Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Advice from Rabbi Friedlander re forged mezuzos.

I met today with Rabbi Friedlander in Yerushalayim. He is well aware of the forged mezuzah problem and suggests that the only 100% guaranteed way not to be duped is to ensure that you buy directly from sofrim you know and trust. He said there are enough sofrim out there that you can deal with them directly and don't need to risk buying from "unknown sofrim" through sochrim and wholesalers.

However if one has no choice and needs to buy from a socher selling 3rd party items, he suggests that you ask the socher for the number of the sofer's teudah (kaballah). The socher has nothing to worry about because Mishmeres Stam will not give out names of sofrim. However Mishmeres Stam will have a copy of the sofer's writing on file. They will be able to tell you if the item you have matches their sample, thereby confirming the sofer is "real" and your product is legit.

For those strict to buy only items written by sofrim with ksav kabbalah, this system should work well not only to weed out any of the forged mezuzos, but also to confirm that the sofer has kaballah. Just email Rabbi Granenstien the sofer's number and a scan of what you got and he will confirm by email that its all good. You only have to do it once per sofer.

Rabbi Granenstien's email address is He happens to be an extremely nice fellow and always happy to assist.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Four words as one long word...Efshar Letaken ?

Didnt have time to post before Yom Tov but here is a pretty poorly written rashi klaf "Vehaya Im Shomoah" I was given to check. There is the possibility to extend with ink a little and make the words stand out separately.
Even if that could be successful, I am inclined to put this one in shaimus.  I can still rewrite the last klaf.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Visiting Rav Friedlander

A gut moed,

I am currently in Eretz Yisroel, where I plan on meeting with Rav Friedlander shortly after Pesach with some personal shailos. If anyone has any shailos you wish for me to discuss with him on your behalf, please respond in the comments or feel free to send me an email.

A kosher un freilichen remainder of Pesach,


Sunday, April 13, 2014


The blog has been a little slow in the past week or so, I guess everyone is busy with Pesach preparations, (I know I've been busy). May we all merit to a kosher and freilichen Pesach and L'shonoh Haboh B'yerushalayim!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Safek Tzura in Sefer Torah

this past shabbat parshas metzora a case of safek tzura was discovered.
my qualification through the vaad mishmeres sta"m is only for ktiva i could not pasken on this issue but will be bringing it iy"H to a magihah musmach on tuesday for evaluation

a closer look:

the ot in question is the letter bet. the word is supposed to read "bohen" but it looks like a kaf kfufah. the tiny oketz seen near the back-middle of the ot (and normally present in a bet) does not kovea the tzurat beit. what IS m'akev, however, is a sharp corner on the bottom right of the letter's moshav. since this type of corner appears to be lacking from the moshav, l'aniyut da'ati the tzura is changed from a bet to a kaf.

any opinions on the (in)accuracy of this svara, or any additional comments from the olam?

a joyous and redemptive chag
pesach r

Saturday, April 5, 2014

IE the last post

Here are two pictures I took of a Bayis shel Rosh before it has been completed. I hope it helps illustrate a bit more clearly what the 'cracks' are in the pictures that R. Moshe Weiner posted. As I hope you can see, they are just the folds of the leather to make the four batim of the shel rosh. Sometimes when there's a bit too much leather for each compartment, the extra gets squeezed in the middle making these folds that look like crack along the whole length of the bayis. It's of course not a problem of any kind.

Friday, April 4, 2014

What are these charitzim?

These charitzim run down/up the whole bayis inside. Is this a problem [excuse me for not having better/clearer pictures]?

Monday, March 31, 2014


As you all know I set up a MISHMERES STa"M Station on my computer.I did not dream of their capability to detect and warn of forged mezuzos. I had 2 separate packages scanned on 2 different dates to be checked by MISHMERES STa"M.(b"h none were sold by our office)
Below is the letter they sent me.

After Speaking to Rabbi Granetstien I learned that the program was developed to catch posul tefilin and mezuzos that were corrected and submitted again however it worked just fine on these forged Mezuzos .

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Questionable roshem on mezuzah


I was looking at someone's mezuzah today. Here is an image of part of it:

When I looked closely at one of the words I saw roshem that looked like something had been erased in between the ל and כ. Here is a close-up:

My question is: Not knowing the source of the mezuzah do we assume that the erasure was before the כ was written and it is ok, or do we assume that it was afterwards and therefore passul?


Extra ink on the front of a mezuzah?


I just took a look at someone's mezuzah and found that on the bottom right corner there were some extra marks:

1. Pencil checkmark - I assume that this can be erased.
2. Ink mark - is this a problem?

Can the extra ink be scratched off?

Also, all of the alephs have a bump/tag on the bottom left foot. Does anyone know the source for this?


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tav with chatotros (ches nun touching)

in word  לשלחנו
would the maharsham allowing a negia between ches and zein to be scratched apply here as well.
would the kol sofrim be machmir here as well

Monday, March 24, 2014


I have received a number of emails from resellers of STa"M in the United States since my post last Wednesday,  where I wrote a warning about forged mezuzos.  I also included a picture of the forged mezuzos, which I received by email from a reseller in the United States (who asked me to publicise on the forum that they are forged.)
One of the forum members posted the associated news story in the comments section of that post - namely that they had come from a forger's ring in Ashkelon. There may be other forgers doing the same thing.
Through the emails I received, I now know that quite a number of Frum / Heimishe American sofrim and dealers were unsuspectingly sold this mezuzah under the name "Weiss" or "Viess"- and possibly some other names. There may also be other forged mezuzos from the same source.

Some of the questions I have been asked include :

1) Do I have to recall these mezuzos if I sold them?
2) If yes, do I have to recall only this particular mezuzah or also others I bought from the same distributor?
3) Should I stop buying from the distributor I got them from, as he may have other forged items he is selling me (knowingly or unknowingly)?
4) Am I obligated to tell others in the industry who I got the forged mezuzos from and what they may look like?

I don't know how the situation is being dealt with in Eretz Yisroel since I run a forum in English and  all my emails came from English speaking  sofrim in the US. This mezuzah never made it to Australia, so B"H I did not have to deal with these questions personally.

I was therefore wondering if any one knows how this is being dealt with by Daas Torah and what the correct answers are for the questions raised above.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Problem with this daledh?

Is this bet kasher?

Undoing Ponim Chadoshos

A Feilichen Shushan Purim:

If a sofer does ponim chadoshos say on the left regel of a tav,  can one fix by scraping back to the original aiver and thus 'undo' the ponim chadoshos - or is it chok tochus to do this?

Thoughts or mareh mekomos on this matter would be appreciated.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Needing a Purim Miracle

anyone in stamforum land know of someone in the jerusalem city center (i'm located in nachlaot) who has access to bedikas machshev software and knows how to do t'fira?

i'm finishing up a last-minute megillas esther and want to have it sewn and checked for chaserot/yeteirot

please contact me at or cell phone 054.393.5777

thank you thank you and GOOD PURIM!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ketores on Klaf

What is the heter to write the parshas haketores on klaf in ashuris? I am aware that the Kaf Hachaim and others bring down the practice and that it is a segula for parnasa, but why is it okay to write it in the first place? I am vaguely aware that there is a shayla about whether or not it is muttar, but I'm not aware of who discusses it explicitly. Any sources would be appreciated.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

kesher Baal Hatanya

Where can I read about the kesher of the tefillin shel yad according to the Baal Hatanya? Why is it considered by some than the regular kesher?
If somebody has different sources, I would be very interested.

ילקוט צורת האותיות

Does anyone know how I can get my hands on a copy of ילקוט צורת האותיות? I emailed Rabbi Greenfield a few months ago and he told me that it's (obviously) out of print, but they are working on reprinting it. Does anyone know where I could get a second-hand copy?

Additionally, I am interested in reading some of his other articles, namely "תפילין הקדושות של רבותינו" and "חתימת המסורה". I emailed his recently about these but have yet to receive an answer. Does anyone know where I might get my hands on one?

I live in Kew Gardens Hills, NY, but am often around Brooklyn. Any leads would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

folding megillos

I think its important for those selling megillos to make the folds for the customer or at least explain to him how to do it in such a way that the folds are not done on the ksav but rather in the margins or on the seam itself. I am forever fixing broken letters on megillah folds, and some of them are really not that old...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

THE GENERIC COMPUTER (when lines get  mixed up -the generic is terrible)

Monday, February 24, 2014

shayla chamura - tav

My opinion: The Tav is pasul. The left foots' blita is more inward as a pei, and to minimal outward.
The Nun of nafshechem is also pasul - it looks more a caf than nun.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Does anybody have a tikun for the real gra megila where the aseres are the last 11 lines of the column?
(chabad took the ish bereish daf  that ish belongs on top of column and aseres just needs to be on left side of column and the gra took the aseres besof hadaf means end of column and ish bereish daf means right side.)

Megillah of the Rebbe MaHarash

Here is a picture of the Rebbe MaHarash's Megillah.  As can be seen the Asseret Benei Haman are at the top.  However the listing of the names are not STRAIGHT or JUSTIFIED.  Rather, they are indented taking the length of a regular writing without stretching any letters.  The same goes for the word ASERET, it is not justified with the Ve'ETS.

The Rebbe wasn’t a scribe, but his doctor told him he should do detailed work with his hands. So he wrote one Megillah for each of his children.

He only wrote three or four megillahs, one of which is in the Library in New York, and the other by Rebbetzin Carlebach.  The above pictures are from the Carlebach scroll.  It's in remarkable condition for its age (around two hundred years old) with really wonderful handwriting.

You might enjoy reading the following article:

Saturday, February 22, 2014


 ABOVE IS ASERES CHABAD you should review aruch hashulchan too properly understand the aseres issues.
Above is aseres like chabad does it the gra HAD A SIMILAR MEGILA BUT WITH THE ASERES ON THE BOTTOM 11 LINES.

Friday, February 21, 2014

aseret bnei haman - Rebbe Maharash megila

I want to thank Shalom Gloiberman for giving me this picture, of the Rebbe Maharash megila. I wrote on my hebrew forum a essay in regard to the aseret bnai haman, in this form.
This megila was written approx. 1870-5, and was given to his son Rabbi Shalom Dovber, and was inherited by Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak the Lubavitcher Rebbe (grandson of Maharash).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Shem Al Pi Qabbalah

Hi Eli,
Here is the diagram for writing the Shem Al Pi Qabbalah as found in the Yalkut.

Does anyone have a diagram how to make the Shaim "al pi kaballah"?

Someone has pinched my Yalkut Stam and I need to send a diagram to a sofer who doesn't know how to make the Shaim al pi kaballah exactly. If someone has a diagram could they please upload it. Thanks...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Black Shadow behind surrounding the letters

Tzadikim, I have a Question. Black Shadow behind surrounding the letters, But letters are still clearly readable. Is there any problem?
Is this Reish or Chaf Sofit

M"B brings breichas hamayim here is the link -does this apply here?


I'm not a big expert on batim so advice is appreciated.

I know that one broken tefira (or even sometimes 2) can be kosher if it's on the side, but the a broken tefira in the corner that ruins the Zavit is Pasul.

This shel yad had a long gid coming out of it. I wasn't sure what it was so had a look and it seemed that it's from the corner tefira underneath. 

Perhaps it was the end of the tefirot but it seems to have been badly looped because I pulled lightly at the bottom at it almost pulled out all the way through, so it seems that it's not actually tied to anything. Just pulled through. 

The other 3 cornea tefirot (2 on top and 1 on bottom) are a bit loose but they seem to be still connected even if loose.

Does this one bottom corner tefira that isn't really connected posel the tefillin? Must it be opened and re sealed?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"The meuzah has sentimental value" OPINION PLEASE

We all get an occasional problematic tefilin or mezuza with "SENTIMENTAL" value.
I have heard in name of rav wosner that if we have tefilin from a very prominent sofer then even a bdieved is lechatchila-if I am correct he said it regarding shrt lameds in rav Nachman papirnes ksav from his older years.
The Shaila is what is the Lomdis Is it that we may use a bdieved if the chashivas of the sofer is so great or that since a chushiver sofer wrote it we count it as lechatchila.
The meuzah or  that has sentimental value 
is this a reason to allow a bdieved? maybe since it was written without tagim it should be kept in the china closet for sentimental value.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sirtut for Gittin

Some Sofrim have a board with 12 raised lines on it, in order to make Sirtut on Gittin easily. Does anyone know how to obtain such a board? Thanks.
Rav Elyashiv's daas on split Vav's (looking like Gimels) is well known. I suspect that even those who are more lenient would have an issue with this extreme split and particularly together with the square rosh, it looks quite a bit like a Gimel.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Small Mezuzah Klaf

Someone in my office recently asked me if I could have two mezuzot checked for her. The one on the left is what the owner of her apartment left on her front door. The one on the right came from her grandmother.

Both of these mezuzot are really small (5-6 cm). They seem almost too small to be kosher - meaning that any slight deviation in the height of the letters makes it look questionable. Is there any rule of thumb about the minimum size of the klaf?

(The one on the left is definitely passul - it has cracks in the klaf that run through the letters. The only thing strange about the one on the right is that it was rolled vertically instead of horizontally.)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Nun hafucha in charan

I was asked in the previous post to put this up. Not terribly exciting this one as the scribe didn't go for an actual nun hafucha (or the slanty version or the nun sofit inverted regel type tag I have seen) - though the lech l'cha tradition is there.

Kabbalistic tav

Am currently repairing a very old kabbalistic torah. Most of the kabbalistic touches don't invalidate the letter forms and have considerable precedent. However I have just come across this odd tav with a lamed type rosh. I've seen something that looks similar in the Machzor Vitri but the rosh doesn't look quite so pronounced but that may just be a bad drawing. It does say it appears 22 times in the Torah and this is also listed in Sefer HaTagin and both words are in the list.

It is clearly still a tav but as a special tagin go this is a bit much. I'm not intending to 'correct' this, but just wanted to check that since we have the tradition this form is acceptable. Also thought everyone would be interested in seeing this.


Saturday, February 8, 2014


Besides for lack of shatnez getz tagin in the second half of the mezuzah, some lamedim are kav moshuch. Some opinions allow fixing, can I get a psak here please?  The meuzah has sentimental value.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014


This is from a shel yad I was checking today.

Obviously it's greatly magnified. To me, the yud has no Rosh and is Pasul. If you look carefully (it's clearer in reality), the thick regel at the top connects directly with the tag/kotz.

Does anyone disagree?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Roshei Hashitin

I would like to hear opinion of rabonim  sofrim and the SoferForum community, at what price range when selling ksav arizal tefilin do we have to be makpid on the roshei hashitin of the Ariza"l?
(in ksav b"y we are not makpid to follow shulchan aruch siman 35 since that seder only works when doing stimas harosh- however from the fact that shulchan aruch designated a siman for roshei hashitin we see that its somthing very important)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Gluing Pshutim Mehudarim

One of the practical problems with pshutim mehudarim batim is that the titura easily warps. Not only because they are thin but because they are often used by people who are not careful with wet hair or gel etc. So my only solution until now is to hermetically seal them after sewing, like I do with gassos.  It takes a lot of extra time but the superglue that seeps in holds the titurah elyona and the titura tachtona together strongly, largely preventing warping and curving of the titurah tachtonah.

Recently, when discussing this issue with a mocher tefillin in Israel, he told me that he overcomes this problem easily by using a drop of PVA glue on the inside of the four corners before he sews up the tefillin. He explained to me that its not problematic because PVA takes a while to dry and he sews it up quickly, well before the glue dries.

So my question is, is this really acceptable? To me it sounds a little questionable, but I'm not a posek and if it is indeed done and acceptable I would really like to know....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ink and Paper Suggestions -- Any and All.

Aside from regular safrus, I write on paper for various things including gittin, kesubos, and calligraphy.

Nevertheless, I have still not found an ink and paper combination I like.

I have experimented with all kinds of ink, including dio and many commercial inks, and many different kinds of paper, and I just can't seem to find the perfect combination to make nice, sharp, letters. Nothing seems comparable to parchment.

With paper, too, I have tried many different kinds, and believe it or not, my favorite is plain copy paper!

Anyway, I would appreciate any and all advice, and hearing about what combinations work for you and for what.

I would especially like to hear from people who write gitten.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Interesting Reish

Here's my mark up of the interesting Reish from 3 posts down:

Electric Letter Eraser?

Interested in the opinion of the pros. It seems like an interesting idea...

Advice please - Matlit

I need to help someone make a "matlit" for a Megilat Esther. I know how to do one in theory, however, I've never needed to do one myself, so I don't have any practical experience.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Two interesting letters

Here are two interesting situations that I came across recently that I am not completely sure what to do with.

The thing that bothers me about this Ayin is that the line that points up at the bottom of the letter is almost like an additional Eiver to the letter that shouldn't be there. I think it is Kosher anyway, or at least can be fixed by adding ink. What do you think?

This one bothers me more. The question I have is, at what point does a Reish become a straight or diagonal line? If it would be bent at the proper angle, the halacha is that the regel only needs to be "Kmlo Yud" to be Kosher Bedieved, but I am concerned that in this case it is not enough due to the angle of the bend. The tinok reads it correctly, but I am still leaning to say it's passul. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Do You Think of this ende-Tzaddik?

I would like everyone's input on this ende-tzaddik please.

Here it is at about 600% (depending on your screen setting):

And here it is in context:

And here is the entire parsha in actual size (or close to it depending on how your screen is set):

This is from a very old shel yad.

I welcome all comments, even ones non-related to the tzadik, thank you.