פורום בינלאומי לנושא סת"ם

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Be careful with batim paint

I have been asked by a prominent Rov to announce on this forum that anyone working with batim paint (particularly sofrim who  who seal batim hermetically) should be aware that the standard laquer based tefillin paints are highly CARCENOGENIC r"l and to always use them with proper saftey gear (gloves / mask) and in a well venitilated arera such as an outdoor paint booth.

We have discussed this in the past but reminders of this nature are important.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

נפלה טיפת דיו ליד נו"ן פשוטה

כדאי לראות הגדלה

נפל קצת דיו ליד נו"ן פשוטה ועושה לה מעט מושב. אני מסתפק האם זה פסול בודאי, כי נעשתה לנו"ן כפופה, או שמא מועיל בה שאלת תינוק. ואם יקראנה נו"ן פשוטה נוכל לגרר

Thursday, August 11, 2016

KOTZO D'ALEPH: New Letter from Vaad Mishemeres Stam

Kotzo D'aleph. It's  Kaballistic significance is gaining recognition (as per the above letter), and  is important that sofrim and magihim read the above.

On the topic of Kaballistic hiddurim,  I have heard from countless sofrim and Rabonnim the Kaballistic importance of the right side of the choteteres of the ches, that it should be thicker and more prominent than the left.  (This is seen in many choshever older ksovim and brought down explicitly in Shulchan Oruch Harav, so IMHO also very  significant.)

Secondly, it's important to keep things in perspective : Kaballistic hiddurim are certainly important. However the primary concern for a magiha is that people should have Kosher stam. Shulchan Oruch comes first. It seems that some magihim  put an inproportiantely greater emphasis on  lengthening tagei lamed, yet seem less interested in fundemental halachic repairs that are of far greater significance and concern.  Just saying...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


חי"ת שרגל שמאל כפופה מעט כעין תי"ו

לחי"ת ברגל שמאל יש בליטה או כפיפה מועטת, והיא קצת מתדמה לכעין תי"ו
נראה לי שמעיקר הדין יש להכשירה כי היא אינה דומה לת' משום החטוטרת שבה, ומכיון שהיא יותר דומה לחי"ת, היא כשרה
אבל מדין "כתיבה תמה" יתכן שהאות פסולה משום שנדמית קצת לאחרת, ולכן יש לשאול תינוק
אם כן קודם ירגילו היטב התינוק בחיתי"ן שבכתב זה, ושאר אותיותיה כגון תוי"ן נוני"ן וזייני"ן, ושוב לשאול תינוק, אם יקראנו חי"ת אזי היא כשרה. וכמובן מצוה לתקן את הירך בהוספת דיו כדי ליישרה

Thursday, August 4, 2016

ה"א עם שתי רגלים שמאליות

הסופר שכח למחוק את רגל שמאל של הה"א הראשונה אחר שמשך את הגג ועשה לה רגל שמאל חדשה !!!
האם הה"א כשרה כך??
ואם לא, האם מותר למחוק את הרגל הפנימית, או שזה פסול משום חק תוכות??

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Removing Atzi Chaim

is there any hakpada not to remove atzi chaim in order to make is easier to take on a plane?

2000 Years of Failure

For the benefit of the new members of this forum, I publish this article again.

In our quest to be Tzaddikim we forgot about being a Mentch.

2000 years ago, we caused, with our own actions, the destruction of Beit HaMikdash. For the next 2000 years we cried, we fasted, we wore black hats and jackets, we learned many pages of Gmara by heart, and we prayed for the reconstruction of Beit HaMikdash - to no avail. Beit HaMikdash is not yet rebuilt and we seem to get deeper and deeper into the hole. We made an experiment, a 2000-years long experiment, and we failed.

God could not care less what color hat we wear. God could not care less if we wear a shirt, a jacket, or a kappotta. God could not care less how many pages of Gmara we know by heart or how many days in a year we fast. There is only one thing that God cares about – what we do for each other. The time we spend helping someone in need, is infinitely more important than the time we spend with our noses pointed to the books we learn. Yes, we do have to learn Torah. It is very important to learn Torah. But, when nobody visits a lonely person in the hospital; when nobody helps an older person carry heavy shopping bags; when nobody helps an overwhelmed family care for a sick child; when we hurt another Jew who is not as "holy" as we are; when a person can say “Let somebody else provide the help, I am too busy learning Torah”; all the pages of the Torah books we learn, cannot make up for it.

The prophet Yeshayahu, during the days of the first Beit HaMikdash, already warned against false Frumkeit. In Ch.1 and in Ch.58 Yeshayahu tells us that God does not care about our sacrifices; does not care about our prayers; despises our holiday observances; and does not want our fasts. The only thing God wants from us is justice and acts of helping those in need. We did not listen, and Beit HaMikdash was destroyed, twice.

It is time for us to wake up from our illusions and false Frumkeit. It is time for us to understand that we have failed and that we need to change our priorities. It is time for us to start helping each other with our actions, not with our lips. If we ever want Beit HaMikdash to be rebuilt, we better drop our books and roll up our sleeves to help each other in times of need. As it says in Tana Dvei Eliahu (24.1): “Those who went out of Mitzraim had one Mitzvah that was liked by God more than 100 other Mitzvot ... they were all united, with a covenant to do Chessed with each other.” All united – not segregated into private cliques and groups which act like private insurance clubs.

A man who had trouble in his marriage, complained to his Rabbi: "It says that folding the Tallit immediately after Havdalah is a Sgulah for Shlom Bayit. I always do it, yet, it does not help." The Rabbi answered: " I have a better Sgulah for you. After Havdalah, roll up your sleeves and go wash the dishes."

Let's not try to be a Tzaddik. First, let's try to be a Mentch.


Teach me how to be a Mentch.

I don't want to be a Rav,
I want to be a businessman,
I don't want to turn the Torah
Into my commodity in trade.

I want to learn the Torah
As a guiding light for my daily life.
I want to know how to deal with people
With honesty and respect.
I want to know what to do
In difficult situations
Which come up from time to time.

I don't need to know
What Bracha to say
If on Succot day
I wake up at the top of a palm tree
Holding on to an uncut Lulav with my hand.
I promise you, I never will.
I also have a feeling
That you will neither.

I asked my Rabbi
What did he get tested on
When he was ordained as a Rav.
He told me many things
Which matter from time to time;
Not even one of them
Had anything to do with
How to be a Mentch.

Please my teacher, please again,
Teach me how to be a Mentch.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Shailos tinok on reish

I just received a batch of mezuzos, it's a simple but Halachically sound ksav and overall easy to check. However there is one issue that keeps coming up with the letter reish, namely the sofer wrote some of them a little too square on the top right... not a zavis chada (ie a sharp corner which would be possul) but a fraction less than that and a little too square for my liking. The halacha in such a case (Mishnas Hasofer and others) is to make a shailos tinok. However I find that the child always reads it as a reish, because they are used to a daled protruding on the top right and these obviously do not, even in the worst cases. So my question is, how useful is a shailos tinok here and does anyone have any other more practical guidelines on how to deal with this case?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sheurim in Kesses and M.B.

does any one have, or know where I can get Sheurim in Kesses and M.B. in english or Heberew?

If your wife is pregnant or nursing a baby...

Danger:      Mothers Who Fast While Pregnant or Breastfeeding Have the Highest Rate of Mentally Retarded Children



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keses Hasofer in English

Does anyone have an English translation of Keses Hasofer's 5th chapter on tzuras haosiyos? I would like to quote it in a paper, so I am looking for a translation with no copyright problems.
Thanks a lot.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

New Israeli whatsapp group for batim and sgira

שלום הרב אלי, קיבלתי את המייל שלך, שיש לך פורום בינלאומי לענייני סת"ם. אשמח אם תפרסם שם את ההודעה הבאה:
יש לנו קבוצה בווצאפ, המיועדת למי שעוסק בסגירה ושיפוץ בתי תפילין.
הקבוצה מיועדת אך ורק למי שעוסק במקצוע.
בקבוצה נמצאים יצרני תפילין, ומורים המלמדים סגירה.
בקבוצה נמצאים חברים מארץ הקודש והעולם.
מי שמעוניין, שישלח הודעת ווצאפ
ל- +972 50-410-6417
בברכת התורה.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hachnasa Sefer for a 15cm Torah

15cm sefer is a bit too small to let kesivas osiyos, anyone ever heard of doing sewing instead?

Monday, July 11, 2016

How to attach the tefillin knot to the bayis

R' Melech Michaels is a talmid of R' Avrohom Tzvi Wosner and has kabboloh from the Va'ad Mishmereth Sta"m.

There's also an incidental product placement for Beis HaSta"m.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Reish / yud shailo in Gett

The reish from "Geoffrey" . The Gett was already written and sent with a shliach, and the shailo noticed by the receiving Beis Din. So it cannot be fixed...
Does it need to be rewritten?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mezuzah at car dealership

This yid owns a car dealership and is very proud of his mezuzah at the entrance to his show room:

But is such a case Halachically acceptable?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Article in online news about Safrut and Sofrim

Canadian Jewish News featured yesterday online. Also, a beautiful YouTube video showing a Sofer STaM: Click here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I am very excited to announce this course. It is unique in that it is the ONLY course which offers both practical training in כתיבה coupled with a rigorous curriculum of הלכה, quizzes and tests, and Shiurim.

I will be running this between Sukkos and Pesach as well B'ezras Ha'shem.

Please email me for the full syllabus, cost, requirements etc.

Do these Judaica artists know they are committing fraud???

Just went to one of the wealthiest families in the country to put up mezuzos. They spent thousands purchasing mezuzos from the finest galleries and boutique shops in Israel. As a traditional Orthodox family they asked and were assured everything was kosher.
I decided to do a quick inspection and, believe it or not, every single mezuzah but one was a paper print! Very unpleasant explaining to these nice people that they'd been comprehensively defrauded...

Since writing the above post, I emailed this link to some of the vendors, with an explanatory email as to why their selling counterfeit mezuzos, while possibly not a concern to them, is unacceptable and shocking to some of their clients. I have added some of their names in the labels below, so that people searching for their products may come across this post and be warned. Am I wasting my time? Who knows. But the more people they hear it from the better. At least two of these are very popular Judaica artists and if I see their cases with their trademark paper mezuzos on a regular basis, then certainly others across the globe are equally affected.

(The fact that in this case the victims of their fraud are well known and highly influential in the Jewish world may also help in getting  their attention.)

I remember some years ago having a similar dialogue with a popular Israeli Judaica chain. The outcome was positive. Today, they sell kosher Mezuzos. You can see the dialogue here:

If others have been exposed to this type of blatantly unacceptable activity, an email objecting to it is likely the best course of action. The more they hear about it, the more likely they will worry about it adversely affecting their reputation, and the more likely they will stop doing it...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

botched correction

out of town sofer gave me this parsha to check while he was visiting. I found that he  wrote כי twice,  I  instructed him to 1.erase first yud and second kuf  2.widen the kaf  gradually. he corrected it and left town. As our minhag we recheck prshios that needed correction. I have a sofek as it looks currently, however since correction was done gradually we must also view it at every step of the way if it had a shinui tzura

Humongous mezuzah at Ben Gurion Airport

On my way to the departure gates at Ben Gurion Airport, I noticed the mezuah on the wall before the duty free shopping area. So, my thought was what size / what kind of kulmus made was used to write these letters?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lishmoh controversy

I have always been in the practice of saying "kol mah s'hani osay hayom..." before switching on my desk lamp and working for the day, as a precaution lest I forget to say "leshaim" before making a correction or even a kesher etc. I have always understood that this is bedieved OK and covers you if you forget. I instruct my staff who sew tefillin to do the same.

Yet recently, someone told me that this is not worth anything and if you forget you cannot be "covered" by a proclamation at the beginning of they day. He did not provide me with any sources but if anyone knows if there is basis to this, please comment...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Vov of vehoyu

It looked ok from far, but after a closer examination, is could well be a kosher zayin...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Do Yekkis have a mesora for setuma in parshios?

Is anyone aware or have sources for the mesora for yekkis as to whether they should make the setuma in parshios according to the Rambam or Taz?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Kaballah Tagin

When checking someone's private tefillin (or mezuzos) , is a  magiha obligated to amend Tagei Kabollah that are not written correctly? (i.e. add if they are missing, scratch out if extra?) Most people I have asked over the years including those I learned from say not to. But I consistently see (mostly in) tefillin where these have been altered, most likely by others who have checked before me. It seems some are definitely those out there who feel strongly enough to do this. (Sometimes I even see the kaballah tagin have been played with but seemingly more necessary repairs overlooked.)

Id be interested to hear what others have to say about this?

Friday, May 27, 2016


I search ebay periodically trying to find stolen tefilin.In Brooklyn iyt has become a makat medina, so far I have not seen any surface on ebay.
I did come across this post and it seems legitimate , if anybody is interested and needs somebody local to look at them I can try to help.
I have not contacted the seller nor do I know who it is

You are bidding on two beautiful pairs of tefillin - a Rashi and a Rabainu Taam set, written by the late Rabbi Eliezer Zirkind (, the Lubavitcher Rebbe's personal scribe. They are extremely rare, in great condition, and were checked roughly three years ago. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Siyum Sefer Torah during Sefriah days?

I want to know if some circles will do a siyum sefer torah during the sefirah days. (I understand that there is a debate among Ashkenazim and Sefardim about how one counts the mourning days.) 

Here is my conclusion:

During the Sefirah days (the days between Pesach and Shavuos), the Poskim differ if one may perform a siyum sefer torah with dancing and music, it seems proper to avoid unless there are particular circumstances that preclude the celebration being done at another time.

Certainly on Lag B’Omer one could make a siyum sefer torah since it is a day of celebration. Likewise a few days prior to Shavuos one may make a siyum sefer torah.

My reasoning:

Shulchan Aruch Harav (Orach Chayim 493:1) holds that one is not allowed to dance [nor play music] even for the sake of a mitzvah during the sefirah days. (See however Hiskashrus (vol. 246) which understands the view of the Shulchan Aruch Harav differently to even allow making a siyum sefer torah during the sefirah days.) See also Piskei Teshuvos (493:5) which brings that one who does make a siyum sefer torah should at the very least avoid playing music.

According to the Keren LeDovid (Orach Chayim 119) one may make a siyum sefer torah during the sefirah days. This is because according to the Magen Avraham (493:1) as explained by the Machatzis Hashekel the only problem with dancing is when it is not a mitzvah dance, however, when it is a mitzvah dance, one may dance even during the sefirah days. Since that dedicating a sefer torah to a shul is a mitzvah, thus it is allowed to have a siyum sefer torah together with dancing as well.

Prior to Shavuos even the stringent view may make a siyum sefer torah since many Poskim hold that there is no need to refrain from dedicating a sefer torah during the entire sefirah days. Additionally, dedicating a sefer torah close to the holiday of the giving of the torah is an auspicious time.

I would appreciate your input.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gid to hold kesher on bayis shel yad

I can't remember if we've discussed this before but my many of my Ashkenazi customers ask me to fasten a gid to their kesher shel yad so that it doesn't move away from the bayis.

I notice on some tefillin that this is done with fishing wire and sometimes even elastic, which is much easier to connect and also stronger (as the gid tends to break).

Is there an inyan that this must be done specifically with Gid? And if not, why do so many people use gid if you don't have to?

If anyone has looked into this or has any further info on this issue it would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

שי"ן וסמ"ך בכתב חב"ד

 כחיזוק לדברי ר' אלי גוטניק בנוגע לשי"ן, ברור שאין לו להיות עם מושב שטוח אלא מושב המסתיים בחוד שלא יהא ראוי לישיבה כמבואר בגמרא וב"י ושו"ע רבינו שהשי"ן אין לו עמידה משום ששק"ר אין להם רגלים. ולכן השי"ן שהביא כשר רק בדיעבד ואינו צורתה לכתחילה

בשתי הדוגמאות אפשר לראות ברור שמושב השי"ן אינו שטוח, אלא נוטה אלכסוני לקיים דברי הגמרא והלכה הנ"ל

בנוסף לזהירות בשי"ן לעשותה נכון כנ"ל, יש להוסיף גם זהירות באות סמ"ך שיהא מושבה עגולה ממש כלפי מטה ולא שטוחה עם קוץ בצד שמאל - כי גם זה אינו נכון לכתחילה

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Alter Rebbe Shin Continued

I am currently reviewing and cataloguing a collection of over 100 older Torah manuscripts and fragments.  Within the collection, there is the above scroll which is approximately 200 years old. The klaf seems to have been cured by tanning as evidenced by its rich golden brown coloring.  Because of the script and jet black ink, I identify this scroll as coming from Russia.

This Russian type script is the precursor of the Ba'al HaTanya's script. Here one can notice the clear upward curved strokes similarly employed in writing the Alter Rebbe's Shins. With the quill held at about ten degrees off vertical, the stroke rises to meet the bottom of the right top tooth of the Shin.  It is this upward rising stroke that creates the angled pointed base of the Shin that's so distinctive of this unique writing style.  Subsequently, the middle and leftmost teeth are then connected to the uppermost corner of the base, giving this letter it's final and alluring shape.

The same but slightly more elongated curved upward stroke is used to connect the base of the TETs and AYINs to the top right heads as well.  As such, the TET in this script also stands on a pointed base very similar to the SHIN.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

shin in "Alter Rebbe" script

Both the Shulchan Aruch Harav and the Mishnah Brurah use similar terminology when describing the importance of the shin being "pointy" on the bottom and all three branches of the letter shin meeting at a point or "chad" at the bottom of the letter. There is a strong foundation in Halacha for this and for the bottom of the shin to be flat like a moshav (base) is considered questionable (Pri Megadim) and definitely not Kosher Lechatchillah. It is worse if the moshav is very wide, but it is still questionable if it is lechatchillah if there is a thick noticeable base rather than a chad.

Even for Sephardim, who lechatchillah make an angular base, it is still important that the base is indeed on a (significant) angle. If the base is flat, even if all three branches of the shin come out of the base  connected , as in the top picture, it is problematic.  It is worse in the bottom picture below where the right head/ branch comes out of the right part of the base and the middle and left branches come out from a different part of the base.

(Pictures are from sefer Ksivah Tamah)

In the Alter Rebbe's Ksav, the shin is one of the most difficult letters to write correctly. This is because the right branch of the shin curves and gets substantially thicker as it comes down, almost  like an ayin. But it is important to ensure that it still meets the requirement of all three roshim meeting in a "chad" as described in S'A Harav. It is very easy to slightly err and inadvertently create a (flat) moshav. In some cases this can be problematic and may need to be fixed.

Over the years I have seen some very exaggerated cases, where the bottom of the shin looks more like Mor Uktzia ksav than Alter Rebbe ksav.

I recently saw a very beautiful Alter Rebbe mezuzah where most of the shins were done very well, such as these:

But some (few and far between) in the same mezuzah looked like this:

I stress that these are mild cases (and not the very exaggerated type I refer to above). However these still have a clear, distinguishable moshav and are flatter than ideal, and hard to really consider Chad kra'ah . IMHO if such a Mezuzah is being sold as "high end mehudar" it would be worth fixing the few shins written like this with an ever so slight adjustment to create a better chad.

Does the oilam agree?

UPDATE: Someone emailed me this picture highlighting what he felt to be the most incorrect aspect, namely the almost 90 degree angle between the right branch and the moshav.

Although I touched on this, he wanted me to reiterate that this is a common mistake and the inside should be round / curved ie one flowing aiver  and not have such a sharp angle which essentially exacerbates the problem.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mistaken Shem

I got extremely upset to find out I made a terrible mistake - the Elokim in the bottom was supposed to be written in the next line, which I inexplicably skipped (I started to scrape it off). I don't really understand how I got to this situation but Shgios Mi Yovin. The Shem was written Lishma.

This is within the last 3 lines of the third column of the yeriah. Every column is 48 lines, so it's very unfortunate placing.

Now - what are my options besides throwing the whole Yeria away? This Sefer is being written for my private use, so I would accept out of the box solutions as long as it doesn't makes the whole Torah bedieved.

The options I thought:
1) Getting a Yemenite specialist to carve out just the Shem (they can do it). Problem: I heard that even if I do that it would be problematic to write over a non-shem word since the whole klaf area becomes Kadosh when you write the shem on it initially.
2) Getting a specialist to make a Matils. Problem: I also heard it might be problematic to cut out just the Shem; that you must cut out the words around it too.
3) Cutting the Yeria so it will have two columns. Problem: I believe that's a massive bedieved in the whole sefer as yeria needs 3 columns. The fact that the columns are much longer than the usual Torah of today (I write 48 columns instead of 42) is not an argument. I guess that's the disadvantage of writing long columns,

I would appreciate your feedback and any direction. This is the first time I get such a major problem, but I'm trying my best not to lose the urge to go on with the Sefer.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Chok Tochos

If a drop of  dyo fell into a reish turning it into a hey and it was erased is that a problem of chok Tochos does anybody have marei mekomos that talk about this shaila

Sunday, April 24, 2016

קוים משוכים בשוה

מבואר בשו"ע שיוד"י האלפי"ן שיני"ן וצדי"ן וכיוצא בהן, אם היו מדובקים לגג או לצואר האות [ונעשו קו משוך בשוה - גולם, ולא נקודה כעין יו"ד] הרי זה פסול, משום שינוי בצורת האות.
נראה פשוט, שאם רוב הניכר של היו"ד מדובק, ואין ראשו בולט אלא מעט, חשיב גולם ופסול [עד שיתקן]. ולא מועיל המעט שעודף להיחשב כראש היו"ד, דלא מצאנו הראש שיהא טפל ובטל כ"כ במיעוטו לגבי רגל עבה ושמן.

חוות דעת על מזוזה

נשאלתי האם מזוזה זו היא כשרה ומהודרת, (והאם זו כתב חב"ד) או לא?
נראה לי שאין כתב זה מהודר, ויש בו חששות לפי ההלכה אפילו לפסול. ואין צריך לומר שאין זה צורת כתב המיוחס בדיוק צורת האותיות.
ואפרט להלן הערות שיש על חלק מצורות האותיות שבמזוזה זו.

רגלי ימין של ה"א ותי"ו - כפופים מדי לאחור [לצד ימין], ובתי"ו נראה כשתי רגלים כפופות. ובה"א כרגל כפופה לאחור. יש בזה שאלה חמורה של שינוי צורת האות, ובתי"ו יש פוסלים (שו"ת שבט הלוי) ועכ"פ אין זה צורתן לכתחילה. ראה מה שכתבתי פורום לנושאי סת"ם: רגל ימין של תי"ו ורגלי חי"ת וזיי"ן - כפופות כעין מושב נו"ן
ואין זה עיקום (וכפיפה מעט) שבירך המצוי בכתב [המיוחס של חב"ד] ר' ראובן, שהוא עדין הרבה מזה המצוייר כאן (וזוית שבירת הירך - הוא כלפי פנים דוקא, ומעט).
הרגלים כאן גסות ועבות ביותר – וזה שינוי מהמקובל שרגלי האותיות ד' ה' ות' של ימין יהיו עדינות ודקות, ויש להקפיד בדבר זה לכתחילה.
רגל הד' הרבתי כפופה לאחור יותר מדי - אני בעצמי חושש כאן לשינוי בצורתה והייתי מצריך שאלת תינוק, אם לא יטעה בה. ועכ"פ אינו לכתחילה בצורתה הנכונה. ואע"פ שמבואר בב"י וכל הספרים שרגל הד' נוטה מעט לאחור, היינו נטיה באלכסון מעט, לא עקומה כל כך.
כ"ף פשוטה - הרגל נטויה לאחור, או גם כפופה לאחור. אין זה צורתה לכתחילה, ובחלק מהם יש חשש פסול. לדוגמא: הכ"ף ובשעריך פסולה, אין לה צורת כ"ף כלל.
וי"ו של ושננתם - קצרה מדי. הו' צריכה להיות גבהה כמלוא השיטה ואפילו טיפה יורדת מעט מהשיטה, אבל לא קצרה מהשיטה.
קו"ף - רגלה כדמות וי"ו הפוכה, הגם שמצינו בכמה ספרים שכתבו כן בצורת הקו"ף. מ"מ מנהג כל העולם האשכנזי וגם בכתב ר' ראובן לעשותה כמין נו"ן נוטה מעט באלכסון עדין לצד ימין, כלומר ארוכה כג' קולמוסין, ודקה הרבה מזו שהסופר עושה, ולא בכפיפה עבה כל כך.
פ"א פשוטה - רגלה כפופה מדי לאחור, וצ"ל יורדת ביושר ולא נטויה לאחור.
נו"ן פשוטה - הרגל נטויה לאחור. ואין זה נכון כלל, אלא צ"ל יורדת ביושר, כמבואר בב"י. ואין חולק בדבר.
טי"ת (של 'לטוטפות') - ראש שמאל אין להרחיבה ולהמשיכה, אלא כמלוא ראש בעובי הקולמוס, וכאן משך את ראש שמאל מעבר לשיעור.
סמ"ך (של 'ואספת') - הגג עובר הרבה על קו שמאל, וצ"ל הקו הזה בצד שמאל של האות דוקא כמבואר בב"י, ולא באמצע הגג (כמבואר במג"א ושוע"ר לענין רגל שמאל של ה' וק', והו"ה לשאר האותיות כיוצא בהם).
מ"ם סתומה - חלק מהממי"ם לוקין בבעיה זו של הסמ"ך הנ"ל, הגג עובר הרבה על קו שמאל, וצ"ל הקו הזה בצד שמאל של האות דוקא ולא באמצעה, כמבואר בקס"ה.

לסיכום - הכפיפה המוגזמת של רגלי האותיות לאחור [לצד ימין] אינו נכון, וחלקם מעורר ספיקות בדין, ובודאי אינו מהודר.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wishing everyone a kosher and freilichen Pesach!

Wishing all members and readers of this forum a Chag Kosher V'sameyach and much continued success in all aspects of their avodas hakodesh!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Pitzua Dakka" Dilemma

I am in the process of organising a sefer Torah for a family who's patriarch recently passed away. The extended family wants to commission a sefer in his memory, to be shared by the various children and grandchildren, and used at family simchos and the like. The sefer would be housed at different shuls for different periods.

They chose to have the sefer written in Ksav Arizal, since most of the family is Chasidish. (Some are Chabad Chassidim, some are Gerer Chassidim, and some are non Chassidic (but they don't mind Arizal).

But the real issue of contention is if the "pitzuei DAKKAH" should be written with a Hey (the way most write it today) or an Aleph (the way Chabad (and Temanim) write it. Years ago, this would likely have been less of an issue as this matter has definitely grown more contentious and political (on both sides) in recent history.

The Chabad Shul attended by some family members would not likely use the sefer if it was written with a Hay. Conversely, the non Chabad shules would not want to use it with an Aleph. It is a very real problem that could potentially jeapordise the project and potentially alienate certain family members.

In the past, I have changed the spelling when a sefer has moved to a shul that wants me to adjust it to their minhag. But this is not really something one should plan to do from the outset.  Nor can this really be done practically more than a few times. It's not the solution.

A possible solution that was suggested was to have the sofer write the yeriya that has the "pitzuei dakkah" twice, one with the aleph and one with the hay. So if shared around, the yeriya could be switched prior to being housed at the shul based on the shuls minhag.

I was unsure as to the halachic implications of such a solution. While it would be ideal for the sake of peace in this particular situation, it may not be right to do this. I wonder what others think. Please feel free to comment.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

How I would fix the problematic stumah Taz posted last Friday

Following Y.Y.'s request, I spent a few minutes and printed out the problematic Taz posted last week (The space left was too small to fit 9 yudin b'tziruf). I  amended it with a pencil to show how I would add ink to certain letters to create a space of 9 yudin btziruf (combined). It would thus be kosher after repair.



A few points:

1) It was a bit clumsy doing it with pencil (a rapidograph would have been easier but the ink bled as soon as it came in contact with the paper I was using (hence the mechikah by the taf).

2) At no point during the repair was there a shinuy tzurah or panim chadashos. (it meant thickening the vavs from the bottom up, and doing some letters, such as the taf in stages, ensuring that at least a fraction of the bottom left regel remained exposed.

3) Frankly, before attempting such a tikkun it would be wise to photocopy the parsha and plan the tikun by sketching it in with pencil first. Once you are satisfied with the result you can use the sketch  as a template. It will make it a far less nerve wracking exercise!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

דין ריוח פתוחות וסתומות בשל יד - בקלפים נפרדים

האם תפלין של יד שאין בהם ריוח פרשיות [פתוחה או סתומה] כדין, מועיל לחתכן לד' פרשיות נפרדות, ותתכשרנה? שהרי תפלין של יד מד' קלפים כשרה בדיעבד, ובתפלין של ראש מבואר בשוע"ר [סי' לב סעיף נד, בשם המגן אברהם] שאין קפידא מהדין בריוח פרשיות כי הם בד' קלפים נפרדים. א"כ שמא גם בשל יד אם נחתוך קלף היד לד' פרשיות נפרדות, לא יעכב בהן דיני פרשה פו"ס?

נראה לי פשוט שלא מועיל. דדין פו"ס מעכב בשל יד, לא משום שהם באמת [במציאות] על קלף אחד, אלא משום שדינן של הד' פרשיות בשל יד להיות בקלף אחד, וגם אם הם בקלפים פרודות זה מזה, הרי הן נחשבות כמדובקות יחד, וצריכין להיות ראויין לריוח הפרשיות כדינן. אבל אם אין הרווחים כדינן, הרי אינן ראויות כלל לידבק יחד.

ונראה לי שזה הטעם שאנו מקפידים להניח תפלין יד של ר"ת, דלכאורה מכיון שאפשר לחתוך הקלפים זה מזה, הרי אם יחתוך פרשיות שמע ווהיה א"ש, לא יהא שום חילוק בתפלין של יד בין רש"י ור"ת.
במלים אחרות: גם אם הקלפים מחולקים, הרי הן נחשבין מאוחדים יחד, ולכן צריך להניח של יד רש"י ור"ת, כי אין סדרן על הקלף שוה.
אבל אם אין דיבוק וחיבור הפרשיות זה לזה עיקר, למה לא נימא איפכא שאפילו מחוברות בקלף אחד הרי הן כפרודות [עומדות ליפרד] ותתכשרנה בין לרש"י בין לר"ת. אלא שמע מינה שעיקרן חיבור הפרשיות זה לזה, ובמה הדבר ניכר [גם כאשר הן מחותכות זה מזה] במה שיש התאמת רווחים [פו"ס] כדין.

כל זה כתבתי בלי לעיין בספרים. שמא מישהו ימצא דין זה מבואר. ראה גם מה שכתבתי פורום לנושאי סת"ם: פרשיות תפלין של יד כסדרן על הקלף

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hefsik Parsha

No hefsik parsha!

Ayin or Tzadi

Ayin by vayizak zeaka gedolah umara in last picture are these Ayin kosher they look like a tzaddik

Besides fir the fact that I  had it computer checked and it's missing 5 letters has one extra and alot of other small chashashis

sofer supplies in Australia

where does one buy klaf+sofer supplies in Australia?

Sunday, March 27, 2016


The shiur will go ahead with Rav Weiner this Tuesday 3/29 (11:00pm Israeli time). This is 4:00 PM New York time...

To view live, please go to this URL:

(There is no need to log in)

The shiur is Lezecher Nishmas Rabbi Mendel Gorman Z"L, a member of our forum who passed away on Purim.

We also have in mind (yebodel lchaim toivim aruchim) two other members of this forum who are unwell and may they have a speedy refuah shelaimah.

We look forward to your participation...

never seen this before...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

This is not a Purim Shpiel (or maybe it is). I'm looking for a sofer who writes high quality Alter Rebbe ksav to write a Gr"a (11 line) megillah!

Had a strange request from an interesting balebos who is both close to Chabad and the Litvisher kollel. I was explaining to him the difference between all the different types of ksav, minhagim and layouts for megillah. He liked the idea of combining the beautiful artistic style of Alter Rebbe ksaav and the halachically advantages of the 11 line Gr"a megillah layout.

I told him such a combination is unheard of and borders a purim shpiel. But he's set on the idea, and said he's going to call it the "moshiach megillah" because such a megillah is suitable for moshiach's times. Indeed.

I did however place one condition: payment upfront. Because if he orders it and doesn't buy it, I highly doubt I'd find any other customers interested in buying it, and could well stuck with it for a long time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Apologies, due to technical issues we have postponed the shiur

We had scheduled an online shiur L'zchus Rabbi Mendy Gorman as well as for another member of this forum R' Pinchas Sholom Ben Brocha .

It was decided in the end that due to practical reasons (the time wasn't suitable for everyone) that Rabbi Weiner was going to upload the shiur to the forum and people could listen at their convenience. However we only managed an audio file and for some reason audio files cannot be uploaded here. It was supposed to be uploaded by the time the shiur was supposed to happen, a few minutes ago.

We are now postponing the shiur to 11:00 PM Israeli time  next Tuesday 29th March, after Purim. I will update the exact mode of transmission as we get closer.

Apologies for anyone who was inconvenienced.

Wishing b'suros tovos and a freilichen purim to everyone....


Monday, March 21, 2016

Selling A chabad Megila to a "Regular" Jew and more

Mishna Brurah תרצא ס"ק כ holds that if aseres is not at bottom of column as in so called chabad megila the megila is kosher only bdieved and should be used to read in public only when other megila is not available.
Vav of Veizasa (I heard that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe received a regular megila from his father in law the previous rebbe, The current chabad megila is written according to the megila written by the rebbe the moharash- and the late rebbe received a megila in this style as a present from a chasid-this then became the standard chabad megila)
According to pre megadim if vav of veizasa is not zakufa different megila should be used  (שעה"צ סק כ)
Mishna Brurah (שעה"צ סק יד) writes that nowadays we do not make the vav of veizasa zakufa
How should we write it?
in ksav ari I always make sure the vav is zakufa. In ksav Beis Yosef  I dont know -I would say that since its a kosher vav why not do it and be yotze the pri megadim.

THE BRIGHT SIDE OF CHABAD MEGILA IS that it has mehudar gilyonos. Most megilos do not have the proper gilyonos even after using most kulos.
gilyon should be:
  Meleches Shamyim
3 etzbaot on top
4 etzbaot on bottom
2 etzbaos on top
3 etzbaos on bottom.

Meleches Shamayim:
gilyon counted from top of lamed and from bottom of long chaf
keses -gilyon counted from most letters.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Chsash tzuras ois beis

Thank you R'Gutnick for adding me to the forum.
Some time ago harav wiener posted a similar case on his blog where the chof was touching the top right corner of the tof and he wrote that if the negiah was bshas hakesivah it is a problem.
I was wondering about this case in the picture if the same din applies and if anyone is aware of any kulah's to save this Mezuzah.

Global Shiur For Rabbi Mendy Gorman sheyichyeh, Lerefuah Shelaimah Ukrovah


I have asked R' Moshe Weiner to kindly give a shiur on STa"M (via Skype?)  for interested members of this forum. The shiur will be in the zechos of R'  Mendy Gorman - Yechezkel Menachem Mendel Zev ben Shainda Raizel, Lerefuah Shelaimah Ukrovah. Rabbi Gorman is a sofer from England and member of this forum.

The shiur will take place via Skype conference video call this coming Tuesday evening, (the night before Taanis Esther), commencing at 11:30 PM , ISRAELI TIME (Tuesday afternoon in the US).

Rabbi Weiner has kindly agreed to give the shiur on any general topic in STa"M of interest, suggestions welcome in the comments.

Please mark the time and it would be nice if we had good participation.

If any tech savvy members of this forum have any idea how the shiur can be uploaded directly to this website or watched live on on this site, please let me know. Otherwise we will do it via Skype conference video call.

Besuros Tovos!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2 Q's

1) Sha''s throughout praises the use of the reed as the sofer's writing utensil. When and why was the feather (turkey!) phased in? Does anyone still use reeds? Where can I buy a reed in Yerushalayim? 

2) When a lamed hits the end of the sirtut, what part of the lamed hits the side sirtut, the top of the vuv or the bottom, and why (keeping in mind that closeness of letters is determined by the bottom of the vav/top of the chuf)?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

borderline reish / dalet in ches

(This picture is a relatively mild case) but does a wide vov of a ches that is definitely not an outright reish - but may be a shailos tinok if presented on its own (ie not part of a ches) - present any ch'shash whatsoever? I'm asking acc to the S"A Harav who is machmir in the case of a daled or reish (instead of vov or zayin) within a ches. See the ches in the second last
 line above. I've discussed this and even worse cases with several Chabad poskim over the years and have always understood it must be an "outright" reish or daled to be possul. In a sofek (such as the above case or even a little worse)  we would be meikel. (What I mean by meikel is that we don't have to start showing part of the ches to a child to ascertain if it's a vov or a reish etc). I am wondering if anyone has heard otherwise or has heard of such a concept of covering part of the ches and making a shailos tinok on the wider part in question as a way of deciding if the ches is kosher.