Megillah Computer Checking

I have been writing Megillot Esther and Shir HaShirim for four years, but have not yet needed to have something computer checked (I've been careful to check everything I write during and after writing against the tikun, and I lein through every column once it is finished to double-check). I am now selling a Megillat Esther, and the customer would like it computer-checked. All well and good, but I have no idea about computer checking, as I've not needed it before. I've vaguely heard things about it - Mishmeret Stam and Tor are names I've read on this forum - but I have no idea how to access these or what the cost would be. I suppose that ultimately I have the following questions: Can I get computer checking done in the UK? If not, presumably Israel is the best option; do I need to take the Megillah there, or can I scan it here and send it to the checkers? What does computer checking cost, for the various options available? Many thanks in advance for your assistance.

Rabbi Reuvain Mendlowitz clarifies his position on Ksav Chabad (and my final thoughts)

Last week I posted some thoughts in response to a public lecture given by Rabbi Reuvain Mendlowitz regarding  Ksav Chabad (the Alter Rebbe's ksav). I felt he did not represent the issue fairly, and since I had received questions about it from a number of people I felt it made sense to write a general response. After I posted my response on this forum, Rabbi Mendlowitz reached out to me by email and we ended up having a respectful and productive email exchange regarding the relevant issues surrounding Ksav Chabad. His position is a lot clearer to me now, and I think he also took certain things on board that I clarified with him. The purpose of the Stam Forum (at least back in it's heyday before all the whats app groups took over)  was to connect sofrim from around the world, to promote achdus and build bridges, as well as to offer support and advice. In that spirit, I felt  I should write a follow up post, to clarify some of the issues and misconceptions. Rabbi Mendlowitz is not

IS KSAV CHABAD KOSHER? A response to the disturbing audio clip of a renowned expert saying that the "Alter Rebbe" script - used by many Chabad sofrim - is basically not kosher.

I have received the above recording from several people over the past few months and I probably should have responded to this earlier. It is indeed disturbing to hear such a distinguished personality in the STa"M world speak with such obvious exaggeration and overt bias against Ksav Chabad* (the Alter Rebbe's Ksav).  Before I respond, here is the background to the recording. The person speaking is Rabbi Reuvain Mendlowitz. He is a popular American sofer and posek residing in Israel who wrote a very well-received  book called "Inside STa"M", available in both English and Hebrew. On the whole, he seems to be quite a learned and sensible person, and I often refer people to his book.  This recording was taken from a talk he gave to a group of Rabbis at Yeshivah University on the topic of "Basics of Hilchos Sta"M For Rabbis", (as a guest of Rabbi Arieh Lebovits). The entire lecture is available online at About 15 minutes into his talk he d

Lamed into airspace of big Daled

 Received this question: what are your thoughts:

What happened to the price of STa"M????

 As I'm sure all in the business know, the price of Sifrei Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzos have gone up lately. Furthermore there is a big shortage of items available and sofrim are getting offered more money by desperate wholesalers and retailers who do not have enough stock to meet their demand. Below is a link to an excellent article from a Chabad news website that really explains whats going on in layman's terms. Safrus Shortage Has Caused Serious Lack of Mezuzos, and Sky High Prices • – Chabad News, Crown Heights News, Lubavitch News I found this article useful to forward to balebatim and customers who were upset or querying the increase in prices.

One Million Hits And Still Going....Just

Wishing all forum members and readers a mighty Shabbos Beraishis and a successful year ahead! It's been a few months since I've checked this forum, and I see now in the counter we have somehow surpassed over a million hits, which is quite remarkable. I think that with the advent of safrus WhatsApp groups and their ease of use for discussions and shailos, there is no question that this blog has seen better days.  However I should note that this site still gets a healthy amount of visits, mostly because of the nearly 2000 articles and discussions which have been posted over the years, with many hits coming from internet searches on safrus topics. I guess that's one advantage over WhatsApp, the discussions are available for all to see and benefit from, even years later. It was exactly ten years ago, October 2011, when five of us turned an email chain group into an online forum. I'm told that it is now one of the largest safrus resources publicly available, both in Hebrew o

A hole to the common eye

  There is a small hole under the yud of v'yitzharecha. When looking at against the light with the naked eye it looks like it is touching the yud but when you blow up the picture or look through a magnifying glass, you can tell that there is a separation and the letter is in fact mukaf g'vil.  Does it need to be corrected, presumably by scraping off a bit of the bottom of the yud? (MB 32:60)

How to Tie the Sephardic Shel Yad Knot Without Pulling it Through the Maabarta

Very interesting and very helpful video I found on YouTube.  Many times when pulling the Sefardic shel yad knot through the Maabarta, especially when dealing with Pizponim (really small 22mm Batim), the shel yad bais tends to at times open up the bais requiring to redo the sealing.  One way of avoiding this is to first loop the strap through the Maabarta and then tying the knots as needed.  How does one do that? Here's a video showing you how:     
Can the experienced sofrim out there post advice on how to quicken the speed of writing w/o compromising on quality. Also, it would be informative of what is considered to be a good pace, and what is the natural progression.

Strangest mezuzah ever!

  Found on a door of a Jewish home in Sydney, Australia.  Purchased in Jerusalem.  Read until the end.

Shin Lacking a Top

What do you think of the shin of 'asher' in the middle of this picture. Is there a top to the shin? If it is a problem, may it be corrected?  

Nice Thought


ר and כ pasul or show to child?

I have two questionable mezuzahs submitted to me by a local client  1) the ר may be mistaken to be a ד in the first ukshartam  and in the other mezuzah 2) the כ has a little line above it that's possible to be mistaken as ל in levavchem. Possul or she'elas tinok?

Poorly Designed Mezuzah Case

  I saw this mezuzah hanging on someone's door post. While the intention was good, this is not an acceptable way to hang a mezuzah - flat, with the writing facing out. It needs to be rolled, with the writing facing inwards. (I was thinking, however, that if the writing was facing out - on display for all to see - perhaps people would care more to buy higher quality STa"M. We live in a society where people like to show off and display expensive and designer items like clothes,  art, cars, furniture etc. If the writing of their mezuzah was on display for all to see, I'm sure many more people would opt for higher end, beautiful writing! Of course, it's not possible....but it would certainly encourage people to buy more mehudar mezuzos.)


Many are aware of the shocking story circulating about "Rabbi" Michoel Tzadok Elkoen, a Charedi sofer from Jerusalem who was found to be a non Jewish Christian Missionary. While the story itself is very concerning, some people are worried that may have ended up with his STa"M (Sifrei Torah, Tefillin or Mezuzos), since these items often go through many hands until they reach the end customer. Well, the good news is that he did not write in large quantities, he was involved in many other things besides Safrus. Furthermore, he wrote Sephardi Ksav, so if you don't buy Sephardi ksav then you definitely have nothing to worry about. For those interested, I am posting a picture of his ksav below. (He posted pictures of his writing several times on the internet.) If one is really worried, an expert sofer can tell if a suspected item is a potential match to the said ksav. (There are certain nuances that are different here to your typical Sephardi ksav.) Certainly if there is a

minimum width of a Yud

 Hi - another question I received and was asked to post on the forum: " What is the minimum width of a Yud (by kulmus and cm) and how would that translate in a Shiur Parsha?"

Stumah according to the Alter Rebbe and Ta'z

 Hi - I received the following question and was asked to post on the forum: Can a mezuzah be written in a way to have a Stumah that is according to the Alter Rebbe and Ta"z (simultaneously)? Thanks

Daled of Echad

A careful examination of the above Parasha of Tefillin reveals the Daled of the word Echad to be written with an excessively long foot.  Likewise, the foot is overly slanted to the right causing one to perhaps mistake it with a KHAF PESHUTA.     Can this DALED be redeemed by the reading of a TINOK as halakha recommends in many parallel cases, or is this REGEL so overly long that the letter has lost its shape and the reading of a TINOK is rendered useless and to no avail, even if read as a DALED.  Your informed insight is welcomed.

Avodas yad shpalt??

 Someone recently purchased "Avodas Yad" retzuos, black on both sides. Looking at it closely, it appears to be shpalt leather. Is there such a thing as shpalt avodas yad?? It makes no sense to me. Why would someone go to the trouble of making avodas yad on such low level retzuos? And why would someone buying shpalt want avodas yad? Surely if you see shpalt that is supposedly avodas yad, it reeks of fraud and likely isn't avodas yad. Is this a fair assumption??

Tikkun for Yeshayhu

 Hi everyone, I need a tikkun for yeshayhu that I can get sent to me in Florida. It is not the ben asher version. Anyone have a number of someone that ships or emails a tikkun? Thanks for any leads

Someone in my town wants to buy a megilla but theres not enough time to write one 3 weeks before Purim

Am wondering if anyone has a nice ksav and available now to ship to Canada in time.  The budget is not high as needs to be in Canadian $ under $1k. if you have something please post image of ksav. Thank you

Shinui Tzura

Got a second Shaila in my Mezuza - unlucky... Question is if there's a shinui tzura from Lamed to a Samech, which happened by an accidental smudge in the wet ink. The spillage and the base of Lamed are connected. In my previous shaila I got lucky but this one will maybe force me to scrape the line, which is chaval as I worked very hard in this Mezuza. Any thoughts? I'm planning to ask a posek when I have a chance but would appreciate your thoughts. YK

Computer checking

 I received the following sheila which I’ll put out to the STaM community: What scanner is required for computer checking? Or is there a camera that works? Is it better to scan and email to a computer checking service? Or to get a program myself? Thank you for your help

New!! First and Only on the Alter Rebbe's שו"ע for Sofrim


Does this doorpost need a Mezuza?

Warsaw Ghetto tefillin discovered 76  after hiding in bunker. Amazing rescue of these precious objects. My thoughts turn to the men who wore the tefillin in desperate circumstances.  News article

A little ink smudge inside the Reish

  A little ink got smudged in a bad place - inside the Reish. Can this be a shinui tzura to Hei? The smudged ink is rather small but I’m curious to know your opinions.  Git voch YK

Problem with ayin?

 Is it a cheshash if the moshav of an ayin comes down very steeply or has a bit on the bottom of at least an os katana that goes down vertically (I will try and attach picture soon)?  I have heard some are machmir with this so it should not be a shailo of a tzadik pshuta.  Thoughts anyone?

Shaila on nun

The regel of the nun of בין עינכם appears to be coming from the left corner and then angling slightly to give the appearance of a slight blita rather than actually  being slightly to the right any comments ?  

Mezuzah Rolling Tip

I'd just like to share a simple tip that has worked well for me over the years.  Rolling mezuzos can be awkward, particularly if the klaf is thick or if the mezuzah has to be rolled tightly to fit into a narrow case. Sometimes it takes several attempts to roll nicely, and often one can make creases in the parchment and even bruising of letters on the left side, both which eventually cause the letters to break or crack and ultimately shorten the life of the mezuzah. What I suggest doing -  is to roll the mezuzah loosely and then put an elastic / rubber band around it. Leave it overnight or even for a few hours so it gets a circular shape and it will be much easier to roll after that. In fact, it will be much like rolling a used mezuzah and you should be able to get a perfect roll without making any creases etc. You can even roll several mezuzos loosely inside each other with one rubber band. I always do this for expensive mezuzos even if the klaf is thin and the case isn't tight

Installing Wrapping-Out Shel Yad Retzuos

Hi, does anyone have video or pictures of a good technique of how to install wrapping-out ("Sefard") shel yad retzuos in the Maabarta? The way I originally learned to do it often causes damage to the retzuah. Thank you.

דלי"ת וה"א דבוקים - חשש לחי"ת

ד' וה' דבוקים - יש חוששים שנפסלו כי נעשו כחי"ת של רש"י (גג פשוט, ולא מחולק בחטוטרת. ומבואר בפוסקים שחי"ת של רש"י כשרה בדיעבד) קודם שכתב רגל שמאל של הה"א. וא"כ גרירת הנגיעה, הוא חק תוכות. ולדעתי שאין לחשוש כן, במקרה שלפנינו (כלומר אין לחשוש לשינוי צורה, שיהא גרירת הדיבוק חק תוכות, אבל בודאי צריך להפרידם משום שאינן מוקפות גויל עד שיפרידם). וזה בצירוף ג' טעמים: א) הגג כאן אינו פשוט כחי"ת דרש"י, אלא ניכר שנפסק, והן שתי אותיות, כי הדיבוק אינו בכל עובי הגגות. ב) רגל ימין של הה"א - אם נחשיבו כרגל שמאל של החי"ת, הוא באמצעו של האות. ויש פוסלים ה"א [וכל שכן חי"ת] שרגל שמאל אינו בצד שמאלו אלא באמצע הגג. ואע"פ שפסק בשו"ע רבינו שבדיעבד כשר [אם תינוק יכירו], מכל מקום בצירוף שתי השינויים הללו, ברור שתינוק לא יטעה להחשיבם כחי"ת דרש"י. ג) באמת בכתב זה [כמו ברוב הכתבים היום] אין עושים כלל חי"ת דרש"י, אלא חי"ת של חטוטרת כרבינו תם [והוא המנהג הפשוט ברוב הקהילות], ואם כן כאשר נשאל תינוק בה

צד"י פשוטה דבוקה לגג הלמ"ד - נעשית גימ"ל

הצד"י הזו נפסלה, כי היא גם גימ"ל מחמת נגיעת גג הלמ"ד ותגו לגוף הצד"י, על כן הוא גם צד"י וגם גימ"ל - ופסולה משום שאינה כתיבה תמה [כלומר כתיבה ברורה, כל אות בצורתה המיוחדת]. וגרירת הנגיעה - הוא חק תוכות, ואין תקנה לפרשה זו. דין זה דומה לראש הלמ"ד הנכנס לחלל הד', שפוסל את הדלי"ת - מטעם כתיבה תמה, כי אין ברור האם זו ד' או ה'.  

Discussion about the postioning of the Tag/Ukutz on a Yud in Sefardi Ksav


permission to use image for my book on the Beauty of the Hebrew Letter

Shalom, Firstly i wanted to thank those that sent me examples of their beautiful ktav for my book. I am still looking though for a beautiful example of ktav chabad. This image below was posted on this forum about 4 years ago and I would very much like to use it and am asking the person who posted it (for now i will not mention his name ) if i may. (also, question to the administrator, is there a way i can contact the person, if he is an author on this site, to ask him directly?) thanks in advance, Izzy

A question that popped up:

As I was editing the other post, an important question popped up:  Are the organizations that give Ktav Kabbalah opened? (Vaad Mishmeres STaM/Yd Refael)  Anyone has any information on this?


 Excuse my inactivity, recently I have been trying to plan my trip to Yeshivah in Israel, and too much has been going on.  I around 3 weeks ago wrote this Pitum Haketoret, right before I tested positive for the coronavirus.  Baruch Hashem, there were no severe symptoms and I finally got cleared to fly out to Israel. I wanted to know if there is anything I should work on my Ktav, (especially since I will soon try to get my Ksav Kabbalah in Israel) Details: 8mm lines, written by a plastic kulmus (Not used to writing 8mm ktav) As always, thanks for the help! 

Is this a Joke or Broad daylight robbery?

This Video was surfacing social media, have no idea who this is, but was wondering if this a Joke or Broad daylight robbery?

Zvi Shkedi, 73, OBM

It is with great sadness that I heard about the recent passing of Zvi Shkedi, a member of this forum, who was the inventor of "Dyo Lonetzach", a revolutionary type of ink that is waterproof and does not crack or flake.  His many articles and discussions can be found on this forum by searching his name in the search bar on this page. Here is some info on his life and achievements, which can be found by clicking the link below. I hope his ink continues to be produced, as I have personally found that the Stam written with his ink are easier to check  - as there is no cracking or bruising apparent in the ksav, particularly  on the folds of the shel rosh in tefillin, which, when written with regular ink often need touch ups as they age (particularly if the tefillin are checked often). If anyone has any personal stories or further info about the production of Dyo Lonetzach, please feel free to post. Boruch Dayan Hoemes.

Looking for beautiful examples of STaM

Shalom. I apologize if this is off the usual halachic topics here, but maybe someone on this forum can help me out. I am coming out with a book on the Beauty of the Hebrew Letter, and I naturally want to include beautiful examples of STaM. I know beauty is a subjective matter but if you know of a person who does outstanding work in STaM - I am looking for both Ktav Ashkenazi (Beit Yosef or Ari), and Sephardi, and maybe even Chabad, and who would give me permission to use their work, it would be greatly helpful. I would be willing of course to contact the person myself if you have contact information. I am really looking for the best of the best - I already have very nice examples but I am looking for outstanding work. I am not looking for calligraphic works with ktav Ashurit, but rather pure STaM - mezuzot, tfillin, megillah or Sefer Torah. I don't want to take up room on the forum with this request. I can be contacted privately at Thanking you in adv

Chatima Tova