אלא אפילו עומד חוץ לנקודה מצד שמאל, מ"מ כל החלל היה סתום למסתכל מצד שמאל לאות, לתוך חלל הה"א] הרי זה פסול. שהרי אע"פ שאין הנקודה נוגעת לגג, מ"מ מבואר בגמרא שצריכה להיות חלל ופתח בין הנקודה לגג - ואין.

השוואת גובה גיד התפירה

גיד התפירה בולט על פני החריץ בגלל מילוי שיש בתוכו
אין זה פוסל כלום, כי הריבוע נמדד מהסתכלות מלמעלה כלפי מטה, ושינוי הגבוה של הגיד אינו מעכב

Friday, September 18, 2015

דברים מצויים בבתי תפילין

החורים הללו רגילים בחריצי הבית ואינן פוסלים משום שהם אינם פוגעים בגופי הבתים. הרי נקב בבית עצמו היה פוסל, אבל כאן הנקב הוא לתוך החריץ. ובעצם רק החריץ מתרחב מעט
הטעם שיש קצת שעושים כן, כדי להעביר את חוט התפירה שבין בית לבית בגובה מעט על פני שפת התיתורא. אמנם רוב העולם נוהגים להעביר את חוט התפירה למטה יותר, כך שאינה ניכרת כלל

חסר קצת מעובי התיתורא - התפלין כשרות. אין דין ריבוע אלא בשפה העליונה והתחתונה של התיתורא ולא באמצעה
כמובן מצוה והידור מצוה למלאותה שתיראה נאה ויפה

Saturday, September 12, 2015

wishing everyone a ksivah vechasimah toivah and a gut gebencht yohr

Wishing all members and readers of this forum a ksivah vechasimah tovah and a gut gebenchte yohr. May we all have our requests fulfilled and a year with continued success in our holy work.

Special brochos to a member of our forum who is critically ill, may we all have in mind Yecheskel menachem mendel zeev ben shainda raizel for an immediate refuah shelaima.

(apologies I have an old blackberry and no hebrew fonts available)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Space between the letters

ועד בכור looks like one word, the space between the daled and beis is about the same as between as he is leaving between individual letters rather than between words. There is definitely not enough space to fit in a yud.

Your thoughts? (2nd Zayin- mezuzos/ Dalet of ledaber)

New book on the laws of mezuzah

With gratitude to Hashem I am happy to inform you of the release of my new book, Mezuzah: Divine Protection and Blessing, on the laws of mezuzah. 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. There are nearly 100 professional pictures. 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 for his careful review of this entire sefer and his extensive commentary.

I recieved haskamos and endorsement letters (printed in the book) from the following Rabbonim (in the order in which it was recieved):
Rav Moshe Weiner (Jerusalem)
Rav Levi Yitzchak Raskin (London)
Rav Yochanan Gurary (Holon)
Rav Gavriel Zinner (Brooklyn)
Rav Gedlaliah Schwartz (Chicago)
Rav Mordechai Friedlander (Jerusalem)
Rav Dovid Schochet (Toronto)

Just in time for the New Year, click here to purchase a copy.

Ksiva V’chasima Tova!

Rabbi Dovid Nissan Bressman

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Safrus equipment in the US

Fellow sofrim!

Where do sofrim in the US get standard equipment?
I have some US talmidim, and don't want to have to mail them things...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Letter Gimmel

Here is a letter gimmel with a backwards foot.  Since the foot is reversed, do we maintain that this gimmel has lost it's shape?  Afterall, in Gemarah Shabbat 104a we have young students describing the shape of the gimmel within the context of the Alef-Bet.  There, they describe the Gimmel as having its leg extended towards the Daleth, because it's as one who bestows kindness - "gemol dalim."

That is certainly not the case here, for the foot is certainly facing the other way.  However, with respect to the above example, it is still possible that one may argue that the leg is extended towards the Daleth and that, only the foot is backwards.  The answer to the above is that in the real world, the leg follows the direction of the foot, and therefore it is still facing away from the Daleth.

The bottom line is that the language of the young students are allusions to the shape of the letters before them at the time.  They do not describe real life cases of logic as above. As such, this is a She'elat Hakham.  Is there a way to be lenient and correct this gimmel or is it plain passul?  Your educated and informed response is always appreciated.

Mashuach Repair

Does anybody know if there is any way to clean up a Mashuach Sefer Torah from all the dust it is 40 years old and in very decent  shape on a whole

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Question about seams

Today I re-glued a matlis that came loose by a seam. I noticed that the seam is stitched almost from the top edge to the bottom edge. It is my understanding that the seam shouldn't be sewn from edge to edge so that the klaf wouldn't tear. I checked a few more seams and they were sewn in the same manner as well.

This particular sefer is used for rosh chodesh and yomim tovim. Should the seams be redone, or would it be better to leave it as is since it's not used as often?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

the problem with buying from sochrim

I was checking a new set of parshiyos today for a basic kosher lechatchillah set of tefillin I am putting together to sell. The hagoha was going really well until the last parsha, where I encountered this:

It is clear that some sort of (suspicious) mechika was made on the kuf. I bought the parsha from a socher (although I prefer working with sofrim for this exact
Reason -but I didn't have a choice really). While the socher vouches for ksav kabollah and general ehrlichkeit (don't they all), I really get bad vibes when I see a mechika like this. A Lot of scratching between a gug and regel of a kuf is not a good sign.

 On the one hand it's b'chezkas kashrus. Certainly if it was someone's personal tefillin already in use, it's not my business to be a forensic detective, and obviously I wouldn't say a word to the customer. But these are new tefillin and the customer is trusting I give him something I'm happy with...

If I was dealing with the sofer directly I'd be able to get some peace of mind by asking him for more details of what went on, which rov was consulted, how he fixed it etc.

I was wondering how others deal with this type of thing...

Friday, August 21, 2015

ריבוע תיתורא

Is it מעכב if the תיתורא תחתונה doesn't meat up with the עליונה
How is it fixed?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

I am looking to restore a pre Holocaust  Sefer Torah
I need a Lab in NYC that can wash all the years of dust off does anybody have info on a reliable Lab
Thank You

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How do we stop this

It's been a few years now that this hechsher with these mezuzos are going around we can't only blame the public for being ignorant when buying stam but we also have to stop the bad seller's

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Price quote for shir hashirim, megillot eicha and rut


Shalom rabbonim and STaM chevre,

what price (in dollars) should a sofer with mehudar ktav charge per amud (including klaf) for writing shir hashirim and megillot eicha and rut?

how many amudim does each one have?

thank you for sharing your wisdom, experience and expertise

Sunday, August 9, 2015

computer checking, camera V Scanner

I recently upgraded my computer checking program to DUK version 3. It uses the Cannon EOS 1200D camera. Before that I was using an older version with an A3 scanner that was sharp and reliable.

I find the camera images are dark and sometimes blurry on the edges. Also the light reflects off the letters sometimes. Are there any tips that anyone can offer to take better images? Thanks

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How Do You Wrap Your Mezuzos? Pros, Cons, etc.

Recently I saw Mezuzos shrink-wrapped. Is that really a smart idea?

Some people use saran-wrap, others use wax paper.

I've seen Mezuzos wrapped first and then rolled up so that the plastic covers all the words, is that oisgehalten? I can't find a reason to prohibit it, but it just seems to me that it might be a problem.

How do you wrap your mezuzos?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Are these Yuddin really Reshin? 2 1/12 Inch Mezuzah

What do you think of these yuddin, and the vav?
(Enlarged many, many times.)

Here's the entire mezuzah with the penny for scale.

There's this embossing from the other side, but it's only visible from this side. Ever seen that before?
Please comment with your opinions.


Since there has been a spate of posts pertaining to fraud, I feel compelled to post this truly shocking case that just came my way. A good Jew from Melbourne who has been very ill (life threatening) asked his Rabbi to bring me his tefillin for checking. The tefillin were bought for $500 USD at a "Tashmishei Kedusha" store in the old city of Yerushalayim. The buyer met with the sofer himself (see attached card) who assured him the tefillin were strictly kosher and that he had put them together himself. The sofer  wore a beard and Yarmulkah and presented certification.

I recognised the "certification" that came with the tefillin as I had encountered problems before from this sofer. So I opened up the tefillin together with the rabbi, and what we found was mindboggling:

Please see the pictures below and note the following:

1) shel yad old mashuach possul letters, kav moshuch, cracks,  no tagin etc.
2) shel rosh - every parshah from a different sofer (no way it could be kesidran). Every parsha had some sort of tikun, some with pen, clearly not written halachadic or kesidran. Obviously these were bits taken from genizah.
3) The rosh had no parshas kadesh. Instead there 
were two vehoya ki yeviecha parshiyos. The second was cut out from a shel yad parsha.
4) Remember, this was from the Rova in the Old City, not a tourist shop in Tel Aviv who know no better. This was sold by a "frum" chareidi sofer!

It doesn't cease to anger me when I encounter these things.  To those of us in the industry including the many readers of this forum who put their "kishkes" into every detail and nuance, who drive themselves crazy if a yud is choser eiver or a ches has to be fixed to be thicker on the right, and then along comes a guy like this and desecrates all things holy about our work and violates the great responsibility involved in our work and shamelessly desecrates Hashems name, not once but repeatedly...such a person must be confronted and stopped, if not by the rabbinate then by the appropriate civil authorities on the basis of the criminal fraud he perpetrates.