פורום בינלאומי לנושא סת"ם

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pitum Haketores and Lamenatzeach Menorahs on Klaf

There are minhagim to read Pitum Haketores and/or a Lamenatzeach menorah on klaf in ksav ashirus. There are many different sources for the customs, which is a topic in itself. Many people carry their own klaf containing the above, and some shuls might have framed versions on the wall.

I understand that these are all minhagim which can vary and may be based on various different sources. Nevertheless, I have a number of questions to which I would be interested in hearing possible answers, opinions, and approaches.

1) Upon examination of a number of the above mentioned items, I have noted that:

a) Some of these items are badly printed on unusual parchment without any sirtut or attempt to make them look real to anyone who knows anything about safrus.

b) Some of these items are printed on klaf with sirtut in an attempt to make them appear as if they were hand written to the layman.

c) Some of these items seem to have been printed and then traced over or finished by hand.

d) Some of these items appear to have been written properly by a sofer.

Are there any guidelines as to how these items should be made? Can they be printed? Does one have to be careful about chok tochos? Can they be ksav al gabei ksav? Should there be any sort of kavanos when writing them? Should they have sirtut?

2) There are variants of the nusach of the text that is included in the Pitum Haketores. For instance, the Chabad siddur has a few variations with the version in the Artscroll Nusach Sefard siddur. Should one have the Pitum Haketores written in the nusach one prays in?

3) Is there a source to the layout of the pesuchos and setumos of Pitum Haketores? For instance, in many versions, one thing that catches the eye is that they have a gap wide enough to be a setuma immediately before and also immediately after the word "vinemar," leaving it in its own paragraph. Is this just according to the understanding of the sofer, or is there a source for this?

4) There are many different layouts and shapes of the design of the Lamenatzeach menorahs. Are there sources for any of them, or are there just sources to make it in the shape of a menorah, leaving the rest up to artistic license?

5) The most common shape for the Lamenatzeach menorah is one with rounded branches. Some have rounded sirtut, while many do not. Some have straight ksav with some words upside down. Is there a source for rounded ksav or upside down ksav?

6) I've noticed that some Lamenatzeach menorahs have variant texts from the text in the Tehillim. What could possibly be the reason for that?


  1. check out YK's sofer blog, he did an article on this

    1. Thank you. However, his article, although interesting and informative, does not answer the questions I have raised above.

  2. I'm quite surprised at the silence to my above questions. Should I take the silence to mean that there are no actual answers to the above questions, and that each Sofer does as he thinks best?

  3. when writting any three words from a posuk there should be a sirtut to make the ksav straight i think that this will aply even in this case but i am not a posek. rabbi zurkin told us that RABBI moshe finstein would write everythin on ligned paper he does not know if this was bedavka or not
    as for pitum haktores writing anything in real safrus letters has a certain kedushah to it and certain hashpaos that are in the letters
    it souds that what you saw was people trying to trick people that this was real safrus stuff


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