פורום בינלאומי לנושא סת"ם

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.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

ה"א משונה ביותר

ה"א הראשונה בשם המסומן
אני חושש שזו שינוי צורת אות, בגלל הצטרפות כמה שינויים בצורתה

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

טי"ת פסולה - אין לה מושב

אין לה מושב. (ולענ"ד אי אפשר להכיר האם זה טי"ת או חצי עיי"ן. במלים אחרות: איני יודע אם זה ט' שחסר מושבה, או עיי"ן שחסר מושבה)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Ashkenazi sofrim not doing their own tiyug

I'm seeing more Ashkenazi sofrim who are not doing their own tiyug. While I expect this of sofrim writing low quality mezuzahs as they are knocking them out at the rate of upwards of 200 monthly and don't want to be "slowed down" by tiyug and their tiyug is likely of similar quality to their ksav so a metayeg would potentially do a better job, but even good sofrim are taking the lazy way out even though it's been our mesorah for the sofer to make tiyug, usually b'sha'as kesiva.

I just saw an expensive 15cm mezuzah with tiyug that was obviously done by a metayeg. It had a metayeg's typical "signature"
  •  little straight lines without ziyunim whenever in the vicinity of a letter above rather than take a few extra moments to make properly, particularly in a mehudar ksav, (laziness and amaratzus)
  • tagei Yud, which few Ashkenazi sofrim do
  • While he he was fairly successful in putting most of the Bedek Chaya tagin close to the left edge, there were a few in the middle as done in a Sephardi ksav
Someone told me that the new shita of some safrus teachers is to train the sofrim to lechatchila not make their own tagin. So we're now teaching sofrim at the outset to be lazy and/or it's being presented as "let's focus on what's important", the actual letters, and let the poor metayeg do our dirty work. As has been discussed here, there's good reason for one to do his own tagin and not enter into the risks posed by using a metayeg but even if one finds a knowledgeable and ehrlich metayeg, similar to using a synthetic quill, while it may be halachically permitted (not the present discussion), our mesorah is to use a kulmus and part of "being a sofer" is knowing how to cut and use a kulmus and to make tagin. If the sofer, after making every effort, is having trouble making a kulmus or proper tagin then the alternatives should be looked at but to lechatchila ignore mesorah?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

מ"ם סתומה פסולה

הממי"ם הללו פסולות כי עיקר גופן עגולה כסמ"ך, ולא מרובע כמ"ם. ולא מועיל העוקץ הקטן שהוסיף לעשותה מרובעת, כנגד ציורה הכללית של האות

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hachnasos Sefer Torah/ Rambam on Tagim


Two questions for the forum,

1) Is there a minhag to place the Sifrei Torahs inside the Aron Kodesh in between Hakafos by a Hachnasos Sefer Torah?
Any information on this would be helpful.

2) Why does the Rambam (Hilchos Tefilin UMezuzos 5:3) tell us which letters of the mezuzah need tagim, which mentions only a fraction of the Shatnez Ga'tz letters? See Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 36:3).


If it is not possible to put up a mezuzah both on outer tefach of the doorpost (green) and under the mashkof (red), which of the two gets preference?

Monday, October 16, 2017

batim makers with hechsher from the Edah

Here's the list provided by the Edah. I've put an asterick next to those that I'm not familiar with. If you're familiar with them please provide information.

*אחדתא – ירושלים
דוד סטאריק יצור מיוחד – ירושלים
*התפילין – קרית ספר
*חותם ההידור – ירושלים
*נ. ראז – ירושלים
סטאריק בתים מאכער יצור מיוחד – ירושלים
עטרת תפילין – חיפה
שיינפלד בתים – ירושלים
דאסקאל תפילין – בני ברק
טוטפות – שלמה נפתלי פדר – בני ברק
*תפילין כהלכה – ירושלים
*משה קרישבסקי – ירושלים
*פריזנט – ביתר

Gidin with hechsher

Whose do you recommend? What hiddurim are included? Which hechsher?Please include contact info for maker.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mare Mekomos

Anyone has mare mekomos on the topic of אם הגיה אפי' אות אחת מעלה עליו כאילו כתבו ? 
in regards to if this could appy to the actual sofer and not the Torah owner. Gmar hatima tova

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


These were found by a friend of mine, they are both evenly off the sirtut the entire Mezuza, the sofer (after yelling that you know nothing!!!!) said that it just happens sometimes! Any limud zechus?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Tefillin Paint


Is there a matte finish Tefillin paint that is ready to go?

I use the Tefillin paint (thick) mixed with lacquer thinner, however I am asked often if they have a paint that is able to be used and stored in the Tallis bag.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hi. This was found in yesterdays Torah reading... aleph and daled... before and after fixing screenshots attached.
Would anyone think that there is a chashash in the daled being a shinui tzurah to a tzdi pshuta?
Many thanks,

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Is this legit?

Please check out this link:

They are claiming, amongst other things, that:

גדולי האדמו"רים הזמינו אצלו תפילין. כאשר ביקר האדמו"ר הריי"צ מליובאוויטש בארץ ישראל (בשנת תרפ"ט) הזמין אצל רבי נחמן פפירנא תפילין מהודרות עבורו ועבור חתניו. חתנו הרבי מליובאוויטש רבי מנחם מנדל שניאורסון היה
מקפיד להניח תפילין אלו עד סוף ימיו

Pardon my ignorance, but I always thought that  the Rebbe Rayat"z bought the tefillin for his- sons- in law from Reb Zalman Vainshtein  Z"L, the well known Chabad sofer in Warsaw before the war.

Can anyone shed light?