A place for English speaking sofrim (scribes), magihim (examiners), rabbis and vendors of Stam (Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzah scrolls) from around the world to communicate, share ideas, ask questions and offer support and advice.
I have started having trouble with these Tefillin about a week ago, I started noticing a crack in the paint where the shel yad would be opened (first picture from top), and the left bait (when looking at the picture) of the shel rosh was starting to separate a little from the rest (Second picture). I was keeping it tight in its box to try and save the Shel Rosh and it improved a little. Then this morning before the tefila I opened the Rosh and a big piece of the paint from the bottom of the Shel Yad just fell off in one piece.
Can anyone tell me what is the status of the Tefillin, meanwhile, can I wear them? I live in Slovenia and until I can get someone to fix them it will be at least a couple days.
This gave me a "Safrut smile"... OK, I realise that this is not Ktav STaM, however it is interesting what happens when graphic/font Hebrew becomes too stylised. Case-in-point, a colleague and I were visiting the mayor's office in the Gaza Belt region of Shaar HaNegev (adjoining Sderot). He is new to reading Hebrew and pronounced the welcome sign as " brooning " or " broobing " (instead of the intended " brookhim ". I replied that he was more correct than the graphic designer, as the letter meant to be a " khaf " was closer to a halakhic "Nun" or "Bet", and had this been Ktav STaM, the letter would likely be considered pasul as a "Khaf".
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 m