Showing posts from January, 2012

a hole in the ches

This hole occured after the csiva. I think the ches is kosher, since it is still all one piece and has not lost its tzuras ois.

Tes – a negiya between the heads

Shevet Halevi (vol. 5, siman 8:9) brings a machalokes between the Mikdash M'at that pasels a tes that there is such a negiya between the heads, because they have turned it into a samech (and a shaylas tinok isn't accepted here), and the Mishnat Sofrim that allows fixing (scraping the negiya). Shevet Halevi is machmir as Mikdash M'at on this issue. But the Mishnat Hasofer (Yalkut and Biur p. 59) disagrees, and holds iykar as Mishnat Sofrim, that this isn't an automatic shinuy tzura, and in a questionable situation, a shaylas tinok is accepted. See Biur Hallacha 32:18 that a mem psucha that the chartom is touching the moshav, even the slightest ngiya "c'chut hasara" is pasul. What is the difference between the negiya of the mem, and the negiya of the tes?

zayin with a questionable head

The zayin has a tag added to its left, do we consider this tag an extension of the gag, so if measured together would be a full dalet. Or since it is seperate as a thin line from the gag of the zayin, it can not be a dalet? The difference is - if this is a kosher dalet then it is definitly pasul for a zayin! If this is not kosher for a dalet, then as a zayin it is a questionable shinuy tzura - which is dealt as a shaylas tinok. I think the latter position is true.

MR Metayeg again

In the word yore the Metayeg added a tag on the head of the yud pulling the line of the tag all the way down, almost filling in the whole guf of the yud, that would have turned it into a gigantic dot without a tzura of ois. Click to enlarge and you may clearly see the additions of the metayeg, the color of the pen-ink is obvious.

Mezuza affixing

I do not think that these entrances need mezuzahs since they do not have any protruding like lentils (perhaps the one with a gate would need since it is considered a door). I think there are more stricter opinions in this as well. Gut Shabbos

Morning prayer: Kol ma she'ani cosev hayom .. L'shem kedushas

There is a wrong custom of some that say, in the morning: All tefilin/mezuzos that I will write today shall be l'shem kedushas tefilin/mezuza ... I think that this is wrong [I cannot explain in length on the forum, but b'kitzur], A. If there is a hefsek between this saying l'shem and the begining of the csiva, then it isn't valid. B. this causes sofrim to be yotze yedey chova thinking they will say once a day and that is enough, causing a general zilzul in the proper concentration and cavana demanded at the time of writing. I wrote a bit more in hebrew, see

A special yasherkoach to Yehoshuah

I am writing this post to personally thank Yehoshuah for his efforts and contributions to this forum. The idea behind this forum was to provide support to the many sofrim in chutz laaretz who don't have the support of fellow sofrim and Rabanei morei hoarah in their respective locations. While Rav Moshe Weiner has been a tremendous source of support and guidance to me over the years, and I'm sure the many readers of this forum appreciate his constant input, I really must also thank Yehoshuah for his time and effort in bringing the many shailos discussed on this forum to Rav Shammai Gross Shlitah who is a true posek hador and who's opinions are accepted universally throughout the Torah world. Yasherkoach and thank you!

Story: Importance of limud Hilchos STaM

Obviously the olam reading this blog and making posts doesn't need chizuk in this inyun. However it's important I think to post this story in order to show people the importance of being m'chazak others in this inyun. I was by a family Simcha the other night and was sitting next to a friend of mine (also my shvers good friend) who I would say is from one of the best sofrim in Eretz Yisrael. His csav is unbelievable. His yedias in the halachos and of course Yiras Shamayim (as he ate the food there by the simcha he made every bracha b'kavana, reading from inside of a small card he carries with him) is "top notch". He told me recently that someone he knows, a chashuva talmud chocham that says shiur in gemorah, was becoming a sofer. He had already learned to write, was learning the halachos and as he said had already starting writing mezuzahs. I asked if he had a teudah, He said he was pretty sure that he did, until something happened. This person received fro

Retzuah being black

A gutte Voch, I have never clearly understood the halacha regarding retzuah with small white cracks or marks. I know it's halacha moshe mesinai that they have to be 100% black and some opinions say there is a zero tolerance aspect and even one or two small  white cracks are meakev. However there are also lenient opinions such as the Daas Kdoshim that as long as the majority is black it is OK bedieved. What is the halacha lemaisah on this?

The proportion between a iud and other letters

Is this a iud rabati and the mezuza is 'kasher bediavad', or a iud's regel that gets so downwards as the bottom of a regular moshav is considered shinui tsurah and the mezuza is psulah? (By the way,tinok was asked and said "iud".)

Gartel during Sta"m

I see that chassidim are makpid to wear a gartel during a siyum sefer torah. The Natei Gavriel (Hachnosos Sefer Torah)p. 111 writes this practice sorcing it from Shabbos 10,a and Shulchan Aruch 91:2. My question is would it not also be fitting to wear a gartel anytime writing or even doing hagah when fixing, according to this. I remember one Sofer that would always wear a gartel when writing, but I do not think this is the main spread custom. You might be able to differentiate between concluding a Sefer Torah which is a special occasion as similar to wearing a gartel during special kibudim during a bris etc... What are your thoughts?

siyum sefer tora

I think it is correct to stop the custom that people write letters at the siyum sefer tora. Only the sofer should write all the letters and complete finishing the sefer. Allowing others to write letters causes several problems: 1) people that are mechalel shabos are honored / they are pasul to write. 2) many people although told, don't mekadesh the csiva, and when there are many people honoured the sofer forgets to remind each and everyone, sometimes the sofer is embarresed to make a issue, so he keeps quite. Holding the feather by the person honored - thinking the sofer is writing, although correct that it is the sofers csiva - also causes problems, many times he pushes the hand of the sofer causing disturbance in the csiva and tzuras haois. Leaving hollow letters to my opinion doesn't help at all - since the iykar csiva is the one that finishes the letter, and the begining thin lines is not a kosher letter yet. Even according to the thought that the thin lines are a l

Shaila about Reform

There are very few reform Jews in Australia. However I was recently approached by a Reform Temple to repair a sefer. I have 3 questions on this subject: 1) Am I allowed to repair a sefer at a Reform Temple? 2) Am I allowed to sell a reform temple a sefer Torah? 3) Am I allowed to do a siyum sefer Torah at a Reform Temple even if they procured the sefer on their own, without my assistance. I'm sure these questions are common with sofrim in the US. What is the halacha lemaiseh on this please?

A Question about shem

A question that arose in my thought: What is the hallacha if a sofer had a mistake in shem that was pasul, but forbidden to erase, he didn't ask and erased the shem b'isur and rewrote the shem kodesh in place of the first one. Is this shem kosher and permitted to maintain bdieved, or must be fixed [probably by kiluf]? See teshuvas R"Y ben Ha'Rosh quoted by BY end of YD Siman 276, that it would have been preferable to goinez the whole yriya and not cut out the shem - mashma  after the fact that they did cut out the shem it isn't pasul - But the R"Y concludes since a sin was done [in regard to erasing the shem] it is best to change the yeriya. See also Shu"t Chatam Sofer YD simanim 264, 279.

Covering the mezuza

Someone asked me if they may have a mezuza on their door since it is facing another door with a tzelem hanging on it and it might not be proper kavod to the mezuza. I think that it is allowed if it is covered (i.e. that you cannot see the Sh-Ka-i (Hashem's name) on the parchment). Although the tzelem is considered as (at least safek Avodah Zarah)idolatry (Yoreh Deah 141:1 Rema and Shach ibid:6), still it should be similar to the halacha that one must cover ervah infront of a Sefer Torah, tefillin, sefarim or mezuzas etc... (Mishna Berura 240:27 etc...). It is required kli betoch kli. Perhaps the case is similar to a mezuza in front of tinuf (Yoreh Deah 286:5) where the shulchan Aruch writes only " tov lichasost hamezuza" - (which is more lenient) provided there is no ervah. In any case would a plastic non translucent case with a ש printed on it work? (I believe that some rabbonim say it is fine for kli betoch kli, although I do not understand the reasoning for this, si


What is the din in this parshiya? The person told me he "had it checked before and it was kosher"... doesn't the spacing pasul the Tefillin though?

L'Shem Kedushas HaShem / Sefer Torah

A sefer Torah was written by one sofer. At some point one Shem HaShem in the sefer Torah was found to be pasul. Another sofer came along to fix it and said "L'Shem Kedushas HaShem" but *not* "L'Shem Kedushas Sefer Torah". What's the din in that case. As well, what would be the din if it was the same sofer, however years later he came to fix the Shem and did the same thing, said  "L'Shem Kedushas HaShem" but *not* "L'Shem Kedushas Sefer Torah".

Petzua daka

I was wondering whats the halacha about "Petzua daka" (Parshat ki tetze). In some older Torah's it is written with a alef, and in others with a hey... obviously one is wrong, if so, then why isn't something being done to correct this? since a Torah is pasul "even if one letter is not kosher" then it means that hundreds of shuls are reading out of non kosher scrolls... How can we, as Sofrim claim that the Torah hasn't changed since the time of Moshe, if we have such a clear and blatant mistake? What are your thoughts on this?

Sirtutless tikun

It seems this sofer corrected the vav in'uvekumecha'(line 5), but he didn't make a second sirtut before writing the word again. Mishnat Hasofer (3,21) writes about the machkloket on that (Bnei Yonah x Achronim). If this mezuza can be kasher bediavad, I should anyway make the sirtut now. But the vav is upwards in relation to the sirtut level, and the sirtut could also take its rosh out by making some hefsek. What to do then?.

lamed entered lamed

The first two pictures are lameds entering under another lamed above them. It is accepted that they are kosher. The last two pictures are lameds entering caf sofit, which seem to be pasul, because the caf has changed somewhat to a tall hai. The question I have is - since probably the sofer started the lamed by making the vav on top, then the upper lamed has turned into a problematic shinuy [as explained in my post above -  kuf resembling a lamed ] it was a half lamed half kuf , so why should we machshir these lameds? Explanations or other opinions will be very appreciated!!

Tagim very high

This is the Mezuzah whithout the circles

Is small fay kosher for yud

often we tend to decide if a letter is kosher based on the surrounding letters. I am also posting an image with part of the mezuza

taguim High

Dio and Klaf

L'maseh what is dio made from now a days and how. (If there are several types, please almost mention.) As well from what type of animal is klaf made from (if different types also please mention.) If thing are exactly how they are spelled out in Shulchan Aruch then also fair to say that however for the dio I need an explanation of what Shulchan Aruch is referring to! Thanks to the olam in advanced.

Siyum sefer Torah

It seems that the accepted custom by siyum Sefer Torahs is to place a card with the words "Leshem Kedushas ..." on top of the klaf itself. I would like to know if there is any problem (of non kavod to the Sefer Torah) by placing such a card on top of the klaf? Does anyone have a source to prove that it is fine?

Tagim very high

I doubt if even a shaylas tinok can solve this problem?! Some of these tagim are so long. Click to enlarge.

questions on tzuras ois

Yehoshua, what does Rabbi Shammai say about the tav? {see my post " Minimum challal of letters" posted dec. 18} Can we machshir the hai of shem without a shailas tinok, or must ask a tinok first, since it resembles a ches?

Mezuza covers that are problematic

Concerning mezuza covers with formed images of people on them (like in this picture) or with a sun or moon on them. What is is the Halacaha of these mezuza cases? Based on Yoreh Deah 141:3 we are not to even own tzuras (either bolait or shakua)images of the sun and moon. Concerning the image of a person even the face alone is a problem ( Taz 141:15 ). See also the Mechaber 141:4 where the girsa is " afilu Lenoi " see also the Shach ibid:21 . I think concerning childeren's mezuzas it is less of a problem even with images of different icons similar to the status of a toy, so seems the minhag bepoal, not that it is endorsed, however not necessarily certainly forbidden. However there might even be an issue with decorative images formed on childeren mezuza cases, since there is an importance of looking at the mezuza (as in the story of Onkelos the ger recorded in Tractate Avoda Zara ) and it might not be proper to look at such images even if they are similar to toys (these

tifur titora

1)This is the stitches which are are not exactly ribuah mamash (due to warped battim and poorly drilled holes), although it was much worse before my fixing. Is it currently kosher the way it is? If not what is the red line? R" Moshe I now added a new picture (top picture) of how it used to look before, what about this?

problematic beis

The Beis of yirbu - is this a beis or a nun? I think a tinok can be asked.

problem in reish

Is this reish kosher/shaylas tinok/pasul???

kuf resembling a lamed

Elad posted [last week] a question on a kuf. I want to comment on this issue B'ezras Hashem. I have edited the Malkosh [he posted] to recive 3 new situations, [the first one has been mentioned by Yehoshua in the comments there, in the name of Rabbi Shammai Gross shlit"a]. 1) the fat tag [I moved to] the left edge of the kuf, my opinion is that this is not automaticaly pasul, but a shaylas tinok - how a tinok sees the letter. In this specific case [illustrated here] it might be realy pasul because this fat tag is mamash a (complete) kosher rosh for lamed!! But I want to make a point that if the tag is not a complete rosh for a lamed, then it will not be automaticaly pasul! 2) the kuf has a complete rosh of lamed - it is pasul [for either a kuf or a lamed ], because this a complete shinuy tzura, this figure is partialy a lamed partialy a kuf, therefore pasul for either [a tinok can't help in this case]. 3) lamed has a partial foot of kuf, this resembles question


I have retzuos that the black can be peeled off easily, when peeled off the retzua is white ,my shaila is as long as it has not been peeled off are they kosher.Does the machlokas noda beyehuda and chayai adam (as brought down in keses)also apply here? or only batim since they have to be רואה פני אויר WHOEVER HAS ACCESS TO A POSEK PLEASE ASK AND POST.

Ratzuos too long

If the ratzuos of the tefillin shel yad (davka) were made too long and the person already wore the tefillin to be yotzee the mitzvah (i.e. they have more kedusha now) May the ratzuos be cut down to make smaller?

Shailo with Vav (Old post)

As I mentioned before I've started to bring the shailos found on the blog to R' Shammai Gross. Not only as shimush for myself but as well to benefit the olam here. I have gone through old posts and will select certain shailos to bring to R' Shammai then repost. Of course any new shailo I will try and bring as soon as possible and post with the psak. The original post can be found here: R' Shammai said the Vav is b'seder the way it is and dio may be added to fix it.