Showing posts from October, 2011

widened Drill hole of the Titora

In the picture here, you see the top side of the titora (shel yad) what happened was the first drill was not exactly in the corner so a second more accurate drill hole was made. The gid is going in the hole (the second correct one) however it is being pulled a little on a slope into the first hole and immediately passing into the proper hole. According to the halacha that tifran needs to be straight (it seems that it is also pulling a tad to the right , until it later straightens up), is it kosher or needs to be fixed? Thank you

treating klaf

Boker tov chevre! I have a question. recently I was checking a mezuzah and the klaf was real shiny. It was not shiny like klaf temani but the sofer had definitely put something on the klaf to make it more chalak and easier to write on. The ink was very raised and as a result of the coating, and had not absorbed nicely into the klaf. The mezuzah is only two years old and there is bruising and slight cracking visible on some of the otiyot. My question is....klaf mashuch and klaf temani are big no no 's because they cause cracking. But what about some of these other "treatments" of klaf that seem to be becoming standard for sofrim to do? Where do we drak the line and at what stage can a magiha say to the buyer that the sofer did something unethical so he could write faster which as a result lead to the early cracking???

Definition of ches - Rabenu Tam

It is accepted to write a ches 2 zayinin in csav BY, or vav zayin in Arizal, this form is called ches d'rabenu tam. Although a simple ches of Rashi is kosher bdieved. The Poskim argue in regard to ches of RT, if a person lengthened the gag , what is the halacha? In A lfa B eisa (tinyana [2 nd alef-bais], ois caf pshuta, p. 229) and T ikun T efilin (p. 101, 105 " poslim mlachtam sh'maarichim ha'ches ") its clear that if one was moishech the ches its pasul. This psak is quoted by M agen A vraham 36:3, and SA Harav, that a very wide ches of RT, or a combination of dalet&zayin are not a kosher ches d'Rabenu tam " ci nishtanu tzuras hazayinin " [the specific feature of ches being 2 zayinin standing next to each other, has been distorted]. But the N oda B 'yehuda and many other acharonim, pasken that a wide ches of RT, or a combination of dalet&zayin, is kosher bdieved. See M ishnat S ofrim ois ches, Mishnat Hasofer 5:74,77. A. Th

shiur parsha

sofer wrote word twice and made holes-I made a copy of the parsha and cut out yuds and vovs ,trying to see if nine small letters fit ,i was wondering if anybody agrees with me that 9 yuds do not fit in or am i kidding myself since there is to much space between the letters i pasted. I also had a thought that since these are chabad parshios can we be machshir on the basis that the minhag chabad is osios gedolos?

ink for rapidograph

I would like to inform all who use Rapidograhs that there is ink with hechsher available that works great. It is very black, rarely spreads on the klaf, flows well, and does not clog the pen. See . It is made by Zvi Shkedi (the inventor of Dio Lanetzach) and is endorsed by Vaad Mishmereth STa"M. You may email him to find out where you can get it.
These are 2 pictures of the same Mezuza, the י in the second one and the ו in the first picture. R' Moshe what do you say? I added another picture of the vuv of uvishachbicha. This vuv although very similar to the previous one that I posted, it only has the bottom blitta .

late night shailos for reb moshe

1. daled from yodcho. I'm reasonably confident its possul even before shailos tinok. UPDATE :  MUCH TO MY AMAZEMENT, TINUK READ IT CORRECTLY, AS DALED! (Could the fact that the other zayins I showed him had tagin influenced his decision? should I have covered the tagin?)    Ayin from tishmeu and  mem stuma from nafshechem

long vavim, very long vavim

In a comment to Dovids " large Vav on a small mezuzah ", Beis hastam wrote: "it is important to note the difference between vov and zein. mishna brura in letter zein writes not to make regel longer than 2 kulmusim, however in letter vov he writes not to make it "aruch miday". when viewing old ktavim i always found "very" long vavs, i met with rav samson from london who pointed out the alpha baisa who explains why vavin should be written long. see page 264 in the new print." I would like to comment on this issue, although I already wrote the basic point in " common problems in yudim " (especialy #3) above, and perhaps add a bit here, bezras hashem. A. As explained in "common problems in yudim" there is a machalokes between the poskim, how to define the difference between yudin-vavin, zayinin nunin [and also yudin-zayinin, vavin nunin]. According to the Shulhan Aruch's  [ 32:16] shita   explai
a. some strange looking gimels. b. a few yuds look similar to what R' Weiner answered david regarding being below the sirtut etc. thank you

narrow kaf

the kaf of ki is very narrow,in my opinion even a shalas tinok would not help since it is halachacly a nun.

The KUZU controversy

When I was doing shimush in Crown Heights over 10 years ago, I observed a certain magiha making an issue of the kuzu on the back of the mezuzah. If it was not lined up PERFECTLY (letter by letter, observed against the light) k'neged the letters of the shaimos on the first line of the mezuzah, he would mention it to the customer and say that such a mezuzah lacks shmirah and ideally should be replaced. While this magiah was / is a tremendous talmid chochom, and I learned a lot from him, I always felt that he was going a bit overboard on the kuzu issue. My sentiments were further reinforced when I could not find one Rav anywhere in the world who agreed that a mezuzah should be replaced because of a slight misalignment of the kuzu. Recently someone from crown Heights called me and told me that he had his mezuzos checked and a magiha gave him the same shpiel about the kuzu and that he should change his mezuzos. This magiha happened to be a talmid of the first magiha I mentioned in the

problematic nun?

second nun, its a cheap sfardi ksav

A problematic Yud

The י of the word biveisecha, looks like it is a triangle touching a drum stick (excuse me for lack of a better word). The Mishnas Sofrim expains that a י needs to have shiur gufa milo kolmos. Certainly this does not have it before it breaks down. On the other hand the klal, Ain Shiur LOivi osios, perhaps could apply over here. What is the rule in this case?
good work!

Tav with a right foot bent

Tav that its right foot is bent inward as the left foot, or outward as picture given, is accepted as pasul because of shinui tzura. The question; is it so pasul that it can't be fixed in Tefilin and mezuzos, or at least since a tinok would recognize it as a tav it can be fixed by adding ink to widen the foot (so that there isn't a bend, just a slant)? Minhas Yitzchok vol 6:4 (section 6) in regard to right foot bent outward [as the picture inclosed] that this isn't so much of a shinui, and at least after a shaylas tinok may be corrected in Tfilin and Mezuzos shlo csidran. But Sheivet Halevi vol. 5:8  is more machmir, doubts the opinion above, and is choishesh it can't be fixed because shlo csidran. From the argument itself I would conclude that this pasul isn't so clear, IE it isn't obvious a shinui tzura otherwise there wouldn’t be an argument; so there is place to be meikal and fix it. I may add to this that the Mishnat Hasofer p. 91 in Yalkut Haso

Question for R' Moshe

This is one of those things that drive any magiha crazy: I had a lamed, I was fixing to make the tzavar a little thicker. I fixed it in a few movements very quickly. I also quickly added ink to the rosh to make it protrude more. All this was done very quickly with a few brisk strokes. I have a chshash that before I made the rosh thicker ( but after I made the tzavar thicker), I may have had a potential kav moshuch but I was doing it so quickly I never had a moment to stop and think if it was or wasn't. I still don't know for sure, there could have been a bit of the rosh sticking out even before I thickened the rosh but I don't know for sure. Rav YM Stern in his sefer says that if a sofer makes a tikun and has a bad feeling afterwards that he may have passeled the os momentarily during the tikkun but its only a safek - ie he never really saw it and it's just a worry, we can make a sfek sfaika and say that its ok. The second safek is based on the Smaq who says that if t
In The second picture the ע does not have a clearly identifiable regel coming from the right side, it seems partially that the regel is going from the left side. It almost looks like a deformed ט. Is this a Shalos Tinok question? In the first picture (a low quality Ksav Chabad) the ת has an inward right regel. Which is almost like a Tav with 2 feet. What do you say R' Moshe?

More vuvs in small mezzuzahs

This is another picture of the same Mezuzuza that I posted (Sunday) the second ו in the word uvichol looks even a little bigger than the first one . I would assume that a tinuk would machshir all of these vuvs (possibly even the second vuv of uvichol) but they all seem to have a length of around 4 kolmosim. What is your thoughts?

Tavim - left foot is almost kav mashuch b'shave

Notice the tavim (ודבר ת at the begining of the picture, לאו ת ) in Dovids post [a problematic lamed, Saturday]. The tavim have a big problem, the left foot seems to be bent [to the left] outward, because of the way the sofer pulls the kulmus - but in truth are almost a stright line down = kav mashuch. Although it is recognizable as a tav (because the way the foot is presented) still it is more a ches than a tav, and a kav mashuch instead of the left foot. The left foot of a tav has to be bent so there is a opposite head of vav/dalet or as a moshav of a nun, but here the foot is lacking this part of the letter. This is a common problem I have noticed in many ksavim (also ashkenazim!). Note also the vav in לאות - the top of the head is thinner than the guf/regel of the vav, but is clearly seen as a head of the vav, because of the opening slanted line that outlines the panim/face of the letter (as I wrote in a comment on the vavim).

large Vav on a small mezuzah

In the word Uvichal, the ו is long. It also starts a little lower than it should be which makes it trickier. Is the ו around 4 kolmosim long? The mezuza is only 7 centimeters long.

A problematic Lamed

In the ל of Leahava, it has seemingly a double problem. 1) the head is short like a yud 2) the rosh of the lamed is like it is not existent, being that beneath it, there was dio added to it. The Lishkat Hasofer 5:17 is machshir bidieved (vitzorech Litaken) on each individual case (however when it is missing a rosh it is only fixable beshas hadchak , without making a bracha on it). My question is, when both of these problems arise on the same Lamed can and should we machshir it? I will note that this is for a Sefardi.

some details in Zadi of Reb Reuvens csav

     Here are examples of Zadi Pshuta I have scanned of Reb Reuven Sofer. 1. In the word (ארץ הכנעני) one can clearly see that R"R writes the right yud first , as a straight yud [as in csav beis yosef] except it doesn’t have a regel. Only, after writing the Nun pshuta he connects the yud to the nun, with a line (which doesn’t look exactly a regel for the yud of Ari-zal) and the connection is a bit inward – not from edge of oketz of the yud, so both yudim are somewhat visible. 2. The upper right kotz of the yud is added after the initial writing of the yud, just as the kotz that connects the yud to the guf of the nun is added later. Sometimes we can see that he pulls the kotz all the way down the right side of the yud (see חמץ), so there will definitly be a kotz on both top and bottom of the yud. Now, this yud has 4 kotzim at its 4 edges, an exception to all his yudim wherever that have only three kotzim. I found a source to this unique feature of this yud in Zohar and A

Shlil shchutah

Does anyone know where I can source parchment (for a sefer torah) made of shlil shchutah. I am happy to pay more for this hiddur

vavim in Reb Reuvens csav

Here are examples of Reb Reuvens csav, the above is a typical vav he wrote. And the additional pictures below show this as the majority of his vavim. But some of his vavim [examples below], the top part of the rosh barely extends left past the regel. If looking at the vav in general, it looks as the head and foot are one natural continuation [kav mashuch], and only the lower part of the rosh is extending outward. These resemble somewhat the vav posted by Dovid before.  
Take a look at the ו of Velo, the top of the head is a almost the same size of the yereich (since the Yereich is pretty thick). The bottom of the head sticks out fine. I know there is an importance of Rosh Keonkios (some opinions suffice with Rosh Mashehu), would that apply to the entire head from top to bottom or just the bottom is enough? Note that the Ksav Chabad is to specifically have a wider bottom of the rosh than the top of the rosh see the second picture. However certainly the top of the rosh should clearly extend past the yeraich.

What ktav is this?

Moadim l'simchah chevreh! (I have edited this post because the pictures did not come out clear the 1st time) can any chabadniks on this forum possibly identify what type of ktav this is? I checked it for a chabad family who bought these mezuzot from a chabad sofer in the USA. Frankly, I was very dissapointed with them. I have seen chabad ktav before but this seems really poor - unlike anything I have ever seen in ktav chabad which is normally very beautiful. every mezuzah had many letters were nifsak, like the upper yud of alef was not connected to the gof. Clearly they had not been checked before sale. Also the klaf was unusual and not good quality. I put 2 of these mezuzot aside because i am not a chabadnik and i was wondering if there is any special leniency from a chabad outlook with regard to 2 of the mezuzot. First (picture 1) there was an extra word (uvechol). Normally I would not bother to scratch it out because it would leave a space of 9 yudin which would b

Queer Mem

      Are these memim kosher bdieved?

Hagah during Chol Hamoed?

B"H I understand that in general there is an allowance to check a Mezuzah that was already given to check before the chag (and fix even Maseh Uman) if it is needed for the Chag, for this is considered Daver Haaved and Daver Mitzvah (see Shmiras Shabbas Kehilchasa 67:38). I would like to clarify if this can work even if it is a doubt that the recipient will receive their Mezuzahs during the Chag. On the other hand, if they will be checked only after the Chag they will have to wait even longer for them to place up their Mezuza(s). I would appreciate your comments.

another common problem in yudim

Here are examples of another common problem in yudim, found in cheap mzuzos and parshiyos, but it may occur in expensive ones by mistake. The yudim don’t have a clear division between their guf (the rosh) and the regel, actualy turning them into a yud that doesn’t have a regel, which is pasul. In extreme situations where there is definitly no diference between the rosh and regel, it is pasul and impossible to fix because shlo c'sidran , in situations where we can see some slight diference one should ask a rav if it can be fixed. This may occur also in good mezuzos/tefilin – an example Look carefuly at this yud, it is one piece only, plus a kotz rabenu tam, there isn't a distinction between the rosh and regel.

אשדת as 2 words

I've received this question on my website: "My understanding is that the words "aish-das" at the beginning of V'zos HaB'racha are supposed to be written as one word as per the ksiv of the Mesorah. If they are written as two separate words, is the sefer Toah passul?" My instinctive answer, based on hilchot kriat hatorah, is that a new sefer is not required for kriah purposes, but that the error should be corrected as soon as possible. I was not able to find a mekor that brings this shaila specifically. R' Moshe or R' Eli, do you know of any?

Looking for Ashkenazi sofer stam in israel to write sefer torah

Hi and thank you for this wonderful blog my name is rabbi david barzev, I am a rabbi, sofer and shochet from queens NY. I am affiliated with the sephardic community here and I only write and deal with sephardic tradition. I am not that well connected in the Ashkenazic safrut business. I have a client who is Ashkenaz and is looking to commission a sefer torah but he wants it in the ashkenaz script. he also wants it written by a daati leumi sofer not a haredi since he is not haredi but daati leumi. does anyone here have a connection with a daati leumi sofer with a nice ketav? budget is up to $45,000 but if it is less it would be appreciated. Thanks and moadim lesimcha

common problems in yudim # 3

The Gmara Shabos 103 teaches: U'chsavtom [csiva tama] sh'lo yaase … vavin yudin yudin vavin, zayinin nunin nunin zayinin … [rashi: nunin - nun pshuta] According to the argument developed/explained above, what is the meaning of these details "sh'lo yaase vavin yudin .. zayinin nunin"? According to the SA's shita explained, it is simple – in each pair one letter is short and the other longer, if the longer one was short it is pasul, and so the opposite. If the vav was short resembling a yud it is pasul, if the nun pshuta was short resembling a zayin it is pasul, if it is only a bit short and we have a doubt it’s a shaylas tinok. This is simple in the wording of the mechaber Shulchan Aruch 32:16. (and also should be the simple conclusion of BY ch.36 and all the acharonim that record his alpha beta-tzuras haosiyos , as Shulhan Aruch Harav and Mishnat Sofrim, in the letters mentioned) But Rema changes the explanation of SA 32:16, in adding הפשוטות כגון וי

Common Problem in Ksav Chabad

"Chess" of "Bechozek": A few months ago I had a similiar "Chess" and Rabbi Shamai Gross passeled it Because the left "Zayin" is shaped like a "Nun" which makes it a "Tof". Recently, When I was checking this guy's Tefillin I noticed a similiar "Chess" and I brought it to Rabbi Wosner in Montreal (the author of Shu"t Chayei Halevi, nephew of Shevet Halevi) and he said after much thought "S'is gornisht" Here's a copy of Tefillin which are Meyuchas to R' Reuven Sofer, the source of Ksav Chabad. Notice the "Chess".

common problems in yudim # 2

Shulchan Aruch 32:15: If the left foot of the hai is perforated, even if לא נשאר ממנו אלא כלשהו it is kosher according to Rosh. Rema remarks: but the other poskim require כמלא אות קטנה (a full complete small letter), and Rema concludes that the halacha follows the latter opinion. [note the MB 32:40 remark: this is not a chumra but the hard-line halacha, וצריך להזהיר מאד הסופרים שנכשלין בזה ]. One might think that SA and Rosh hold that כלשהו means any tiny dot visible to eye, is sufficient for this hai to be kosher. This is obviously a mistake, the common sense [and R. Vozner paskens so, Sheivet Halevi vol. 2, Yore Dea Siman 140) that the כלשהו mentioned is a size worthy to be considered the inner foot of a hai, not any tiny dot. This interpretation is very important, we use it l'halacha l'mayse when a tiny drop of ink falls into a Dalet or Reish – although we (ashkenazim) follow the Rema's psak given above [machmir in regard to mloi ois ktana], but to be maikel ag
This is a very low quality Mezuzah, (I have to check several similar to these) if you see the י of והיה it looks almost like the letter J on an angle. It does not have a Rosh and instead a hook for a body. I assume it is shinui Tzura, I would appreciate your opinion on this.