Showing posts from October 10, 2011

The Ideal Aleph

I'd like to pose a conceptual idea that, even if some people don't get too involved as it's not completely practical, I think is important for STa"M anyway. I think there is value to determining the exact, perfect tzura of the otiot, even if it's not practical to hold written STa"M to that standard. Mishnat Sofrim brings from Beis Yosef that the nekuda tachtona of the Aleph should be 1.5 kulmusim from the top of the body. Traditionally I have always read explanations that describe this parameter as being the distance of the leg of the lower yud, as shown in the picture below (this is an aleph I've written previously, not for the purpose of this post so isn't geometrically accurate for this purpose). My STa"M rav and teacher suggested that this poses two potential issues. In order to comply with this, since the width of the gag and the yud are both 1 kulmus then it would mean that the total height of the Aleph would be 3.5 kulmusim, which seemin
I was checking a mezuzah yesterday, in the word ירבו the ב' has a little tiny Chut hasara that seems to connect to the roof giving it a possible appearance of a ם. Although I must say it is not so noticeable by the naked eye, however I did catch it without a magnifier glass. The Mezuzah is 10 cm big, to give you an idea of how small it would be. This was the Rabbi"s answer; צריך הבחנת תינוק, ע"י כיסוי האות וי"ו שלאחריו  Los Angeles

common problems in yudim

The yudim in the first mezuza have a regel that is very long [see also the word בניכם] – much longer than the width of the head of the yud. This causes a big shayla! Are these yudim kosher or maybe they are classified as vavim?! And fixing them in tefilin or mezuza is pasul since it is Sh'lo C'sidran. It is obvious in the poskim that the defining point that divides yud from vav is shailas tinok, if so does this automaticaly accept any yud at any length because in regard to the general csav the yud is shorter than other letters, or maybe there is a shiur for the yud that it may not pass, as the [opposite] minimum shiur that the vav can not be shorter. In the second mezuza the yudim are worse, not only the regel is longer than the width of their head – the regel descends straight down, without a curve inward at all. To my opinion these yudim are pasul, they are [more a] vav than a yud!!! Although these yudim are shorter than the general csav, the porportion between the yuds'

Shaving batim to improve ribuah

Question for Reb Moshe: Today I checked a pair of tefillin where the ribuah of the bayis was OK on the top but towards the bottom the bayis got a little wider and swollen (probably from moisture or sweat). When measurimng with a caliper it was like 1.7 out (between orech and rochev). So I used a knife to shave off some of the bayis from both sides. I took off about .5 of a mm from each side, thus bringing the ribuah back to a kosher size. My concern is that I remember once speaking with R' Yossi Altien, (a sofer and batim expert in the US) who told me to be careful when shaving batim as it could open a "fold" and one could unwittingly make a hole. I am no expert on batim, so the big question is,what are the chances of this happening? I lifted the batim to the light after I shaved them before I repainted them. The dull light came through but I did not see any "bright light" indicating a crack or hole. Also when looking at the actual bayis where I shaved, I se