Showing posts from September, 2012

Any comments on this ksav?

Hi I am about to embark on the sale of a sefardi sefer torah to a customer in America, he was looking for a sefer at around the $25,000 mark, here is a sample of what I have chosen for him. Can anyone tell me if there are any chisronot in the ktav (I'm not so mumche in sephardi ksav) or what they think of the price? I'd appreciate a bit of a confidence booster from anyone who has more experience in sefer torah sales - Thanks!

strange problems in a mezuza

I will take the initiative of opening the second year with an interesting mezuza scan, I received before Yom Kippur: Here is the same scan, with a problem throughout the mezuza, noted with red square [click to enlarge]: Most of the yudim are written above the sirtut , although hallachicaly bdieved this should be kosher (this also isn't pashut, the Daas Kedoshim and Divre Chayim - R. Chayim of Tzanz hold that csav that isn't attached to the sirtut is pasul. Tzarich Iyun what they would say in the case at hand - the yud is attached above the sirtut and not under the sirtut) - this is abnormal, as no sofer writes lechatchila any letter above the sirtut !!   The mezuza has a double sirtut [although many sofrim mehadrim do this to straighten the csav, it seems this scribe had a different reason] ??!!   Last, the sirtut of this mezuza is not shokea [pressed into the klaf from the correct side] but pressed outward from the back of the klaf. This is a big problem! Is th

Happy Birthday Sta"m Forum!

Last motzoi Yom Kippur, I was sitting around after the fast and my younger brother showed me how blogspot works. I had been talking about the idea of an online interactive forum with a number of fellow sofrim for some time, and I figured why not just do it. Looking back, I think it was definitely worth the effort.  We have almost 450 informative posts, with many good shailos and insights. We have had over 60,000 hits, thats an average of about 200 hits per day. And we have had many meaningful and educational discussions on all topics in Sta'm. I know I learned a lot from some of them. The best thing about it is that all past discussions and posts remain available as a resource for future reference. I thank everyone for their contributions and for being part of this. A special thank you to Rabbi Moshe Weiner for answering so many of the general shailos. Also thank you to Yehoshua Deitel for bringing many of the  shailos to Rav Shammai Gross. My future plans for the for

nun pshuta backwards

The nun pshuta of "nosen" is backwards [click to enlarge]. It is pasul. The question is can it be fixed in tefilin, according to opinions that a letter that a tinok can read correctly may be fixed (without chashash of sh'lo csidran)?

tav - can it be fixed?

This Tav is in tefilin. A tinok was asked and read it a Tav. Can it be fixed?

Learning Hagaha

Hi, I have been a sofer for some time and I ma qualified for ketivah at mishmeret stam. I am now looking to focus on Hagaha, so I can be qualified to check as well. Could anyone please tell me what is involved in studying to be qualified as an examiner? Thanks and Gemar Tov.

Mem Sofit

What would you say of a Mem Sofit that is shaped like a triangle on it's inside?

Wishing one and all a kesivah vechasimah tovah, leshana tovah umesukah!

May everyone have much hatzlacha in their avodas hakodesh in the coming year, parnassah in abundance with menuchas hanefesh, health, nachas and happiness!

My letter To Ami Magazine - Feedback or corrections would be appreciated before I submit it

Dear Editor, Thank you for your your informative article on the controversy over the Kashrus of retzuos for tefillin by Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter. As correctly reported in the article, this issue was first raised on an online forum for sofrim, back in December of 2011. However the name of the forum was incorrectly quoted in the article as being called "Soferstamblog". The correct name is "The STa"M Forum" which can be viewed online at . The forum, which is completely non commerical and non profit, started with a handful of sofrim less than a year ago. Today there are dozens of contributing members from around the world, mostly sofrim and others in the STa"M (Sefer Torah, tefillin and Mezuzah) industry who regularly post shailos and discuss halachic matters relevant to STa"M. Over 600 articles have been posted to date, with the site receiving several hundred hits per day. It is proving to be a valuable resource for
How about the Bais of Uleovdo?

Kedusha of Parshiyos

In regards to the Parshiyos of the Tefillin shel Yad is there a difference in "kedusha" between the parshiyos (more or less "kedusha") or is each one on the same level in terms of kedusha. Not so much of a nafka mina but a thought that came to mind.
Can I have the publics opinion on these Zayin's of the word Mezuzos? Aren't they a serious Shaila of a Nun? I have a few Mezuzos which I checked today, and all have more or less the same problem.

interesting sefer

I just wanted to share an interesting sefer I came across today, it's call אניה דיונה, and is contains all the halachos of ס"ת מזוזה מגילה תפילין according to the simanim of the shulchan aruch. Whats unique to this sefer is that the halachos are written as poems with rhyming lines  Here is a link

Negiyah (reish & chof pshutah) revisited

This morning in Shul I sketched a picture of a negiyah between a reish and chof pshuta and showed it to a child, who read it as a lamed (see below). While I agree the case I posted yesterday was very mild, and not much of a chshash, I think in cetrtain cases  a reish / chof pshutah negiya such as the one in this picture below can indeed  present more of a  problem. Particularly in cheaper mezuzos where not all the letters are written so perfectly. An especially in sefardi ksav, where lechatchillah  the lamed is more like a reish on the bottom than a chof. Negiyos, at least for me, are very nervewracking because the gravity of chok tochus essentially being a much more severe issur  (other problems that can be fixed by adding ink and not scratching are less nervewraking because you always have a tziruf in your back pocket (sofek shinuy tzurah and sofek what is considered lo kesidran) however you do not have the second sofek by negiyos (unless possibly if they happened after kesiv

Extra Mehudar Mezuzah

Someone today asked me for a special mezuzah written as mehudar as possible with as many valid chumros as possible. Other than Avodas yad klaf and making sure my writing comes out as perffect as possible, is there anything else anyone could suggest?


The negiyah between the chof pshutah and reish. Had it been a chof cfufah instead of the reish it would have been majorly problematic to fix the negiyah due to it having formed the tzurah of lamed. Having said that , can this chsash apply to a reish? I would appreciate reb Moshe's opinion on this negiyah. Thanks
Someone brought me this Mezuza today for inspection, which he bought from a Sofer Chashuv a few years ago. See if you manage to find any problem on the first, second, or third try... Hatzlacha Raba!

Opinion Please

I have checked these tefillin before and have noted this issue, however the owner of these tefillin would now like a conclusive opinion on whether the revach is suitable or he should change the parshiyos. The owner is Chabad Anash who likes to be mehader in mitzvos etc the issue of course is that there are not 9 large letters as required lechatchillah acc to S'A harav Reb Moshe's opinion would be appreciated.

The Ami Magazine Article

I thought I'd post the link to the Ami Magazine Article featuring forum member and frequent poster  Rabbi Shmuel Traube AKA Bais Hastam (Pictured). The article can be downloaded here :
Video for Chodesh Elul - The Necessity Of Checking Tefillin & Mezuzahs - Enjoy!

R' Klein's letter on Retzuot

Open each image in a new tab/window to see it full size.


As the readers of this blog were the first to hear about the peeling retzua "scandal" or "shaila" Here are the updates. A Rabbi of the five towns found that a pair of retzuos he purchased were peeling,The Rabbi publicly announced that these retzuot are "posul" and denounced the sofer that unknowingly sold these retzuot.An article by Yair Hoffman followed which can be found  in the newspaper he writes for  just enter "peeling" in the search box. We did just receive a tshuva from Rabbi M S Klien who is it machshir you can find the tshuva on The Vaads Blog One more point Yair hoffman claims "  Dayan Roth of Karlsburg issued a ruling prohibiting as well.  This ruling supercedes the letter issued to a Rabbi Oberlander earlier, according to Dayan Roth’s Av Beis Din" As per my sources Rabbi Roth is printing the original tshuva in h

Parshiyos descending in the titura

I wrote about this in length a long time ago: The International STa"M Forum: Parshiyos descending in the titura

Pay Kefulah revisited

This morning I received a second email in two days regarding the pay kefulah: This mornings email is from Hungary and reads: Dear Eli, I've found a sefer torah with strange, spiral-shaped pehs (see attached).  Do you know anything about the history of these pehs and their significance? Thanks, Michael Miller Budapest, Hungary P.S.  Perhaps it would be possible to post it on The International STa"M Forum. I have attached the picture he sent me above Since I am not so familliar with all of the mesorah aspects of tzuras haosiyos, I referred him to the previous post from a few days ago where Reb Moshe and Mordechai comment (I have pasted it below)   moshe weiner September 4, 2012 8:14 AM 1) pai kefula mentioned in rambam and other rishonim. so it is at least 1000 years old (and according to sefer tagim is from kabala from moshe rabeinu) it is found both in old ashkenazic, temani sefer toras. mentioned in kabala sefarim in regard to "pen

The Zichron Eliyohu re my previous post

click on image for larger text

Klaf al tnai

Today I was in a klaf store in Bnei Barak and a seemingly secular woman walked in asking for "non-kosher klaf" that she can use for calligraphy. The seller gave her Grade B klaf to look at. It raised some questions. As far as I know our klaf here in Eretz Yisroel is made al tnai to change to anything one wishes. Meaning that it doesn't need gniza if used for just drawing etc. But what if one is writing something holy?  Is it the act of being mekadesh to write L'shem megilla for example that changes the property of the klaf where now it is considered holy and needs gniza.  Ma nafka mina: For example if one were to start writing a new pair tefillin, say l'shem kedushas teffilin, write the first letter, and then make a terrible mistake that is unfixable like huge blot of ink. Now he needs to throw this klaf away, was he mekadesh the klaf which is made al tnai, or no? Hope everyone understands the idea.

two questions

1) Does anyone know the origin of the pay kefulah, and which areas / periods this was common in? 2) Batim question (Reb Moshe): I have a secular Jew who is very attached to his tefillin -  he has the smaller pshutim older style batim . The parshiyos are competely unkosher but he wants to keep the batim. Problem is my cheapest parshiyios are too big -  they stick into the titurah. The titurah is made of those two pieces of pressed leather. assuming they are glued to the bayis and the parsha sits entirely in the bayis and inside this part which is glued to the bayis, while this is certainly not mehudar, I assume it's definitely still kosher (when glued).

Difference between computer programs

Hi Chevreh, I currently have Tor's Tikkun Sofrim program VERSION 8 which I use with a flatbed scanner and do the line art tiff images. I know Tor has upgraded to a camera system which has been used for the past few years. I'm wondering if the new system is worth paying the extra money for. I would greatly appreciate feedback from anyone with experience using the two systems. Thanks!

A story and a thought

Everyone in the sefer Torah industry knows about the machlokes in Parshas Ki Tzetzei on how to spell the word "dakkah" from the words "pitzuei dakkah". I am forever fixing this (both ways) for customers. Today, the general minhag is to spell it with a hay, with the exception of Chabad and Temanim, who have the custom to spell it with an Aleph. There is a lot of material on this machlokes including the well known Chabad argument that in the Maharam M'Rottenberg's sefer, it's spelled with an Aleph. Putting reasoning aside, I want to relate a story that happened to me once. There is an old, dying Anglo Saxon shul that has about 3 or 4 old sifrei torah. This shul employed a part time Chabad rabbi some years ago. The rabbi came to see me after reading Ki Tzeitze one year and asked me to change the "Dakkos" from hey to alef, which I did. A few years later, the Chabad rabbi moved on and the shul employed a part time Yeshivish rabbi as his repl