I have been asked by a synagogue if they could make some mark on their sifrey torah so they would be traceable if stolen and they wonder if marking them would make them unkosher. I recall reading halacha around marking k'laf with a series of holes in a pattern which would be acceptable. I have even seen a torah with a kind of hechsher stamp from the magihah, but they have asked about using Crimestoppers Property Marker kits to leave a small drop of clear liquid on each valuable item (one assumes the silverware too) as recommended by the police in the UK - I think this is some kind of invisible ink that shows up under ultra violet light only. Much of halacha around holes etc is regarding something visible to the naked eye. Would this fall under that category. What are other sofrim advising people who wish to protect their sifrey from theft/make it easier to identify/recover the sefer if it was - chas v'shalom - stolen.

Interested in both the halacha and the practical options here.



  1. I would recommend using these guys:

    They do a scan of the Torah and they keep a virtual fingerprint of the torah in their database that can be referenced later by Police etc.

    I don't know if you need to get the Torah to them in Israel though...

    1. Thanks, am aware of them. Visited them a ciuple of times. I already scan and hold records myself but a distinguishing mark would help secular british police more than pictures of similar scripts hence the questtion.

  2. hallacicaly - if the sign is not a clear hebrew letter, and it is on the outside of the klaf, no problem.

    1. I remember a teshuva from R. Moshe Feinstein [didnt search it now, but clearly saw it] that one should not stamp a hebrew word [מוגה] on the inside part of a mezuza, although it is engraved in the klaf by press and no ink.
      On the other hand Rambam [Hilchos Mezuza ch. 5] writes in regard to adding שדי on the other side of the klaf, that this doesn't cause a pasul of additional text to the mezuza, since it is on the outer side and not where the text is.
      It seems the same should apply to a ST or tefilin. No addition of hebrew letters should be made on the written side, but on the outer side if there is a correct need may be permitted (otherwise it is a ביזוי מצוה to add anything for no justified reason, even on the outer side).

      Although from the above it seems that one may even add written hebrew script outside, I recommend not to use hebrew script, and rather symbols that clearly have no connection to the csav.

    2. By all means, we do it all the time when we write dates on the reverse of tefillin parashiot. It is standard operating procedure and does not pose a halachik problem.

  3. I think I once read, that since no two Torah's are exactly the same, you just take a scans of 5 different random places in the Torah, or leave a small mark in between the folds of the amudim in one area..

  4. In the Israeli army they press a pressure mark on the klaf.

    I also heard about piercing the Yeriot of the klaf with a needle in a specific pattern.

  5. Rabbi Frand gave a lecture on this very topic
    Available here:


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