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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My trip to Venice: Safrus is everywhere



A couple days ago, I took my family down to Venice for our first time. I really enjoyed learning about the history of the Jews of Venice, and how the world's first ghetto came about. Undoubtedly, the highlight of my trip was purchasing a Venetian Murano Glass Dip Pen. What is special about this pen, which was used and invented in Venice in the 1700's I believe, is that it is completely made out of glass. The tip which is used for writing is very special, it has spiral cuts that allow it to contain much more ink that a normal dip pen. The reason I got it is because there is an opinion that we should not write with metal, because metal is Chokek. For those who go by, or would like to go by this opinion, it makes Tikunim a whole lot easier. Because it is also shaped like a normal pen, it is easy to use. With radiograph ink, it can write about 10-15 english words on paper before having to re-dip. It makes very clear and thin lines perfect for making corrections and TAGIM. For those who want one, you can find them online for about 15 dollars, and you don't have to go to Venice.

7 comments:

  1. Another great part is that you can sand the tip to make it to your liking and they are supposed to last pretty long.

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  2. I don't know if you are still there but in the Jewish Quarter there is a guy selling Venitian glass mezuzah cases with fake paper mezuzos. Every few months I get them for checking. They are actual photocopies. He must sell a lot because if I get them on a regular basis in Australai, they must go everywhere else.

    Perhaps you could speak with him.

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  3. Have done, and he is not interested.

    He said that a lot of his customers are not Jewish and they ask for a Mezuzah.

    I tried to convince him to sell proper scrolls and he can have a Bochur from the Semicha program or Rami Banin sort it out. He did not want to know.

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  4. I did not come across this while I was there. Was only there for one day, but I should go back in a month or so, maybe i will investigate...

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  5. Does anyone have any experience with writing with one of these? I notice that some major pen manufacturers are starting to mass produce glass dip pens. If they work for corrections it would be a boon since they presumably don't clog like rapidograph pens and also would avoid the shaila of writing with metal.

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  6. yes, but they have 2 disadvantages. a) they dry out if not constantly being used (which can be very awkward) and b) they can drip (which can be disastrous).
    You have to be very comfortable with them before using on real sta"m.

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  7. That is true about the dripping part, especially on klaf, but you can easily avoid this problem by dipping a quarter or half of the nib, not the whole part. I have played around with it a little, and done some taggim on klaf, and it works pretty well.

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